Exploring the Scuppernong Prairie

 

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The hike in the southern Kettle Moraine

Sunday was our hike in the southern Kettle Moraine’s Scuppernong Prairie. This 3,500 acre prairie is the largest mesic prairie east of the Mississippi. It covers 2 State Natural Areas and is home to many interesting, unique, and rare plants and animals.

This prairie contains hundreds of species of plants and many grassland bird species not very common in southern WI anymore. Prairie’s require fire to remove the bushes and trees that naturally invade them. The main tree species found in this prairie is Bur Oak which has especially thick bark to handle spring/fall fires. Prior to European Settlement, Bison and Elk also roamed these prairies and burning helped with hunting of these species by the Native Americans (the main fire starters). The scuppernong prairie also contains 2 spring fed creeks that are home to native brook trout. Armed with bug nets, we were able to explore one of southern Wisconsin’s natural treasures.

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Playing in the Paradise Springs Creek

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