Laudato Si’ Project spent Saturday’s International Migratory Bird Day doing land stewardship at the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center in Bayside, WI. This 180 acre property was once the pasturing grounds for the Schlitz Brewery draft horses. Much restoration work has been done on the land since then and our volunteers were happy to help.
Students from MUHS and Nicolet High School were given beautiful weather to complete our task of removing invasive garlic mustard and dames rocket from various woodland sections. Both these plant species were used in home landscaping and escaped cultivation. They compete very heavily with our native plants and do not provide a good food source for our herbivores. When removing these species, it is important to remove the whole root system to prevent them from growing back. We also hung them in trees to avoid re-sprouting.
Of course, anytime you are out in the woods you are blessed with finding unanticipated treasures. For us, we were able to stumble upon a Blanding’s Turtle which is “of Special Concern” in WI. We also saw numerous spring ephemeral wild flowers and a wild turkey hen sitting on her nest. This area of Lake Michigan coast line is characterized by beautiful woodland with deep gorges. We toured the property to learn a little more about its ecology and finished by skipping rocks on Lake Michigan.