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Wed, Sep 13

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The Creamery Inn

Got Invasives? Identify and Manage Problematic Plants: North West Region

North West Fall Learning Circle

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Got Invasives? Identify and Manage Problematic Plants: North West Region
Got Invasives? Identify and Manage Problematic Plants: North West Region

Time & Location

Sep 13, 2023, 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM CDT

The Creamery Inn, E4616 County Rd C, Menomonie, WI 54751, USA

About the Event

Got Buckthorn? Garlic Mustard? Wild Parsnip? Or maybe another invasive species? Or perhaps you're not sure on what you have on your land but are curious to learn before those invasives invade and hinder native plant growth? This event is for you!

To make our time together more interactive, we encourage you to bring some pictures of problematic plants on your land (get photos from serveral angles, leaves, any flowers or seeds also visible) Attending conservation specialists will help with identification and share management tips with the group.

After the provided lunch, our guest landowner Kathy Ruggles will take us on a tour of her land showing the positive longterm impact of invasive plant management. Join our WiWiC community to learn together and gather ideas and information for how to best manage our land to create a healthy, diverse ecosystem by keeping invasives in check! 

Lunch will consist of several party platters, gluten-free and vegan options available, and provided beverages of coffee, lemonade and water. Look forward to seeing you there!

Wisconsin Women in Conservation Host:  Stephanie Coffman, Marbleseed

Rockstar Citizen Scientist Landowner:  Kathy Ruggles

Expert Guest Speaker:  Dr. Julia Chapman

Speaker Bios:

Kathy Ruggles has a love of gardening.  She started with large vegetable gardens for her family and moved into landscape gardening.  She and her business partner Liz Heywood ran a nursery and landscape gardening business together for 10 years.  In the early 90’s one of their customers asked them to ‘plant a prairie’ in her field.  Since they knew little about that process, besides that they loved incorporating native plants into the gardens, Kathy met with the local DNR expert to learn how to proceed.

Since then she has planned, bought seed, planted and burned many prairie and woodland areas. She and her husband John have been restoring the fields and woodlands on their 73 acre property in Downsville, WI.

They started their prescribed burn training at a weekend class at the Aldo Leopold Foundation in the spring of 2008.  Subsequently, they conducted prescribed burns on their property and took NWCG Fire Fighting classes up through S-219 Firing Operations. Through TPECSC she team taught Introduction to Prescribed Burning annually from about 2012 until Covid.

In 2007, she was on the board of the local chapter of The Prairie Enthusiasts as it was being reconstituted. She has continued to work on the board until the present time.  The Chippewa Savannas Chapter has received several major grants for restoration of the Dobb’s Landing property on the Red Cedar River near Colfax.  Kathy helped administer those grants, ordered and planted seeds, cleared invasive plants and excess trees and brush, and ran the burn crews. She is currently the Chapter Burn Boss.

Dr. Julia Chapman is a Lecturer in the Department of Biology at UW-Stout and teaches a variety of environmental science and geographic information systems (GIS) courses. Her areas of interest and expertise are plant biology, forest ecology, and invasive species. She co-manages the UW-Stout Greenhouse, serves as Vice Chair for the Chippewa Savannas Chapter of The Prairie Enthusiasts, and volunteers regularly on habitat restoration projects at the Colfax Red Cedar Preserve and Recreation Area.

Location:  The Creamery Inn

Event Details:

  • Event is free to attend but registration is required and space is limited.
  • Women - all who identify as such - are welcome to attend – from  landowners to farmers to conservationist enthusiasts – whatever your background, from beginners to experts! 
  • Our WiWiC events follow a Learning Circle model, with ample time and a safe space for story sharing, networking and collaborative learning. We all have something to both share and learn together.
  • Photos will be taken at this event and used for educational purposes only by WiWiC and the partner groups.  If you do not wish to have your picture taken, let the on-site WiWiC host know.
  • WiWiC is a family-friendly space and you are welcome to bring your children.  We will have some independent kids activities available.

About Wisconsin Women in Conservation

WiWiC is a state-wide collaborative effort led by the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute in partnership with Wisconsin Farmers Union, Renewing the Countryside and Marbleseed.  A five-year multi-faceted project funded by the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), WiWiC brings together Wisconsin women landowners to connect and learn about conservation practices, resources, and funding opportunities.

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