Photos from a recent prescribed burn at Riveredge Nature Center

To quote the Riveredge Instagram post I wrote…

Prescribed burning is a time tested practice for prairie and savanna rejuvenation that existed in the Americas centuries before European settlement. We embrace this practice across appropriate Riveredge habitats.

Prescribed burning spurs prairie seeds to sprout, consumes encroaching invasive species, and expends potential wildfire fuel in a safely controlled situation.

Thanks to our wonderful burn #volunteers for helping keep everyone (and everything) safe!

A perhaps unorthodox building portrait.
Lines of fire are strategically placed with a drip torch to collide and extinguish together.
Riveredge School students were able to learn and observe from a safe distance.
This shot is probably my favorite, the combination of high-leaping flames and indecisive sunrise.
For all the technology in the world, the best burn tools are still a flat piece of rubber to suffocate any flare-ups and a backpack full of water with a hose.
I was even able to participate in a burn later in the day (photo by my colleague Matt Smith). I should probably clarify…the fire is moving slowly, for this picture moment, I’m in a safer landscape than this may appear.

Exciting Conservation Easement News at Riveredge

At Riveredge Nature Center, we recently completed a conservation easement. This will ensure that 287 acres (75% of the total land) will forever be protected from development and permanently preserved for habitat conservation and education. I’m proud to have been on-staff while the long process was completed and to have collaborated on the unveiling. Visit this announcement for complete details.

Autumn along the Milwaukee River at Riveredge Nature Center

New Wheelchair Accessible Trails and Boardwalks at Schlitz Audubon

I’m excited to get to know this new wheelchair accessible trail and boardwalk at Schlitz Audubon Nature Center. This new trail network is the result of years of planning and now physical work on the land. It’s part of a plan that incorporates ponds to sequester stormwater, which currently exacerbates ravine erosion into Lake Michigan. These ponds will also create wetland habitat and additional learning and wildlife viewing opportunities for visitors. Learn more about the details here on the Schlitz Audubon website.

I took this picture on the new boardwalk path a couple weeks ago. This section should be completed before the snow flies!

 

Community Gardens: A Poem About Plants in Nature

I was at work the other day, asking about planting strategies with a very experienced land management specialist. He mentioned something, almost as an afterthought, about how forbs need root competition to flourish long-term. Otherwise they grow too large and collapse on themselves. I found this interesting and ended up writing a poem about it. We published it on our Blog at Schlitz Audubon Nature Center. It’s pretty fantastic that I’ve got a job where I’m invited to write poetry about nature.

Go here to read Community Gardens, a poem about how plants depend on one another.

Beavers Returning to the Milwaukee River Become Front Page News

I’m pretty excited that our short documentary about beavers returning to the Milwaukee River became front page news! Thanks to everyone who participated in the doc and to Lee Bergquist of Milwaukee Journal Sentinel for writing the article. View the story here.

Beavers Return to The Good Land

Well, after a few months of shooting and editing, the documentary about beavers returning to the Milwaukee River is complete! I’m pretty pleased with how this turned out. Beavers have been returning to Milwaukee’s waterways, but rather than explain why – I’ll let you watch and learn for yourself below.

Beavers in the Milwaukee River Documentary

Here is a little teaser footage I shot this morning for a project I’m working on. Beavers have gradually returned to the Milwaukee River and this rehabilitated animal was released in the river this morning. By all accounts, Chip seems to be doing very well in her new natural river island habitat.