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The Prairie Enthusiasts sponsoring two workshops

By LeAnn R. Ralph

DOWNSVILLE  —  The Chippewa Savannas Chapter of The Prairie Enthusiasts will be sponsoring two workshops — one in Downsville on August 22 and one at UW-Stout on September 12.

Prairie Days on August 22, which is an annual event for The Prairie Enthusiasts, will feature Dr. Stanley Temple, the Beers-Bascom Professor Emeritus in Conservation and a Fellow with the Aldo Leopold Foundation.

Dr. Temple will present “Monarch Butterflies, Private Land Conservation and Aldo Leopold’s Land Ethic.”

Prairie Days will be held at Simply Dunn in Downsville. The event will start at 9:30 a.m. August 22 with “Prairie Discovery Through Film Making” presented by Joe Maurer, artist and film creator.

“Cooking with Late Summer Wild Foods” begins at 10:45 a.m. and will be presented by Brett Laidlaw, chef and author.

Bring a dish to pass for a potluck lunch from 12 noon to 12:45 p.m.

“Insect Investigations in the Prairie Garden” will begin at 12:45 p.m. and will be presented by Dr. Paula Kleintjes-Neff, UW-Eau Claire faculty.

Monarch Butterflies, Private Land Conservation and Aldo Leopold’s Land Ethic will begin at 1:45 p.m.

The presentations will conclude with The Prairie Enthusiasts chapter happenings “from butterflies to plants” at 2:45 p.m. presented by Dr. Mark Leach, author and research ecologist.

Simply Dunn is located at E4606 County Road C, Downsville.

“After the presentations, we’ll have a walk through a nearby native prairie from 3:30 to 4:30,” said Kathy Stahl, a Town of Colfax resident who is the chair of TPE Chippewa Savanna Chapter.

Grass ID

The September 12 event, a Grass Identification Workshop, will feature Dr. Robert Freckmann, Professor Emeritus of Biology, who taught at UW-Stevens Point for 32 years.

“As one of Wisconsin’s leading experts on grasses, we are honored to have him come to UW-Stout for the workshop,” Stahl.

The grass identification event is co-hosted by the UW-Stout biology department and The Prairie Enthusiasts, she noted.

“This workshop is based in a lab in the morning, so participation is limited. Early registration is suggested,” Stahl said.

The grass identification schedule will begin at 10 a.m. with a lecture on structures and terms in grass identification with time for participants to dissect grasses.

At noon, workshop participants will get lunch on their own.

A 1 p.m., the workshop continues with travel and field identification.

According to the event flyer, “bring a hand lens if you have one and your own transportation to the area field site. Wear good shoes and field clothes.”

The morning session of the workshop will be held in the UW-Stout Jarvis Hall Science Wing.

To register, e-mail

Both Prairie Days and the grass identification workshop are free and open to the public.

“We are fortunate to have these experts come to our area,” Stahl said.