2022 Awardees announced

Sixteen local proposals were submitted for funding to the 2022 SEWISC Assistance Program. The selection committee ultimately awarded seven small grants for on-the-ground invasive species control projects which will be conducted in our region over the next few months. Here is a summary of those projects:

$1,179 was awarded to the Wehr Nature Center to control populations of flowering rush and replace with native cattail, arrowhead, common bur-reed, and other native emergent plants. The proposed management will enhance habitat for common bur-reed and valuable nesting habitat for birds and fish. SEWISC funds will be used to provide native plants, equipment, and labor.

The Lyndon Sculpture Garden was awarded $2,000 to implement a regimen of planned grazing and minimal herbicide applications to woody invasive species on a portion of Conservancy easement properties. Restoration of the prairie/oak savanna area will provide benefits to insects, birds, small mammals, and coyotes by providing a greater diversity of food and habitat opportunities. Funding will be used to rent 30 goats for 20 days.

Grant parkGrant Park, Milwaukee
Photo Credit: Rob Vajagich
A $2,000 award was given to the Mequon Nature Preserve to control teasel, wild parsnip, buckthorn, common honeysuckle, and multi-floral rose on a newly acquired 66-acre parcel. Removing invasive species from this property will improve soil health, increase groundwater filtration rates, and mitigate soil erosion. SEWISC funds will provide herbicide and supplies required to implement the project.

SEWISC awarded $200 to the Friends of Grant Park for treatment of seed producing Japanese lilac trees within a two-acre parcel adjacent to small waterway that connects to the Grant Park ravine. Removal of these trees will allow the area to be restored with native species. Funds will be used to hire a contractor to girdle trees.

Sandhill Tree Farm was awarded $2,000 to remove common buckthorn from a portion of their 11.52-acre project area, providing increased habitat for riparian bird, mammal and aquatic species that use this area. The SEWISC award will be used for labor and herbicide.

A $2,000 award was given to the Ward Property to control buckthorn, garlic mustard, dames rocket, and purple loosestrife within a 4.5-acre woodland. The project will open the canopy and allow native species to establish while reducing erosion and providing additional habitat for wildlife including amphibians and reptiles. SEWISC funds will provide native seed, and labor for invasive species treatments.

2022 funding for this program made possible byWeEnergiesFoundationWeed Out! Racine was awarded $583 for removal and treatment of phragmites, reed canary grass, and narrow-leaved/hybrid cattails within a wetland adjacent to the Root River. Following treatment, the area will be seeded and planted with native species. The resulting restoration will expand habitat for amphibians and birds already using this area. Funding will be used to provide equipment and materials for mechanical and chemical treatments.