Schumacher Farm Park

Where Dane County's Rural Heritage Comes Alive.

PRAIRIE RESTORATION


Schumacher Prairie in bloom; black-eyed Susan and pale purple coneflower.

The Schumacher Prairie was restored in the 1980s with the foresight of Marcella Pendall Schumacher, the knowledge and assistance of Wayne Pauley, Dane County Parks Naturalist, and many determined volunteers. The efforts continue today to maintain the native prairie ecosystem and expand the oak savanna woodland, employing manual hand tools, chainsaws, and a prescribed fire regime to reduce woody shrub encroachment and promote native plant germination.

Member comment: "We enjoy our walks in the prairie and appreciate all the work you do to preserve nature and the farm." -Cathy & John Attig

Volunteer opportunities for 2021 are listed below. Children under 14 years of age are welcome with the accompaniment of an adult. Bring your own gloves and water. Park in the main paved lot and meet near the tri-sided kiosk. 

  • Tuesday, February 23rd (starting at 1 pm): Savanna Seeding. Hand broadcasting native prairie grass and wildflower seed into previously cleared areas of the north slope savanna.
  • Friday, April 23rd (10 am - 12 pm); Garlic Mustard Removal. Short walking tour for spring ephemerals in bloom. Drop-ins welcome.
  • Monday, May 24th (10 am - 12 pm): Native Perennial Planting. Bring your own gloves and water. Drop ins welcome. 
  • Friday, June 25th (10 am - 12 pm) General prairie care and weed maintenance. Walking tour at the end of the party. Drop-ins welcome.
  • Friday, July 23rd (10 am - 12 pm) General prairie care and weed maintenance. Walking tour at the end of the party. Drop-ins welcome.
  • Monday, August 23rd (10 am - 12 pm) General prairie care and weed maintenance. Walking tour at the end of the party. Drop-ins welcome.
  • Friday, Sept. 3rd (10 am - 12 pm) General prairie care and weed maintenance. Walking tour at the end of the party. Drop-ins welcome.

Educational outings are also part of the restoration process, including prairie walks, seed collecting sessions and wildlife monitoring programs.

To schedule a prairie tour or request more information on restoration activities, contact the main farm park office at (608) 849-4559 or email us: info@schumacherfarmpark.org 

Photos: Mike Shucha cutting brush, a group of volunteers helping to haul brush out of the prairie, and Jerry Goth collecting prairie seeds. (Photographer unknown)