Elk Creek Workday

On June 6, 2009, SEWTU returned to Elk Creek's headwaters, outside of Viola, Wisconsin.  The site is a DNR owned parcel where previous restoration work has been done, and is also the site of an ongoing prairie restoration.   There, along with Ken Anderson of the Richland County Land Conservation Department, Amy Staffen of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and the Gary Borger Chapter of Trout Unlimited out of Illinois, volunteers performed a variety of work. 


First, three teams of volunteers, along with Ken's tractor, repaired previously placed stream structures which had been blown out by the past two years' flood events.  The structures repaired were two rock vortex wiers, and a cross channel log revetment. 


Second, multiple volunteers walked Elk Creek and removed encroaching willows growing from its banks.  This not only has the effect of mainting the area as a fishery, but also removes willow which can negatively impact the site's ongoing prairie restoration.


Third, volunteers mounted a massive effort under Amy's leadership, and again with Ken and his tractor, to separate and burn multiple slash piles which had sat on the site since its restoration several years ago.


A good day was had by all, and despite threatening rain, a great deal of work was accomplished.  Under Amy's guidance, moreover, the site is now scheduled to be periodically burned, has had herbicide applied to destroy invasive reed canary grass, and looks to be well on its way to becoming a great prairie and fishery area.  Thanks to all who pitched in, and as always, thanks to Ken Anderson and the Richland County Land Conservation Department, without whom none of our work at the site would be possible.