Wisconsin Prairie Chicken Festival 2022 presents: Living in a Healthy Place Join us for a family friendly morning hosted by the Farmers of Mill Creek Watershed Council & Clean Green Action to discuss the importance of conserving certain lands and species. This annual spring festival focuses on Wisconsin’s beloved bird Tympanuchus cupido pinnatus, the Greater Prairie-chicken, and other unique grasslands species. The theme for the 2022 Wisconsin Prairie Chicken Festival (WPCF) is Living in a Healthy Place. After a two-year hiatus, with only an online schedule due to COVID, the in-person events return at Eron’s Event Barn, 34711 County Road C, Stevens Point, WI from 4:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday, April 9. Early morning observation blind and birding tours (reservations needed), a breakfast, conversations, exhibitions and nature walks are open to the public. Online, visit: www.cleangreenaction.org/.
From 4:30 to 7:30 a.m., reserve a seat in an observation blind to watch the displays of Greater Prairie-chickens on grasslands in the Paul J. Olson (PJO) Wildlife Area ($25 registration fee includes breakfast, and seating is limited); from 6:00 to 7:30 a.m. reserve a seat on the Grasslands Bus Tour led by local experts ($15 registration fee includes breakfast, and seating is limited). E-mail email@example.com for reservations.
Beginning at 8 a.m. the public is also invited to breakfast (donations are appreciated) which is hosted by Farmers of Mill Creek Watershed Council at Eron’s Event Barn and will feature Wisconsin products: cheese, cranberries, eggs, potatoes, local meats, and beverages.
Following the breakfast, from 9 to 10 a.m., all are encouraged to participate in the “Birds, Bees & Business - How They Work Together” conversations, which will include personal stories about living, working and recreating in an area that many grassland species call home. The discussion will be facilitated by farmer & entrepreneur, John Eron, and Portage County Senior Conservation Technician, Dan O’Connell. An appearance by Boomin’ Bob will also be part of a short presentation on conservation efforts in area schools.
To round out the morning of activities, the public is invited to Walk with Boomin’ Bob from 10:30 to 11:15 a.m. and discover other spring species and critters. Birding experts, Susan Vos and Stan Skutek will be your guides and continue the conversations about conservation practices that can benefit landowners and wildlife.
This annual festival also honors naturalists and internationally-known field biologists, the late Drs. Frederick and Francis Hamerstrom. Regional volunteers from Portage and Wood Counties work throughout the year planning this annual gathering of bird lovers and invite everyone to the April celebration. Sponsors include: Clean Green Action, Dane County Conservation League, Hamerstrom Fund for Writing at Incourage Foundation, Portage County Land Conservation Department, and UW-Extension. If you care to learn more about birding, farming, natural habitats and why they can provide a healthier life; you can also see the various informational booths exhibiting from 9 a.m to Noon. Talk with representatives from Bird City, Farmers of Mill Creek Watershed Council, Hamerstrom Fund for Writing, Ice Age Trail, and North Central Conservancy Trust.
Gather together on the morning of Saturday, April 9 to learn, and discuss, why a diversity of grassland habitat is important to the birds, bees, and the people that call this part of Central Wisconsin home. For more information go to: cleangreenaction.org On Facebook go to: WIPrairieChickenFestival and Clean Green Action.