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Dane County Parks

Natural Areas Volunteer Opportunities

The Natural Areas Program strives to restore and sustain natural communities while fostering a deeper connection between volunteer and the natural resources in Dane County. The goals of the program include promoting responsible ecological restoration and land stewardship, hosting weekly volunteer workdays throughout the year, and connecting people to the land. Volunteers are central to these efforts at many park properties.

 

An oak savanna with invasive brush cleared from within it.
Invasive Tree and Brush Removal

Volunteers can make a huge impact by removing invasive brush from a natural area. This process is often the first step of restoration.

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Wild parsnip in flower (yellow)
Invasive Weed Removal

With many invasive plant species in Wisconsin, management is necessary to maintain high-quality habitats. Join us in these efforts! 

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New England Aster (purple) in flower with monarch (orange and black butterfly)
Native Seed Program

Each year, volunteers help to collect, clean, weigh, and sow thousands of pounds of seed from hundreds of native plant species.

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A prescribed burn at a prairie.
Prescribed Burns

Volunteers fill several important roles on the Parks Burn Crew during the spring burn season. Roles are limited and require special training. 

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Prairie Smoke in bloom at Walking Iron County Park
Walking Iron Workdays

Join us at Walking Iron County Park! This 400+ acre park is home to a special remnant sand prairie and a diverse abundance of species. 

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Volunteer collecting seed in prairie
Certified Land Steward

Become a Certified Land Steward! Land Stewards adopt natural areas within specific properties to help manage and restore these lands.

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Questions?

If you have questions about the Natural Areas Program, contact:

Lars Higdon
Naturalist / Botanist
(608) 286-9497
higdon.lars@countyofdane.com

Shane Otto
Naturalist / Botanist
(608) 575-0396
otto.shane@countyofdane.com