September Activities in the Watersheds

Valley Stewardship Network Projects
Bad Axe Watershed – Prairie strip planting to help reduce soil loss from fields
Coon Creek Watershed – Bird-friendly managed grazing and haying to preserve grassland bird habitats
Kickapoo Watershed – Work on the Bird Habitat Initiative Project to enhance Important Bird Areas
Tainter Creek Watershed – Winter rye cover crop planting to reduce soil erosion from fields exposed after the corn silage harvest
West Fork of the Kickapoo Watershed – The Watershed Council is reading and studying Nature’s Best Hope and Bringing Nature Home by Douglas Tallamy

See below for a list of additional projects in each watershed!

Hand-seeding prairie strip

Hand-seeding prairie strip

Nature's Best Choice book cover

Book study book

Bad Axe Watershed

Valley Stewardship Network Projects
  • On-farm stewardship research
  • Conservation goats for invasive species control
  • Water sampling
  • Looking to start a Watershed Council
  • Prairie strips
  • Cover crop grazing research plots
Other Items of Interest
  • Several Mississippi Valley Conservancy easements
  • Great trout fishing
Conservation goats and sheep in action by Dave Krier

Conservation goats at work

Conservation goats and sheep in action by Dave Krier

Prairie flowers

Coon Creek Watershed

Valley Stewardship Network Projects
  • Bird-friendly farming/haying demonstration plot
    • Late first haying to protect bird nests – research nutritional value of forage grown afterward
  • Conservation goats – forest mowing for pecan growing
  • Managed grazing
  • Bird surveys
Other Items of Interest
  • Coon Valley implemented the nation’s first watershed protection plan through soil erosion prevention
    • In 1933 a new federal agency, the Soil Erosion Service, selected Coon Creek as the first watershed in which to demonstrate the values of soil conservation measures. They decided to demonstrate how farmers could plan farming operations to include soil conservation for long-term productivity.
    • Regenerative agriculture farmers who sell their products
      • Jim Munsch – beef
      • Rod Ofte
      • John Lee – rotationally grazed beef
      • St. Brigid’s Meadow
Bird Friendly beef cows in pasture

Bird-friendly beef grazing

Bird-friendly hay field

Bird-friendly hay field

Kickapoo Watershed

Valley Stewardship Network Projects
  • Kickapoo Bird Habitat Initiative work with Important Bird Areas
    • Partnering with the Kickapoo Valley Reserve, Mississippi Valley Conservancy, and the Department of Natural Resources
  • Water sampling
  • Prairie strips
  • Soil sampling
Other Items of Interest
  • Kickapoo Caverns
  • Bat habitat protection through the Mississippi Valley Conservancy
  • Driftless Area Water Study (DAWS) well-testing initiative
  • Mastodon Valley Farm – regenerative agriculture – products for sale
  • Emerging research by University of Wisconsin on flood prevention
measuring stream flow

Measuring stream flow

prairie strip ready to plant

Prairie strip ready to plant

Tainter Creek Watershed

Valley Stewardship Network Projects
  • Tainter Creek Farmer-Led Watershed Council initiation and support
  • Managed Grazing
  • Cover Crops
  • Prairie strips
  • Grazing strips
  • On-farm research
  • Bird-friendly grazing
Other Items of Interest
  • Trout Unlimited stream restoration
Farmer-led watershed council meeting

Tainter Creek Farmer-Led Watershed Council Meeting

Tainter Creek Ray Archuleta presentation

Ray Archuleta presentation gathering

West Fork of the Kickapoo Watershed

Valley Stewardship Network Projects
  • West Fork Neighbors Watershed Council
    • Book readings – Douglas W. Tallamy
      • Bringing Nature Home: How Native Plants Sustain Wildlife in Our Gardens
      • Nature’s Best Hope: A New Approach to Conservation that Starts in Your Yard
    • Plant 10 native species plan
    • Well water testing
  • Conservation goats – invasive plant control
  • Water sampling
  • Prairie strips
West Fork Watershed Council Invasives Goat Control

Conservation goats at work

West Fork Neighbors Watershed Council Meeting

West Fork Neighbor Watershed Council Meeting