MADISON, Wis. – If you’re interested in birds, bees, beasts or biology, you’ll want to join in the fun at the BioBlitz on Saturday, June 23 at Lake Farm County Park near Madison as nearly 100 scientists from across the United States gather to conduct an intensive survey of the plants and animals in the surrounding 1,000-acre wildlife area.
The event, free and open to the public, runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is being hosted by Milwaukee Public Museum with partners Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District, Dane County Parks, Friends of Capital Springs and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. This will be the museum’s fourth annual BioBlitz and the first time the event will take place in Dane County. Community members will have the opportunity to explore the variety of species living in nearby woods and wetlands and participate in the discovery process.
Milwaukee Public Museum’s BioBlitz series, which began in June 2015, has previously taken place in Milwaukee and Waukesha county parks where scientists discovered 853 different species at the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center, 976 species at Grant Park and 1,022 species at Fox River Park, including endangered plants and animals.
“We’re very excited to be moving into Dane County to explore Lake Farm County Park,” said Dr. Ellen Censky, the museum’s senior vice president and academic dean. “The museum attracts visitors from throughout the state and our collection spans the entire state. The BioBlitz brings new opportunities for citizens and scientists to connect while continuing our tradition of surveying the entire state and educating the public about the biodiversity here.”
Starting on June 22 Censky will lead a team of 92 scientists from 24 organizations to conduct a 24-hour survey of almost 1,000 acres of prairie, wetlands and streams as well as the northern end of Lake Waubesa to offer a snapshot of the animals and plants residing there. The area includes Lake Farm County Park, the Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District Wildlife Observation Unit and part of the Capital Springs Recreation Area, including Centennial State Park.
On Saturday morning June 23, area residents can join in the fun as the scientist record their findings and local groups provide hands-on learning opportunities including a prairie and bird walk at 1 p.m. Scientists and naturalists anticipate they will find some species that have not been found at the park before.
“We anticipate that the scientists’ discoveries will inform the management of our restored wetlands while inspiring community members to play a more active role in pollution prevention,” said Michael Mucha, chief engineer and director of the sewerage District. “These efforts help advance our mission to protect public health and the environment.”
“The Friends of Capital Springs Recreation Area is thrilled to partner in this biological survey of Lake Farm Park and other units within the Recreation Area,” said Bill Lunney, chair of the Dane County Parks Commission and co-founder and vice president of the Friends of Capital Springs Recreation Area. “It’s a fantastic opportunity to discover the biodiversity around us and to build interest in habitat restoration projects. We hope that everyone comes out on Saturday the 23rd to explore the natural world around us.”
WHAT: BioBlitz, a chance for community members young and old to come together with scientists and learn more about the species that surround us.
WHEN: Saturday, June 23 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
LOCATION: Lake Farm County Park, Shelter 2, 4330 Libby Road, Madison, 53711
- See species being identified and recorded at the base camp.
- Interact with scientists.
- Learn about the importance of Wisconsin’s native plants and get free seeds to start your own native garden.
- Learn where water goes, how it’s cleaned and what you can do to help the water cycle.
- Play the Great Migration and the Pollinator Seed games.
- Learn about monarch butterflies and how you can become a citizen scientist and help track them.
- Touch real pelts and skulls of native Wisconsin animals.
- Take a guided prairie and bird walk at 1 p.m.
- Hear the final tally of numbers.
For more information, visit www.mpm.edu/bioblitz2018.