Black Earth Rettenmund Prairie (29/674)

Black Earth Rettenmund Prairie is a well-managed dry-mesic prairie on a low ridge containing over 80 prairie species.  I have always considered this a sister site to Pleasant Valley Conservancy SNA, both due to its proximity and its management by the same group (TPE) and people (the Brocks).  There is a small, 2-car pull-off for parking, but otherwise decent room to park on the roadside.  From there, you’ll find an informational panel describing the prairie and trails that lead both around and up and over the hill.  This site is also burned regularly and often in portions, so it is interesting to see the different plant populations and even differences in population numbers/plant sizes between burned/unburned portions.  Agricultural fields surround the prairie, so we are lucky that it was preserved in such an excellent state.  I have observed great displays of shooting stars, large-flowered bellworts, and puccons in early spring to lots of lead plant, sunflowers, and lady’s tresses as seasons progress.  This is another one of my favorite and most frequently visited sites and I heartily recommend a visit here after stopping at nearby PVC.

More of my photos from Black Earth Rettenmund Prairie can be viewed here.

Additional Information

SNA # 210
County Dane
Parking Parking Area (grass)
Trails Yes
Easy to Find Yes
Best Seen By Foot
Marked Boundaries Yes
Ownership The Prairie Enthusiasts; (More Info: Wisconsin DNR)
Located Within na
Dates Visited 7.5.09 / 4.24.10 / 7.25.10 / 7.24.11 / 6.8.13 / 9.7.13 / 9.6.14 / 8.9.15

Dane
Dane County
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