Barneveld Prairie represents a small piece of the prairie and grasslands that once dominated the southwest portion of Wisconsin. Now, this SNA consists of five parcels in Iowa and Dane Counties that themselves are part of additional natural areas, or more accurately, project areas, including the Military Ridge Prairie Heritage Area, which is itself embedded within the Southwest Wisconsin Grassland and Stream Conservation Area. Numerous other non-SNA protected areas are located in this region. In particular, The Nature Conserancy owns an additional 100+ acres that are a part of their Barneveld Prairie property but are not within the SNA’s boundaries. Presently, rumors suggest that transmission lines and/or pipelines may be routed through some of these properties, which is precluding further protection of these sites.
As they stand now, these five SNA parcels contain tallgrass prairie and savanna intermixed with agricultural/pasture lands that will eventually be restored to prairie. Most parcels have a small gravel parking area nearby or parking is on the roadside. These areas provide critical habitat for the Wisconsin-endangered/Federal Special Concern Species regal frittilary butterfly (Speyeria idalia) as well as many declining grassland bird species including bobolink, dickcissel, upland sandpiper, and Bell’s vireo. All in all, one could spend days exploring the various parcels and see something different depending on the season or even the year as restoration progresses.
More of my photos from Barneveld Prairie can be viewed here.
|Natural Communities / Geology
||Prairie, Oak Savanna|
|Parking||Parking area (gravel), roadside|
|Easy to Find||Yes|
|Best Seen By||Foot|
|Ownership||The Nature Conservancy; More info: Wisconsin DNR|
|Located Within||Military Ridge Prairie Heritage Area; Southwest Wisconsin Grassland and Stream Conservation Area|
|Dates Visited||7.25.09 / 6.26.10 / 7.18.15 / 8.23.15|