Swenson Wet Prairie, SNA #64 (53/674)

Swenson Wet Prairie contains a small wet-mesic prairie and sedge meadow as well as a degraded savanna and old river channels.  It is easily found at the corner of CTH T and Smith Rd with a large parking area found off of the latter.  It is part of the expansive Avon Bottoms State Wildlife Area which extends all of the way to the state line.

The first time I visited this site I focused on the old river channels in the southern portion of the SNA which were covered in a surreal pea soup of algae.  Between these channels are areas are lowland forest areas that are often flooded but during this visit contain a good number of cardinal flowers.  The photo below doesn’t do justice to just how brilliant red these blossoms were.  My second visit was a stop after looking for wildflowers at nearby Avon Bottoms SNA in early April of this year.  Unfortunately for me that day, it was clear that the northeast corner of the site, where the ~ 6-acre wet prairie/sedge meadow is located, had just been burned in an effort to restore it.  That meant I was treated to a veritable smorgasboard of tussocks that were just starting to extend fresh green shoots.  There was some water present in and amongst the tussocks as well which made for a high-risk, low-reward exploration that day.  I plan to return next spring/summer and hopefully catch the wet prairie/sedge meadow in a slightly showier state.

More of my photos from Swenson Wet Prairie can be viewed here.

Additional Information

SNA # 64
County Rock
Natural Communities / Geology
Wet-Mesic Prairie, Sedge Meadow, Wet Prairie, Savanna
Size (Acres) 40
Parking Parking area (gravel)
Trails Yes, partial
Easy to Find Yes, to reach boundary
Best Seen By Foot
Marked Boundaries No
Ownership Wisconsin DNR
Located Within Avon Bottoms State Wildlife Area
Dates Visited 8.9.09 / 4.26.15

Rock County

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