Young Prairie, SNA #132 (129/675)

Young Prairie features a wet-mesic prairie amidst a mixture of degraded lands straddling the Jefferson-Walworth County line.  It can be reached via a DNR access lane north of Bluff Road or just to the northeast via a parking area off of Young Road.

I have visited this site three times and have yet to explore the most interesting portion.  On the bright side, I have narrowed it down and determined where that best portion is.  I first explored the southeast corner and found a small portion of prairie containing abundant downy phlox and prairie dock.  This was, of course, after walking along a lane lined by invasive species, in particular white and red clovers.  The next visit, I came in from the parking area off of Young Road and this area is simply an old field with invasive species as far as the eye can see.  It basically amounts to a spotted knapweed nursery.  Lastly, I explored the northern portion of the site which was dominanted by goldenrod and aster species during the early fall.  The plan is to visit this site again in the coming year and finally see the best wet-mesic prairie portion.  Most of the Young Prairie site needs a lot of work to become something.  It seems at present the bulk of the land is a buffer for protecting the high quality areas, but the buffer is degraded to the point that it may soon cease to perform its buffering function.

More of my photos (and full-res) from Young Prairie can be viewed here.

Additional Information

SNA # 132
County Jefferson, Walworth
Natural Communities / Geology Wet-Mesic Prairie
Size (Acres) 806
Parking Parking Area, Roadside
Trails Access Lane
Easy to Find Yes
Best Seen By Foot
Marked Boundaries No
Ownership Wisconsin DNR
Located Within Kettle Moraine State Forest – Southern Unit
Dates Visited 5.31.10 / 7.19.15 / 8.22.15

Jefferson-Walworth
Jefferson & Walworth Counties
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One Comment Add yours

  1. zkastern says:

    Hey Josh, I too have slogged through the knapweed and vetch jungle but I do know where there are two pretty awesome remnants on that site with some pretty conservative species. I also know that there is an effort in the works to get some money to help that site. It’s got a lot of potential in my view. Contact me if you’d like some info for that site or some of the others in the SKMF, I do a fair amount of exploring and restoring around here.

    Like

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