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Atwood Prairie

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Atwood Prairie

Postby metas » Thu Aug 15, 2013 11:28 am

Does anybody know why the prairie along the bike path that parallels Atwood Avenue was cut down earlier this week? It was particularly beautiful this year with all of the rain that we had earlier.

I know prairies need controlled burning in the spring but I have never known a prairie to be cut in the middle of the summer.
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Re: Atwood Prairie

Postby rabble » Thu Aug 15, 2013 11:38 am

Do you mean the part behind Olbrich Gardens or along the community gardens near Zoma? I haven't been out that way for a couple weeks.
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Re: Atwood Prairie

Postby metas » Thu Aug 15, 2013 12:10 pm

It's the prairie by by the community gardens near Zoma.
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Re: Atwood Prairie

Postby snoqueen » Thu Aug 15, 2013 1:45 pm

If I remember right it was cut between Tuesday morning and Tuesday evening. I don't know why they did it either. According to Nature Conservancy and other prairie restoration organizations cutting or burning is best done is early spring for the sake of the bird and animal life in the area. It won't really hurt the plants to be cut -- they'll come right back same as they did after buffalo herds trampled them down -- but it might reduce this year's seed crop which is needed by overwintering birds.

I too would like an explanation. Who manages this area? Parks?

There was also a badly-needed and overdue cutting of a lot of burdock along the path where it goes behind Olbrich Park recently, but that's another matter.
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Re: Atwood Prairie

Postby metas » Sun Aug 18, 2013 11:46 am

The following was posted on the Schenk-Atwood-Starkweather-Yahara listserv:

HI Beth - – thank you for the email. It is unfortunate that the section was mowed. We do apologize. Prairies and managed meadows in the city are generally mowed once a year to keep out invasive and woody material. The East Side maintenance staff got a call from a representative from the group that maintains this section along the bike trail, and it was agreed that this area would not be mowed any more. The positive thing that did come out of this interaction was that now our staff knows who your group is, has contact people for the group so we can be in communication. Prior to this, our maintenance staff didn’t know there was a group maintaining this area or have any contact information for them. Going forward, any plans for this section should be communicated with Craig Klinke, East Maint Supervisor (copied on this email). That way we can avoid this kind of thing. Again, we do apologize.

Laura Whitmore
Madison Parks - Marketing/Community Relations
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Re: Atwood Prairie

Postby snoqueen » Sun Aug 18, 2013 12:22 pm

Thanks for posting the nice letter from Parks.

I would like to see the plan for keeping the strip free of "woody material." It's absolutely necessary and cannot be done passively if you want to keep a prairie area open over time. Mowing in late summer is ugly and destructive, but if you don't do something the whole thing will turn into a box elder jungle in a decade or so.

I am assuming the neighbors (who are smart) know this, but I've never seen anybody patrolling for box elder and other saplings so I'm not sure of their strategy. Maybe someone living in the area will post.
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Re: Atwood Prairie

Postby rabble » Sun Aug 18, 2013 9:48 pm

snoqueen wrote:Thanks for posting the nice letter from Parks.

Yes it's a nice letter but doesn't it basically admit that the part of Madison government that knew the group was maintaining the area didn't bother to tell Parks about it?

That group has been out there doing prairie stuff on that that area for years, presumably withe SOME sort of blessing from the city. And somebody didn't tell the lawn mower guys.
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Re: Atwood Prairie

Postby green union terrace chair » Mon Aug 19, 2013 1:31 am

snoqueen wrote:box elder jungle

Band name, called it.
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Re: Atwood Prairie

Postby Ned Flanders » Mon Aug 26, 2013 12:33 pm

More on mother's scalping:

A week ago Wednesday evening, after she had spent a couple of hours pulling weeds, she got an email: "They mowed the priaire."

She walked out the door and found that her beautifully maintained prairie was now a vast expanse of brown stubble.

"I just could not believe it," she says with a voice still trembling with rage


Read more: http://host.madison.com/news/local/writ ... z2d66zZwVi
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Re: Atwood Prairie

Postby Francis Di Domizio » Mon Aug 26, 2013 12:50 pm

But city officials agree that the Atwood prairie garden massacre was a tragic misstep


I don't want to belittle the anger of those who spent time on maintaining the prairie, or the disapointment of those who enjoyed it's beauty, but doesn't the term "massacre" seem a bit over the top?
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Re: Atwood Prairie

Postby rabble » Mon Aug 26, 2013 1:00 pm

Francis Di Domizio wrote:
But city officials agree that the Atwood prairie garden massacre was a tragic misstep


I don't want to belittle the anger of those who spent time on maintaining the prairie, or the disapointment of those who enjoyed it's beauty, but doesn't the term "massacre" seem a bit over the top?

I don't think one should judge the use of that term till you've spent years preparing and all summer tending, with the big finish just about to start and then lose the whole shebang. A little over the top for you and me, maybe not so much for caretakers.

Yeah most of it will come back next year but they really timed it for best effect.
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Re: Atwood Prairie

Postby wack wack » Mon Aug 26, 2013 1:01 pm

Lighten up, Francis. Did you really read the whole article? It is full of over the top language. It's tragic tragedy and the man responsible is oozing contrition... the victim's caretaker is trembling with rage, for God's sake!

I think it was slow day in the office for writer.
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Re: Atwood Prairie

Postby Francis Di Domizio » Mon Aug 26, 2013 1:25 pm

wack wack wrote:Lighten up, Francis.


lol nice
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