Home
Field Notes
 
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
Creating a Legacy
Midwest Region, February 13, 2019
Print Friendly Version
When you ask students what they have learned today, you receive this response.
When you ask students what they have learned today, you receive this response. - Photo Credit: Kurt Waterstradt
Students strategically hand seeded areas marked with flags and took buckets to each one.
Students strategically hand seeded areas marked with flags and took buckets to each one. - Photo Credit: Kurt Waterstradt
A group photo after hand seeding John Muir’s original family farm.
A group photo after hand seeding John Muir’s original family farm. - Photo Credit: Kurt Waterstradt

Creating a Legacy


“Keep close to Nature’s heart... and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.” ~John Muir


It is not everyday you wake up and wonder: “what I am going to do today that others will read about in history books years down the road?” John Muir, the ‘Father of National Parks’ is one that many people read about and idolize to this day, especially among those in the conservation field. The Muir family emigrated from Scotland in the mid 1800s. The original homestead of the Muir family is located in Marquette County, which falls between Portage and Montello, Wisconsin. As you walk around the original farm and see boulders along the edge of the field, you can envision John and his father transporting those same boulders so they would be able to plow the fields.

 

A portion of the original Muir family farm was for sale in 2014 and through transactions of nonprofit organizations, the Ice Age Trail Alliance ended up with the eastern 78-acre portion of the property. When the Trail Alliance acquired the property, the land was still in agricultural use. Through a partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program and Ice Age Trail Alliance have helped restore nearly 60 acres to a diverse native prairie. In December 2018, Ice Age Trail Alliance and Partners Program coordinated with High Marq Environmental Charter School to have students assist by strategically hand seeded species like common milkweed, smooth blue aster and whorled milkweed 34 acres of the original Muir family farm. This was one way the students could leave their own legacy by helping restore the land to native prairie that will be soon home to many wildlife species like Karner blue butterfly, monarch butterfly, dickcissels and eastern meadowlarks. These students received a once in a lifetime opportunity of restoring habitat for wildlife on the historic Muir property which will continue John Muir’s legacy of protecting the land where he once lived.


Contact Info: Brendan Woodall, 608-444-1689, brendan_woodall@fws.gov
Find a Field Notes Entry

Search by keyword

Search by State




Search by Region


US Fish and Wildlife Service footer