CLICK HERE Download a PDF with details about each prairie and DIRECTIONS to prairies which allow visitors

WACHISKA-OWNED PROPERTIES

 

COLFAX COUNTY

CLARENCE & RUTH FERTIG TALLGRASS PRAIRIE

43.35 acres of Platte River floodplain prairie near Richland

FILLMORE COUNTY

CLYDE & THELMA GEWACKE PRAIRIE

11.36 acres of lowland prairie near Ohiowa 

GAGE COUNTY

WILDCAT CREEK TALLGRASS PRAIRIE

32 acres of upland and lowland prairie plus approx. 48 acres of cropland and woodland near Virginia

JOHNSON COUNTY

IVAN A. & IVAN F. LAMB TALLGRASS PRAIRIE

4 acres of upland prairie near Sterling   

NEMAHA COUNTY

BERG PRAIRIE EAST

9.88 acres of lowland prairie near Talmage 

 

BERG PRAIRIE WEST

11.7 acres of lowland/upland prairie near Talmage

   

OTOE COUNTY

HENRY DIEKEN TALLGRASS PRAIRIE

14.27 acres of upland prairie near Unadilla   

PAWNEE COUNTY

ELMER KLAPKA FARM AND PRAIRIES

4 tracts of native prairie totaling 30 acres plus 200 acres of native pasture and an additional 170 acres of crop and pasture land. Total 400 acres near Table Rock 

 

SAUNDERS COUNTY

KNOTT TALLGRASS PRAIRIE

21 acres of lowland prairie near Yutan 

PRAIRIES WITH CONSERVATION EASEMENTS HELD BY WACHISKA

 

BUTLER COUNTY

DON & HELEN HORACEK TALLGRASS PRAIRIE

7.5 acres of upland prairie near Brainard 

 

KEVIN & DONNA PETRZILKA TALLGRASS PRAIRIE 30 acres of upland prairie near Brainard 

 

LINWOOD HILL CEMETERY PRAIRIE 5.23 acres of upland prairie near Linwood 

 

PESEK MEMORIAL PRAIRIES

Three upland prairie parcels totaling about 3 acres near Brainard

 

CASS COUNTY

ROBERT J. HIKE TALLGRASS PRAIRIE

8.83 acres of upland prairie near Plattsmouth   

 

DOUGLAS COUNTY

JENSEN PRAIRIE 6.8 acres of upland prairie near Omaha    


JEFFERSON COUNTY

HARVEY & SHARON JURGENA PRAIRIE

40 acres of upland prairie and woods near Fairbury   

 

JOHNSON COUNTY

LOUIS & GRACE BENTZINGER TALLGRASS PRAIRIE 13.5 acres of upland and lowland prairie near Cook 

KENDALL & LISA SCHUSTER PRAIRIE 4.8 acres of upland prairie near Elk Creek

 

LANCASTER COUNTY

HENRY WULF TALLGRASS PRAIRIE 4.15 acres of upland prairie near Eagle 

LARRY & PEG FLETCHER PRAIRIE 25 acres of restored tallgrass prairie near Walton   

OTOE COUNTY

FORREST & DOLL HALVORSEN PRAIRIE

8 acres of upland and lowland prairie near Syracuse   

 

DWIGHT & ELLIOTT GEE PRAIRIE  4 upland prairie parcels  totaling about 30 acres near Palmyra   

 

DWIGHT & LINDA EISENHAUER PRAIRIE

11.3 acres of upland prairie near Lorton 

PAWNEE COUNTY

VERLYN BEETHE TALLGRASS PRAIRIE 24 acres of upland prairie near Elk Creek 

EDWIN & LEONA WOLTERS TALLGRASS PRAIRIE 40 acres of upland prairie near Elk Creek 

RICHARDSON COUNTY

FRICKE CEMETERY PRAIRIE 5.19 acres of upland prairie near Falls City 

SALINE COUNTY

RICHARD KASL TALLGRASS PRAIRIE 6.61 acres of upland and lowland prairie near Wilber 

DWIGHT & SHIRLEY FICTUM TALLGRASS PRAIRIE 18.1 acres of upland prairie near Wilber 

 

SARPY COUNTY

TOM DICKERSON & PATTY SHANAHAN PRAIRIE

14 acres of upland bluff prairie near Papillion 

SAUNDERS COUNTY

PHILIP & ANNA BREY PRAIRIE

11 acres of upland prairie near Ceresco 

STANLEY & JEAN SHAVLIK PRAIRIE 18.84 acres of wet-meadow prairie near Linwood   

ADRIAN & GLADYS BLATNY PRAIRIE 35 acres of wet-meadow prairie near Linwood 

Wachiska's Dedication
To Prairie Preservation

Wachiska Audubon Society is recognized locally and nationally for our successful efforts to protect tallgrass prairie in and around our 17-county chapter area, through both direct ownership and by holding conservation easements for private land owners. We manage the prairies we own with the goal to preserve and improve the prairie, provide habitat for prairie plants and animals, and to offer students, scientists, and the general public opportunities to study and enjoy these unique and increasingly rare ecosystems. 

 

As a nonprofit conservation, education, and outreach 

organization, Wachiska is dedicated to protecting native grasslands in Southeast Nebraska. Do you own or manage a native prairie in Southeast Nebraska you would like to protect? One of the tools available to landowners is a conservation easement. These are flexible agreements between Wachiska and an interested landowner to maintain the grassland in perpetuity. 

If you or someone you know would be interested in protecting native grassland, or would llike to see what a conservation easement looks like, please contact the Wachiska office and we'll put you in contact with one of our conservation committee members.

Prairies Protected by Wachiska Audubon
Lamb Prairie
Fricke Cemetery Prairie
Challenges Facing Wachiska’s Prairie Preservation Efforts
by Elizabeth Nelson

March 27 was the first meeting of the Prairie Conservation Review Committee (PCRC), tasked with determining the best way to meet Wachiska’s growing obligations for the long-term care of the prairies we own and the conservation easements held by the chapter. While this article had to be written before that meeting, following is some of the information we shared with the committee on the volume of work that goes into our prairie protection efforts.

 

Acknowledging that our record-keeping tends to understate the actual work put in (many volunteer hours go unrecorded), following are the yearly averages for recorded time and mileage for volunteer work based on records from 2016 to 2018:

 

  • Weed control: 128 hours, 1,399 miles

  • Ecological inspections: 90 hours, 1,416 miles

  • Seed harvesting: 117 hours, 875 miles

  • Prescribed burning: 44 hours, 2,391 miles (2018 only)

  • Education: 34 hours, 762 miles

  • Donated use of volunteer-owed equipment: ATVs 100 hours, sprayers 93 hours, shredders 6 hours, trailer 1,500 miles

  • Donated use of volunteer-owned pickup for on-prairie work

  • Legal services: 24 hours (3-year total, varies substantially by year)

  • Office administration: 89 hours (2018 only)

  • Undesignated activities (volunteer hours recorded with no specifics): 150 hours, 3,853 miles

 

While this summary shows we put at least 700 hours and over 10,000 miles into our prairie preservation efforts each year, it also highlights an extremely inefficient system, with many volunteers driving a large number of miles for relatively short work efforts; while the work hours are volunteer, miles are reimbursed to regular volunteers at $.58 per mile. Considering that the average age of our most active volunteers is over 65, it becomes obvious this is not a sustainable solution.

 

The conservation committee has also prepared a preliminary list of duties and responsibilities for a prairie property and conservation easement land manager in the event it is determined that hiring such a person is in Wachiska’s best interest. This part-time position is estimated to include 770 hours of time, 5,000 miles of travel, at an estimated of cost of $30,000 per year including employment taxes and insurance. At this point, Wachiska cannot sustainably fund such a position.

 

These are the challenges the Prairie Conservation Review Committee will be reviewing over the coming months to determine the best way to move forward with Wachiska’s prairie preservation efforts.

 

If you did not attend the March 27 meeting but would like to participate on the PCRC, please send your name and contact information to Elizabeth Nelson, enelson555@gmail.com.​

Wachiska Audubon Society
4547 Calvert St. Suite 10 - Lincoln, NE 68506-5643
402-486-4846  - office@WachiskaAudubon.org 

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