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Green Spaces Action Team

Our goal as an Action Team is to support and protect native species of plants, insects, and birds as we face the challenges of a changing climate. We hope to educate the public on the ecological function, biodiversity, and sustainability of native plants and trees in the urban landscape. We do this by:
• Spreading the word on the benefits of reducing lawn size, mowing less, and incorporating native plants
• Supporting and promoting local farmers that incorporate sustainable methods on their land
• Providing information about sustainable practices in both private and public outdoor spaces

Dispatches from

Green Spaces Action Team

Every year, a billion birds die needlessly in North America by smashing into windows of homes, businesses, and government buildings. Birds do not perceive windows as reflective or transparent surfaces, but rather, as open spaces. The problem of bird-window collisions is exacerbated by :

  • increasing amounts of construction in birds’ normal ranges

  • new construction increasingly using glass as an architectural feature

  • landscaping close to windows so reflection gives the impression of continuing vegetation and an open flyway

  • bright light emitted through windows and around building exteriors that confuses birds migrating at night.

The good news is, there are things we can all do to help!

Learn more in the pdf brochure (below) PUB Bird-Window Collision Brochure to see handy links to resources about bird-window collisions and actions you can take to help reduce them.

PUB Bird-Window Collision Brochure
Download PDF • 343KB


People interested in adding plants that support pollinators in their yards can choose from 17 varieties of native plants to purchase online during the Powered Up Baraboo Native Plant Fundraiser, now, through February 29. Plants purchased during the online sale will be available for purchasers to pick up in downtown Baraboo on Saturday, May 18 from 9 am to 12 pm. On that day, there will also be plants available for walk-up purchases at the pickup site. The nonprofit group decided to add an online component to the fundraising sale by popular demand.

“Last year, we sold out of all our plants within the first 40 minutes of the in-person sale,” said Lena Nissley, Powered Up Baraboo (PUB) board member and leader of the plant sale team. “We seriously underestimated the local interest in native plants. There were so many people who asked us to add an online component to this year’s plant sale that we couldn’t say ‘no’.”

Nissley said that offering plants for purchase in-person on May 18 will give area residents an opportunity to shop for their native plants when more people are in gardening mode. “I would advise them to get there as close to our 9 am start as possible, though, because the in-person sale is just while supplies last.”

The plant pickup and in-person plant sale will be held in Nanny Park, at the corner of Oak Street and 5th Street in Baraboo. In-person purchases can be paid for by cash or check only.

Plant varieties will include Bee Balm, Butterfly weed, Cream Wild Indigo, Culver’s Root, Fox Sedge, Golden Alexander, Joe Pye Weed, Little Bluestem, New England Aster, Pale Purple Coneflower, Prairie Smoke, Purple Prairie Clover, Rattlesnake Master, Rough Blazing Star, Swamp Milkweed, Wild Blue Phlox, and Wild Geranium. The plants have been obtained from Taylor Creek Restoration Nurseries in Brodhead, Wisconsin.

Powered Up Baraboo is a local non-profit group seeking to promote the use of energy conservation, renewable energy, and sustainable practices in the Baraboo area. This includes helping area residents reduce the portion of their yards covered by lawn, thus reducing the amount of mowing and chemicals frequently applied to lawns, and increasing the food supply for pollinating insects and birds in this area.

“The more lawn we can replace with native plants,” said Nissley, “the more we are adding to the biodiversity of plant life in our yards. These plants evolved in this region. Once established, native plants don’t need the fertilizers, pesticides, or the labor often needed to keep a lawn looking green and manicured.”

Proceeds from the plant sale will help fund local educational and advocacy work done by Powered Up Baraboo.

Tree Life – March 4, 2023

Mark your calendar for 6 PM on March 30 for a free program on tree planting featuring arborist Alison Holets, of Canopy Climbers, LLC in Baraboo. Alison will discuss the steps of planting a tree to give it the best chance to thrive, including considerations such as the types of trees to plant, location, and soil type. Attendees can enter a drawing to win a tree seedling donated by the Chief River Nursery Company. Varieties of tree seedlings will be Shagbark Hickory and Allegheny Serviceberry.

As you think about tree planting, here are a few book titles that might provoke some thoughts about the role of trees in a healthy ecosystem. Doug Tallamy, is a professor in the department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware. He is the author of Bringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain Wildlife With Native Plants (2009); Nature's Best Hope: A New Approach to Conservation That Starts in Your Yard (2020); and The Nature of Oaks: The Rick Ecology of Our Most Essential Native Trees (2021).

Native Plants for All – March 1, 2023

At our meeting on February 28, we discussed plans for the Native Plant Fundraiser, scheduled for Saturday, May 20, starting at 9 AM at the Wise Pavilion in the Maxwell-Potter Conservancy, 700 Hill St. in Baraboo. We are set to put in our plant order with Taylor Creek Nursery. Thanks to Green Spaces Action Team member Marcy Huffaker, who is a Baraboo landscape designer and owner of Half-Aker Designs, for her expertise in choosing and obtaining these plants!

The purpose for this plant sale, besides raising some money to help Powered Up Baraboo continue with our work in the community, is to raise public awareness of the benefits of substituting lawn space with native plants. Rather than cover our yards with non-native vegetation that requires inputs of fertilizers, pesticides, and regular mowing, we can create beds of native plants that have evolved in this region, along with native animal species, including pollinators. The plant varieties we plan to order include:

Wild Geranium

Rattlesnake Master

Golden Alexander

Purple Coneflower

New England Aster

Wild Blue Phlox

Routh Blazing Star

Purple Prairie Clover

Blue False Indigo

Butterly Weed

Plants will be $4 each, a bargain for these varieties. Read about each variety on this page of our website:

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