La Crosse conservation group receives grant for Hixon Forest

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) — The La Crosse conservation group Friends of the Blufflands was warded a $2,000 grant for its restoration work on Lookout Prairie in Hixon Forest, the La Crosse Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department announced Wednesday.

The grant from C.D. Besadny Conservation Fund of the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin, which will be matched by $2,000 from the city parks department, will allow the Friends of the Blufflands to hire a qualified restoration contractor to assist its ongoing efforts to restore the prairie by eliminating invasive trees and plants.

Lookout is one of several hill or remnant prairies in Hixon, owned by the City of La Crosse, and a focus of restoration and preservation efforts for many years. With this grant and the City’s
matching funds, Friends can dedicate more resources to the preservation and protection of this prairie ecosystem with its unique flora and fauna.

The efforts will concentrate on removing and inhibiting invasive trees and plants in order to maintain an open canopy, thus increasing exposure to sunlight in order to promote the growth of
native prairie flowers, grasses and other desirable plants. Work will involve cutting and then treating the stumps and stubs of invasive plants with an appropriate herbicide, collecting and
piling the cuttings off the prairie, and then burning those piles at the appropriate time.