Horicon Marsh Fall Naturalist Programs Begin Sept. 13

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Horicon Marsh Photo courtesy of: Hagerty/USFWSHORICON, Wis. – People visiting Horicon Marsh State Wildlife Area for the annual fall naturalist programs will participate in the programs and hikes for the last time at the Department of Natural Resources field offices located on the north end of Palmatory Street, in the City of Horicon. Beginning in 2009, the spring and fall naturalist programs and hikes will be moved to the new Horicon International Education Center being constructed where the Horicon DNR Service Center is located on Highway 28, between the cities of Horicon and Mayville.

This is the 24th year DNR Horicon Wildlife Educator Bill Volkert has been conducting naturalist programs at the Palmatory site. The fall naturalist programs begin Saturday, Sept. 13 and are conducted twice a day Saturday and Sunday through the end of October. All programs are free and open to the public, and generally run for about one hour.

Horicon Marsh, located mostly in Dodge County in southeastern Wisconsin, is the largest freshwater cattail marsh in the United States. The marsh is managed and protected as both a state wildlife area and a national wildlife refuge, and has earned the designation as both a “Wetland of International Importance” and a “Globally Important Bird Area.”

“Each fall Horicon sees the world’s largest concentrations of migrating waterfowl,” Volkert says. “Up to 200,000 Canada geese migrate through Horicon Marsh each fall.”

While geese are the main fall attraction, Volkert says, Horicon Marsh is much more than just a stopping over point for migrating waterfowl. More than 290 species of birds have been sighted at Horicon Marsh. And many other species of wildlife inhabit the area.

The weekend naturalist programs are intended to help people better understand the importance of the marsh and are held at the time of year the marsh receives the highest number of visitors. The marsh attracts an estimated half million visitors a year, with hundreds of visitors on some fall weekends.

“These programs are an effort to get visitors more familiar with Horicon Marsh, its wildlife, history and management,” Volker says.

Some of the naturalist programs are conducted as outdoor talks, while others are hikes that take visitors to the marsh for a closer look and understanding of the wildlife of the area. All hikes allow for easy walking and good access to the marsh.

Additionally, the wildlife area will accept groups on a reservation basis. Teachers, educators and group leaders are encouraged to contact the Horicon DNR Service Center at (920) 387-7860 for more information or to make arrangements for education programs.

2008 Fall Horicon Marsh State Wildlife Area Naturalist Programs

  • Saturday, Sept. 13 – 9 a.m. Volunteer Day – Trail Work; 1 p.m. The Birds of Horicon (Hike)
  • Sunday, Sept. 14 – 9 a.m. Volunteer Day – Trail Work; 1 p.m. Horicon Marsh Habitat Hike (Hike)
  • Saturday, Sept. 20 – 10 a.m. Birds and Bird Banding (Hike); 1 p.m. The Fall Migration (Hike)
  • Sunday, Sept. 21 – 11 a.m. Bird-Scaping; 1 p.m. Kids Birding Basics (Hike)
  • Saturday, Sept. 27 – 10 a.m. Wisconsin Mammals (Hike); 1 p.m. Managing Wisconsin’s Deer
  • Sunday, Sept. 28 – 10 a.m. Tips for Managing Wood Duck; noon Make a Home (assemble a wood duck box for Horicon Management)
  • Saturday, Oct. 4 – 10 a.m. Horicon’s Indian History; 1 p.m. The Effigy Mound Builders
  • Sunday, Oct. 5 – 11 a.m. Invaders of Woods and Wetlands; 1 p.m. Kids Birding Basics (make a bird feeder)
  • Saturday, Oct. 11 – 10 a.m. Horicon Marsh Habitat Hike (Hike); 1 p.m. Tracking the Wild – Wisconsin Mammal Tracks
  • Sunday, Oct. 12 – 11 a.m. Dabblers and Divers; Wisconsin Waterfowl 1 p.m. The Geese of Horicon
  • Saturday, Oct. 18 – 10 a.m. The Birds of Horicon (Hike); 1 p.m. Managing Our Wildlife (Hike)
  • Sunday, Oct. 19 – 11 a.m. Fall Colors (Hike); 1 p.m. Kid’s Basic Tree ID (bring a T-shirt for leaf printing)
  • Saturday, Oct. 25 – 10 a.m. Invaders of Woods and Wetlands 1 p.m. Bird-Scaping
  • Sunday, Oct. 26 – 11 a.m. Wisconsin Ice Age; 1 p.m. Animal Adaptations; Preparations for Winter (Hike)

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Bill Volkert – (920) 387-7877 or Wendy Meier at (920)-485-3029