Prairie Haven

Prairie Haven is about our adventures trying to restore an old Wisconsin farm back to the prairie and savanna landscape that was here before the land was settled.  Here’s a little info about us.

Marcie O’Connor

marcie 3-31-10

 

marcie from craft camp cropped small 6-22-10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I started learning to identify plants when I was about 10 years old.  I studied botany and ecology in college, and continued to be interested in plants and in restoration ecology for many years.  I turned the yard of every house we lived in into a wild landscape.  One back yard became a woods, the front yard had more sun so it became a prairie.  I turned the yard of our cabin along the St. Croix River back into a wetland.

Now I work on restoring the farm, and try to photograph and identify all the animals and plants that I find here.  I also keep the web site up to date, and write the blog posts about what we do.

 

Mike O’Connor

Mike 9-29-12

Mike is less involved in the decision-making about our restoration project, but he helps with a lot of the work.  He does all the mowing, and helps with all the projects that are loud and require gasoline engines.  (I prefer projects that are quiet and involve hand tools.)  He’s also the ‘geek’ who keeps the computers going.

Recently he bought a drone, and has been using it to document our farm and the restoration work we do here.   You can see some of his drone photos and videos HERE.

Mike has his own blog: Haven2.com.

The Farm

In 2000, we bought a 420 acre farm in Buffalo County, in west central Wisconsin.  It had been a dairy farm for many years, but by 2000 the cows had gone, and the only crops were 150 acres of corn and soybeans.   I decided it would be fun to restore it back to the way it would have been before it was farmed.  I had no idea it would be such a long, complicated project, or that it would be so rewarding.  I’ve especially enjoyed learning about other pieces of the ecosystem – birds, animals and especially insects.   Recently we’ve added a few more pieces of land, so now we have just under 500 acres.

Click HERE to learn more about the history of our land.