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Gary "Chris" Christopherson

  Thrive! Park - Bluff Prairie Restoration
USFWS Story on Thrive! Park Prairie Restoration

On the Mississippi River bluffs above the Village of Nelson (WI), you can see the initial efforts to restore the bluff prairies closer to what they would have been in the 1800s. This be the first effort to cover three to four major, adjacent Mississippi River Bluffs. Currently, restoration covers four of the major bluff areas overlooking the Village and the Mississippi River.

Farthest north is Pikes Peak and the adjacent bluff prairie, partly owned by the Hetrick family and partly is Thrive! Park (Village of Nelson donated by Gary "Chris" Christopherson). This Phase 1 restoration effort was done in 2015 and restories the bluff top and bluff side prairies. It was funded by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Buffalo County, Christopherson and the Hetricks. Contractor for effort was 'Ku-le Region Forestry, Inc.

In the middle are the Sisters (two are being restored currently) and Lost Brother now in Thrive! Park (Village of Nelson donated by Chirstopherson). This Phase 1 restoration effort was done in 2015 and restories the bluff top and bluff side prairies. It was funded by U.S. Fish and Wildlife, Buffalo County and Christopherson. Contractor for effort was 'Ku-le Region Forestry, Inc. A Phase 2 restoration effort to be completed in 2019 covers the area below the Sisters and Lost Brother and will create a transition forest leaving oak and shagbark hickory trees. This is funded by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Buffalo County, the Village of Nelson and Christopherson. Contractor for effort is Quercus Land Stewardship..

Further south are Twin Bluffs owned by Myrna (Castleberg) Buri. Restoration effort was funded by Wisconsin DNR and Buri.

Furtherest south are bluff and prairies owned by Nature Conservancy and originally owned by Dwight and Aimee Hemion. Initial restoration work has been done there as well.

To achieve the full potential for these bluff prairies, further restoration efforts and careful sustainment should occur.

Thrive! Park - Bluff Prairie Restoration [Summer 2016]


Prairie Restoration - Summer - After

After


Prairie Restoration - summer - before

Before

  Thrive! Park - Bluff Prairie Restoration [Winter 2015]


Prairie Restoration - winter 2015 - after

After


Prairie Restoration - winter 2015 - before

Before

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