Friends of Prichard Park
The mission of Friends of Pritchard Park is to preserve, enhance and restore the natural areas of the park, to encourage environmentally sustainable development of the land for recreational purposes, and to create a welcoming green space for positive experiences with nature for the community.
Our goals is to promote sustainable and environmentally-friendly stewardship, outreach, recreation, and education.
History and Features of Pritchard Park
The land for Pritchard Park was donated to the county by Thomas R. and Ginevra Pritchard Williams in memory of Owen P. Pritchard in the 1920’s. As an environmental corridor, Pritchard Park has been identified by the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission as an “isolated environmental area” for the significant contributions it makes for a healthy ecosystem. By protecting the environmentally sustainable functions of the forests, ponds, wetlands, and native prairies of Pritchard Park, we can ensure its support of pollinator populations, wildlife, biodiversity, as well as its contributions to aesthetics, outdoor recreation and education.
Features of Pritchard Park
- S. C. Johnson Community Aquatic Center
- Wieczorek Pavillion
- Athletic Fields
- Veteran’s Memorial
- Playground and Picnic Areas
- Ponds and Wetlands
- Forests and Native Prairie
What's an Environmental Corridor?
Excerpt taken from SEWRPC (Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission), for full article click HERE.
SEWRPC has mapped the key elements of the natural resource base of the Southeastern Wisconsin Region: lakes, streams, and associated shorelands and floodlands; wetlands; woodlands; wildlife habitat areas; areas of rugged terrain and high-relief topography; wet, poorly drained, and organic soils; and remnant prairies. In addition, SEWRPC has mapped such natural resource-related features as existing and potential park sites, sites of historic and archaeological value, areas possessing scenic vistas or viewpoints, and areas of scientific value. These inventories have resulted in the delineation of environmental corridors, which are broadly defined as linear areas in the landscape containing concentrations of these significant natural resource and resource-related features.
Become a friend of Pritchard Park
We welcome any and all volunteer participation and the sharing of ideas from all persons and organizations. Members will be informed via email of volunteer opportunities at Pritchard Park and of meetings regarding the development of our park. For any questions regarding Friends of Pritchard Park, please contact us at [email protected].
Download our brochure shown here to share by clicking HERE.
Pritchard Park Updates by Root Pike WIN
Buckthorn Removal Allows for Native Vegetation Explosion, June 18, 2019
You have probably heard about the benefits of invasive species removal, but don’t often get to see the results happen so quickly. Today, we are stoked to share with you the visible proof of success. This spring, Racine County began removing the buckthorn from a nine-acre woodland inside Pritchard Park with a piece of equipment called a “brush hog”. It didn’t take long for a diverse mix of native plants to spring back.
Take a look at the forest today and you’ll see a range of native plants that grew only in trace amounts in the dark days of buckthorn and honeysuckle. From Jack-in-the-Pulpits to Mayapples to marsh marigolds to buttercups, nature’s corrective course has begun. The comeback was even awarded in Milwaukee Magazine’s “13 ‘AWARDS’ FOR EARLY SUMMER WILDFLOWERS IN THE MILWAUKEE AREA” this week!
A few experts have even commented that they have never seen greater densities of prairie trilliums… anywhere. The prairie trillium, or blood trillium, is considered rare or uncommon in Wisconsin. Native plant diversity helps mitigate stormwater sheet runoff and provides habitat and nourishment for the rest of the food chain. It looks much better too!
In addition to the plants, some new ephemeral ponds re-emerged… along with the birds and the bees. A pair of mallards have a new home this summer. Give them some privacy if you are out there…
With funding from the Fund for Lake Michigan, Root-Pike WIN will continue improving the diversity of the area by removing the regrowth of invasive species, creating additional wetlands, planting more diverse and woodland-appropriate vegetation, and monitoring success. As a result, runoff water quality and infiltration in this small part of the Pike River watershed should improve as well.
Over the last two weeks, invasive wild parsnip, dame’s rocket, teasel, and garlic mustard were removed from the southwest forest and middle pond areas. Maintenance on the southeast wetland and pollinator swale will occur in the months ahead to include mowing and spot invasive vegetation treatment. Each year following, the areas should become richer and thicker with native flowers and grasses. A trail system is also being planned. Exciting stuff!
This week, we planted select areas in the woodland with native red baneberry (Actaea rubra), wild ginger (Asarum canadense), lady fern (Athyrium filix femina) and Goldie’s fern (Dryopteris goldieana) to name a few.
Other cooperative master plan work with Racine County will include other select restorations in the park. Maintenance work will continue in the years ahead in the southwest wetland, middle pond, and pollinator swale. Our collective goal: make the native areas better than ever.
We would like to thank a range of people for their networking and initiative in bringing recreational diversity to Pritchard Park. Marilyn Kieman, Kay McClelland, Alice Thompson, Nan Calvert, Chelsea-Snowden Smith, Roger Chernik, Drew Ballantyne and Bill Sasse have all made valuable contributions. Most importantly, we appreciate the leaders, trustees and staff at Racine County for allowing us to help transform the park into a better place where people want to be. They believe ball fields and buttercups can coexist, and we do too.
Stay tuned for more exciting news for Pritchard Park in the days ahead. Until then, go out and find peace in this beautifully transforming park.
Contact me if you want to be part of the success.