Wild Warner Minutes 12-03-2014

December 8, 2014

In attendance:
Jonathan Santana, Webmaster
Marian Celesnik, Treasurer
Marie Jacobsen, Chair
Tim Nelson, PR and Info
Kathlean Wolf, Secretary
Trish Okane, Advisor
Mike Rewey, Advisor, Engineering
Joan, new to meeting
Jack Hurst, Advisor, Fishing
Paul Noelder, Education Coordinator
Blair Panhorst, Membership Co-coordinator

Jonathan: 3 bald eagles; Marie: 8 turkeys; Jack: goldeneye, buffleheads; Paul: 61 swans at the Maple Bluff boat landing, buffleheads, goldeneyes, tundra swans, and one zombie-frog

Intro Notices:
Paul is trying to get a notice in the paper about the health of the lakes.
Blair mentions least weasels are at the Great Lakes Nature Center.
Jack reports that the no-trespassing signs on Governor Island are being taken down.

Listed Agenda Business:
I. WEEB (Wisconsin Environmental Education B…?) Grant, Paul and Trish
a. Brentwood gardens and UW extension are interested in bringing Wild Warner on board in the grant as partners for the Brentwood neighborhood children. Tentative support expressed by 8 of   11 members.
b. Motion to defer was passed: Paul and Kathlean will research and report back 6 January 2015.
c. Contacts: Kate Howard in Brentwood, Sharon Lezberg at UW Extension.

II. New name for Castle Creek has been submitted. City expressed approval; DNR will review in January

III. Ash Tree Report:
a. Jim in absentia submitted the Wild Warner Ash Tree policy, one copy per person. Will have it before the City Parks Dept next week.
b. Marian attended Parks Dept. ash meeting. Parks refused to talk about park trees. Said ash tree mortality spikes at 6 year mark, sudden deaths are what the City is trying to “get ahead of,” rather than responding to the disease. Adopt-a-tree is ineffective.
c. Trees will begin to be cut down in January or February if we do not stop the current plans.
d. Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. is a Parks Commission meeting at Warner Rec.
e. Need for a much larger view of tree management: Asian Longhorn Beetle will be invading maples, other illnesses related to failed biodiversity can be expected.
f. Jim is going to send letter to Larry Palm to get his support for our Ash policy
g. Paul, Kathlean, and Tim will work on public awareness signs.
h. Chris Williamson—etymologist wants to treat trees instead of kill them all—potentially an extension of industry, as some of the chemical companies sponsor him, speaking Tues, 9 Dec, at 7 p.m. Penney Branch Local Library
i. Eric Knepp suggests coordinating Bird City 2015 with promotion of Ash Tree replacements

New Business:

IV. Master Planning / Coordination:
a. $25,000 Master Plan, managed by Jacob Tisue
b. Jim states that DNR is announcing wetland restoration at Warner Park Lagoon.
Correction: Jim emailed me to correct that this was not part of his message sent through Trish. Email later sent out to group from Jim, stating, “I just learned that this Wednesday – the 17th, the Public Works Committee takes up a resolution to accept the DNR plan to study the wetland, submitted by engineering.” Minutes-taker is confused.
c. Sally Swenson is writing for DNR Lake Planning Grant.
d. Jacob Tisue is to be invited to next Wild Warner meeting to share his view of the Master Plan

V. Definitions:
a. Need to get a definition (before the City? or in the Master Plan?) defining “Natural Area.”
b. “Green line” is a temptation for builders to impinge right up to green line. Need to create
c. low-maintenance areas at the City level—policy for treatment and non-treatment

VI. Member Business / Comments / Requests:
a. Blair suggests Events Calendar. Jonathan will look into best way to manage online.
b. Kathlean is compiling contacts list.
c. Jack suggests everyone interested sign up for “Lake Tides” out of Steven’s Point.
d. Trish invited all present to Sing to the Trees on 21 Dec at 5:30 p.m., socializing to follow. Meet at Jim and Trish’s.
e. Wild Warner Walk is at 1 p.m. on the same day, meeting at the Rec Center.
f. Blair requested a history of Wild Warner be made available. Paul added, information on the ecology and the history of the park as well. Will be useful for new members, as well as posting on Crane Wall. Trish will help write up the history of the group from her dissertation notes.
g. Fireworks Island: troop was out there; deadheaded plants to dry and seed in the spring. Wayne Paulie can get us hooked up with seeds from Cherokee.

h. Paul’s Items, following meeting with Erik Kneppe, Parks Director:
i. interested in posting Bird City signs along major roads / parks
ii. Dedicate a Nature Education Center at Warner Rec.
iii. Promote nature education
iv. Larger picture: City initiative to promote a Mission Statement regarding nature as being central to freakin’ everything.
v. Coordinate Arbor Day with Bird City, Ash tree efforts—focus on educating about insectivores and value of bird habitat
vi. Someone wants an osprey tower (with camera!) because no one’s precious wood-ducks would be harmed anyway
vii. Kathlean suggests advocating for “Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights,” which was proposed to the legislature last year but not taken up. Coordinating with the advocates for this concept would strengthen wording of all grants / definitions.
viii. Paul also mentions need for subcommittees to deal with issues of fundraising; setting up Birds video display; setting up backpacks for kids, etc. Ref back to Brentwood Gardens kids’ projects coordination.

Predator and Prey

December 8, 2014

WarnerBeach-0950 WarnerBeach-0930 WarnerBeach-1427 WarnerBeach-1504 WarnerBeach-0871 WarnerBeach-1446 WarnerBeach-1419

The closing ice on Lake Mendota along Warner Beach is proving great viewing of birds.

Bonnie Tiedt shot these photos Sunday. Our thanks to her.

Click here for the Wild Warner Calendar

December 5, 2014


Tundra Swans pass through – hundreds of them.

December 1, 2014

Tundra Swans stopped along Warner Beach on their way south over the Thanksgiving weekend. The white swans are adults, the “dusky” colored birds are juveniles.

The swans breed in high Arctic wetlands.  The birds move to warmer, inland estuaries in the U.S. for winter.

Tundra swans are monogamous, and the young stay with parents for a year. Their diet includes submerged aquatic vegetation and organisms. Because of a drastic decline in their food supply swans now feed in grain fields, which farmers dislike.

Nonetheless, their population has doubled in the last 35 years, and they are hunted annually. They are the most numerous of native swans, yet there is limited literature and data on their life cycles and movements.


Warner welcomes bird 136

November 11, 2014

BIRD 136 - White Pelicans have been spotted in the Warner wetland near the dog park. The birds are headed south, to winter along the Gulf Coast. Two of the birds have recently been joined by a third. Pelicans eat fish, salamanders and crustaceans. The white pelican is the 136th species of bird to be verified in Warner Park, a sign of improving water quality and shelter. (Paul Noeldner)

This wonderful video of the visiting pelicans was filmed by Greg Weller, a contributing photographer to Wild Warner.

BIRD 136 – White Pelicans have been spotted in the Warner wetland near the dog park. The birds are headed south, to winter along the Gulf Coast. Two of the birds have recently been joined by a third.

Pelicans eat fish, salamanders and crustaceans. The white pelican is the 136th species of bird to be verified in Warner Park, a sign of improving water quality and shelter.

Wild Warner minutes 11-11-2014

November 11, 2014

Present:  Jim Carrier, Marian Celesnik, Marie Jacobson, Marcia Finger, Dolores Kester, Karen Hickel, Jack Hurst, Audrey Kalzor, Tim Nelson, Trish O’Kane, Blair Panhorst, Paul Noeldner, Mike and Pam Rewey, Jonathan Santana, Karen Wolf
Nature Sightings:  Three White Pelicans, Bald Eagle
1)  Nature photo exhibit by Arlene Koziol is up at the Warner Park Recreation Center. 
      -Look for Paul’s article in the next Northside News.
2)  Mike will write a letter to Engineering, thanking them for a job well done.  The seeding is native plants, not grass.
     – Mike will write a second letter, asking about tree and shrub replacement.
     – We need to clean out the rocks when trash accumulates.
     – Paul is working on getting the cunette renamed as ‘Castle Creek’  The DNR would be the one to rename.
3) The Ash trees are ribboned, but not the ones in the woods. More info is needed, besides the two existing signs, so that people know what the ribbons mean. A motion passed asking for a moratorium on cutting, to cut only as need, not wholesale cutting. Plant replacement trees first and save some trees by treating. The Adopt-A-Tree program is not a real solution. We need a more affordable way to treat trees. Jim will draft a letter to be sent to Parks, the Alder and the Mayor.
4)  Deep piles of Oak leaves have been blown into the woods. time will send a letter to Craig Klinke.
5)  Dave Marshall’s study of the lagoon was paid for by the Yahara Fisherman’s Club.  Jack passed out copies.
      -Sally Swenson from Engineering is looking into getting a grant from the State for a more extensive study.
6)  Bird and nature walks for 2015 will be every third Sunday at 1:30.
7)  Election of officers:
      Marie Jacobson – President
      Paul Noeldner – Education Coordinator
      Marian Celesnik – Treasurer
      Kathleen Wolf – Secretary
      Blair Panhorst and Karen Hickel – Membership Coordinators
8)  Jonathan Santana volunteered to operate the website.  Jonathan will also let the Volunteer Center as MATC know of our work projects as they come up.

Standing on hallowed ground

August 6, 2014

Wild Warner Meeting - August 2014

Wild Warner Meeting – August 2014 (Paul Noeldner)

Last night, Aug. 5, 2014, Wild Warner met on the newly restored Warner Island Prairie to paint a Plein Aire environmental vision for the Wild Side of Warner Park.

The resident nesting duo of blue grey Sandhill Cranes flew overhead and a pallet of fresh green growth, bright yellow Black Eyed Susans and floating splashes of Lotus blossoms completed the brushstrokes.

Paul Noeldner

A Lotus blooms in Warner’s wetland

August 4, 2014


      Conservation photographer Arlene Koziol captured the fleeting bloom of the American Lotus in Warner’s wetland on July 22, 2014. In a nature walk with Wild Warner’s education coordinator, Paul Noeldner, Koziol also captured our Sandhill Crane family, a new Wood Duck family, and the beauty of the new wet prairie island, once used to bombard Rhythm & Booms fireworks into the wetland.

      “Wild Warner Park is a gem right in the midst in a big city,” she writes. “New lives – Sandhill Crane Colt, Wood Duck family and nesting Red-winged Blackbirds. Stunning Lotus flowers , seen in many cultures as being symbolic of rebirth. I see the lotus representing the rebirth of Wild Warner Park.”

Lotus smallest

    The American Lotus (Nelumbo lutea) is often confused with the common Water Lily, but is a distant cousin, as it is to the sacred lotus flowers of many cultures. It is marked by huge leaves, long stalks, and six-inch, intricate flowers that open one day, close that night, and open one more day before dropping their petals.


    The plant was a food source for Native Americans. It is also a grocery store for wildlife, as explained on the Texas A&M Aquaplant Web site:

     “Submerged portions of all aquatic plants provide habitats for many micro and macro invertebrates. These invertebrates in turn are used as food by fish and other wildlife species (e.g. amphibians, reptiles, ducks, etc.). After aquatic plants die, their decomposition by bacteria and fungi provides food (called “detritus”) for many aquatic invertebrates. The large acorn like seeds of lotus are utilized by some ducks and other wildlife. Beavers and muskrats will consume the rhizomes.”

     Here is a good background piece from Loyola University in New Orleans.

     Koziol, who has photographed nature all over the world, was in Madison photographing Cherokee Marsh with Noeldner, who then offered to show her the Warner Park Sandhill Crane family.

    “The first thing that caught my eye were the lotus blossoms. Many years ago when we were visiting Japan, I was driving with a non-English speaking friend. He got phone call and became quite excited. We turned around and sped back to his home. The family was in the backyard looking at a muddy pond. There was one yellow lotus plant booming.

    “It was explained to me in Japan the lotus flower is revered for its ability to rise from murky waters to a beautiful blossom. This is symbolic of rising above suffering and struggle to happiness and a spiritual awakening. In Japan, many people stop their day to appreciate the beauty and think about the meaning of the lotus blossom.

    “There was so much to observe and photograph at Wild Warner. Hours went by and I felt that I was just getting started. The next day I brought my 3 year old grandson to see Wild Warner. He loved the insects, painted turtles and the Crane family.”

     Here is a link to Arlene Koziol’s photos of Warner Park, and her other conservation photos from all over the world.

New member meets baby bluebirds

July 23, 2014

Jonathan Santanna opens a next on Warner Park's Blue Bird Trail. (Trish O'Kane)

Jonathan Santanna opens a nest on Warner Park’s Bluebird Trail. (Trish O’Kane)

by Jonathan Santanna, Madison College student and aspiring zoologist

It started like every other Thursday morning, however there were four baby blue birds waiting for me this time. The last time I had seen the nest there were five eggs.

As I knocked on the bird house to let the bluebirds know I was coming in, I was somewhat nervous. I usually feel this way because I am afraid that I will do something wrong. Once I opened the door, Trish and I noticed the fly larvae that she had been warning me about. This observation did not settle my nerves. These fly larvae hide in the nest and suck the babies’ blood. They can kill the babies.

Bluebird eggs - a successful brood in Warner Park. (Trish O'Kane)

Bluebird eggs – a successful brood in Warner Park. (Trish O’Kane)

The feeling that I had when I pulled those baby birds out of the nest was fear, not my own fear, but the fear that the birds were experiencing. It broke my heart that they were scared of me while they had these fly larvae crawling around in their nest.

As Trish built a new larvae-free nest and I began putting the babies back into the new nest, I came to the conclusion that this experience solidified my dream of understanding animals. These birds have feelings and they are vulnerable just like any other creature on this planet. And once we can understand how birds, mammals, fish, or any other type of species feels and interacts with the world, we can then take further steps to build our relationship with the beings and environment on this Earth.

Jonathan Santanna rescues a turtle he found in Warner Park. (Trish O'Kane)

Jonathan Santanna rescues a turtle he found in Warner Park. (Trish O’Kane)


Trish O’Kane’s note: I have been monitoring the bluebird houses on the southwest side of Warner Park for three years. I am now training Jonathan Santanna to replace me as the federally-certified bluebird monitor in Wild Warner Park. Every week Jonathan learns how to open the bluebird houses and check on the birds inside to make sure that they are safe and healthy. Thanks to Jonathan’s care and commitment, four new bluebirds are now flying around Warner Park.

Trish O’Kane
Ph.D. Candidate in Environment & Resources
Co-Instructor of Env. Studies 600: “Last Child in the Park” and “Nature Explorers”

Warner’s new Sandhill Crane colt discovers the restored prairie island

July 16, 2014

The 2014 Warner Park Sandhill Crane colt is finally fledged from the nest and starting to get out and about, and learning to forage with its parents on the restored prairie area of Warner Island. (The former fireworks shooting island restored as wet prairie.)  ( Video by Paul Noeldner)

Here are some photos shot by Jim Carrier in the same spot.

Colt with parents

Col with parent 2

Colt with parent