Eagle Nature Trail – Education

Why plant native plants?


                                              Naturally landscaped areas are alive!

Wisconsin native plants provide protection, food, and habitat for small wildlife, like frogs, toads, and salamanders.  They provide food for birds throughout the year, especially in winter.  Naturally landscaped areas can serve as stopping places for migrating birds.  Native plants are the required food for various types of Wisconsin butterflies.  With extremely deep root systems, native plants survive droughts and require no watering beyond normal rainfall.  Because of the deep roots, they stabilize the soil and prevent erosion.  They do not suffer from typical plant problems, like mildew during wet spells.  Natural landscaping is low maintenance and requires no pesticides or insecticides.  The plants return every year! 

Not convinced?  Sit on one of our benches and notice the life buzzing around you. 

Trail-related books      Available at the Alice Baker Library

Children’s–Understanding butterflies

  • The Ecosystem of a Milkweed Patch by Elaine Pascoe
  • Monarch and Milkweed by Helen Frost and Leonid Gore
  • Monarch Butterfly by David Schwartz
  • Monarch Butterflies Up Close by Carmen Bredeson
  • Airplanes in the Garden:Monarch Butterflies Take Flight by Joan Calder
  • Caterpillars, Bugs, and Butterflies by Mel Boring
  • Butterflies and Moths by Bobbie Kalman and Tammy Everts

Children’s–Understanding seeds and plants

  • Plants Seeds by Scholastic, Inc.
  • Seed, Soil, Sun: Earth’s Recipe for Food by Chris Peterson
  • From Seed to Plant by Gail Gibbons
  • DVD  What Plants Talk About
  • DVD Eyewitness: Plant

Young Adult/Adult

  • Milkweed Butterflies: Monarch, Models, and Mimics by Hilda Simon
  • The Monarch Butterfly: Biology and Conservation by Karen Oberhauser and Michelle Solensky
  • Weeds by Alexander Martin

Wisconsin’s connection to giants in environmental concern:

Senator Gaylord Nelson (1916-2005), U.S. Senator 1964-1981 from Wisconsin and former Wisconsin governor 1959-1963, was the founder of Earth Day which was first celebrated on April 22, 1970. It is now celebrated globally by over 192 countries!

During his tenure in Congress, he helped to bring environmental issues to national attention by working to curb pollution in the Great Lakes, introducing legislation to ban the pesticide DDT, and working to get industry to clean up strip-mined areas.

He was keenly aware of the threats to a healthy environment.  He wrote to President Kennedy in 1963, “Though the public is dimly aware that all around them, here and there, outdoor assets are disappearing, they really don’t see the awful dimensions of the catastrophe.” (Environmentalists: A Biographical Dictionary.. by Charles Phillips and Allan Axelrod)

Wisconsin’s land Stewardship Program was renamed the Warren Knowles-Gaylord Nelson Stewardship program in 1993 in honor of Wisconsin’s conservation leaders, Warren Knowles (governor 1965-1971) and Gaylord Nelson.

Aldo Leopold

John Muir 


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