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Marshland Camps Preserve

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Site Description
This undeveloped 1-acre island located near the eastern shore of Little Muskego Lake was dedicated to the city for conservation purposes by Rudolf Holz in 1972. It is entirely forested with a mixture of hardwood trees and is classified by SEWRPC as primary environmental corridor.

This small wooded island has a moderately diverse flora.  Numerous species of trees and shrubs, both native and non-native were found on the island: 

Native species include:
  • Basswood
  • Black haw
  • Wild black currant
  • Red and white oaks
  • Choke cherry
  • Gray dogwood
  • Shagbark hickory
  • Willows
  • Prickly ash
  • Smooth sumac
  • Bur oak
  • Cottonwood
  • Black cherry
  • Elm
  • Wild grape
  • American bittersweet
  • Greenbriar

Non-native trees and shrubs include:
  • honeysuckle
  • arrow wood
  • high bush cranberry
  • European buckthorn
  • barberry
  • hawthorn
  • black locust
  • Missouri gooseberry 

Native ground cover flora of both woodland and prairie species include:
  • calico aster
  • wild geranium
  • bloodroot
  • false Solomon’s seal
  • large-leaved aster
  • wild leek
  • may apple
  • wild sarsaparilla
  • starry campion

In open areas, near slopes a few remnant prairie species, such as; bergamot and lead plant were found.  The non-native vine, crown vetch, had been seeded previously on slopes in the past in attempts to reduce erosion.  This species has since become problematic within portions of the island.

Land Management
The management objective is to maintain the island as an oak-dominated, mixed hardwood forest. Buckthorn and honeysuckle had been removed in the early 2000’s but these species still persist.  A burn was conducted in 2003. 

A 2010 shoreline restoration project was conducted in a partnership between the City of Muskego, Wisconsin DNR, Little Muskego Lake Association, and the Little Muskego Lake District.  The east shoreline was stabilized with coir logs and the west shore with vegetated rip-rap.  Brush was removed from the west facing slope and crown vetch-dominated vegetation was treated with herbicide.  The slope was then seeded with a mixture of tall and short prairie grasses.  Shrub cuttings were planted adjacent to the rip-rap and coir logs.  The coir logs and rip rap have helped seize erosion at the shore.  Many plantings have taken root however crown vetch has persisted on the west slope.