Sauk Prairie Optimists hear about Moely Prairie, a "hidden gem"


January 10, 2019

Photo contributed

Left to right, Optimist member and November Speaker chair Carol May, and Amy Chamberlin and Paul Anderson, Moely Prairie restoration volunteers and Prairie Enthusiasts

On November 28, the SP Optimist Club was treated to a presentation by Paul Anderson and Amy Chamberlin. Paul retired two years ago and moved to Prairie du Sac and since then has been a volunteer with the Prairie Enthusiasts (TPE) working predominantly on Moely Prairie. Amy Chamberlin, Paul's daughter, retired in April after a 30-year career with the City of Madison of which 27 years were spent as a law enforcement officer with the Madison Police Department. She moved to Sauk City three years ago and has been active with the Moely Prairie restoration for the past two years. She also serves on the Sauk Prairie Conservation Alliance Board.

Moely Prairie is a 23-acre parcel tiny "hidden gem" survivor of the 13.000-acre Sauk Prairie. Named for members of the Moely family who settled in Sauk Prairie after leaving Switzerland in the 1850s, it is now owned by former resident Barbara Moely who wanted to protect her family legacy from development and gave it permanent protection through a conservation easement.

News Sickle Arrow NSA Black Earth Cross Plains

Moely Prairie supports a diverse population of desirable bird species including grassland birds like the Eastern Meadowlark, Grasshopper Sparrow and Clay-colored Sparrow. Through restoration work the hope is other grassland bird species will call the prairie home.

The prairie harbors a rich array of native prairie plants including Prairie Smoke, Eastern Prickly Pear cactus, Rough Blazing Star, and American Pasqueflower, to name a few. Also native to this site are Indian, Little Blue Stem and Big Blue Stem grasses.

Restoration efforts at Moely Prairie include recovering and maintaining as much of the original prairie as possible, providing habitat for grassland birds and other native animal species, providing educational opportunities for area students and the community and more.

For more information and to find out how you can volunteer please go their website http://www.The Prairie or email to


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