Land Trusts-Protecting Wildlife for Tomorrow:


Androne Woods

Androne Woods is a 16 acre parcel which was once part of the original Cleophas Homestead;   a section of the old homestead that was never used for grazing.  Many species of birds, wildlife, and foliage call this area home with hikers often seeing wild turkey and deer.  Hiking on 1 ¾ miles of trails you find ground cover not common to this area of Southern WI.  Yellow Lady Slipper Orchids, Maidenhair Fern, and woodland grasses grow abundant in the thick dense cover of large Black Walnut and White Oak trees. The woods are a nesting site for many birds in this area.  Androne Woods can give birders and hikers many hours of enjoyment

Volunteer Work as of 7/24/2016
Prepared by Victor Illichmann

We have put in 814 hours of volunteer time pulling and torching garlic mustard. We spent $638.86 on propane. We will do this all over again this fall. We planted another 1000 white oak. We found tree protectors at $1.71 each instead of $5.15 so we were able to purchase them. The survival rate so far seems to be excellent. For our DNR Grant we will spend about $4949 and will have about $3300 in volunteer time. After the grant money we will spend about $825 of our money. Not bad for a $8429 project. We have another grant coming to finish this work. So far we have killed and frilled shade tolerant trees in sections 5, 6, and 7. We still have section 8 to do for this year. Our work here for our EQIP Grant is essentially complete. We have a CSP Grant that should more than pay for our propane for the next 5 years. The payoff for the work we are doing is obvious. This spring we had 16 acres of wild geranium or cranesbill in bloom, then soloman’s plume. The woodland anemone, joe pye weed, and starry soloman’s plume have spread throughout the woods. We have white hyssop spreading. In the last 2 years we have the tall meadow rue appearing. We have yellow lady slippers in 3 locations now. We have so much showy orchis that we lost count. Every year we discover something we didn’t know we had. This year it was columbine and poke milkweed.  We have seen our resident scarlet tanager.


Cleophas Reserve

Most of this land was part of the Cleophas family homestead.  GRAS has just started to restore this 40 acre parcel to native prairie. Over the next 3 years GRAS hopes to have the majority of the work done.  There are 2 miles of trails for hiking.

Volunteer Work as of 7/24/2016
Prepared by Victor Illichmann

We have been keeping the firebreaks mowed. We put in another bridge and filled a bad low spot. We plan on putting corduroy east of the culvert where there is a stretch of very wet ground and working on the crossing where the spring comes in from the north. This property is scheduled for a burn next year. We kill brush here on odd years.>

Gabower-Reilly Reserve

This 24 acre prairie and 4 acre oak savannah was the former Anderson Tract of the Jason Briggs Wetland.  Prairie Enthusiasts own the Jason Briggs Wetland which is adjacent to the southeast corner of the GRAS property.  The East Branch of Raccoon Creek flows through this reserve.   The creek is a natural reproducing Brook Trout stream. The DNR has classified the East Branch as a category 5 (catch and release) trout stream. 


Volunteer Work as of 7/24/2016
Prepared by Victor Illichmann

The south part of this property is due for a burn this next year. We kill brush here on even years. We haven’t started on that yet. We planted plants of golden rod, golden alexander, alum root, smooth aster, compass plant, Indian plantain, nodding onion, thimble weed, rattlesnake master, big bluestem, Indian grass, and sideoats in the southeast corner of section 2. There is a good population of prairie dock and compass plant from our 2010 frost seeding. We planted 24 columbines in the oak savannah.

The three land trusts above are situated closely together west of Beloit off of Highway 213 between Cleophas Rd., S. Smythe School Rd. and W Gravedale Rd.

Spring Creek Reserve

This 67 acre parcel of GRAS land is 34 acres of restored prairie and 33 acres of tillable farm land.  The land has a small pond which is frequently visited by waterfowl and wildlife.  Spring Creek flows through the reserve.  Fall colors are spectacular.  There are 2 ¼ miles of trails winding through this parcel for hiking.


Volunteer Work as of 7/24/2016
Prepared by Victor Illichmann

We have been keeping the firebreaks mowed. We need to do some work clearing them in the northwest corner. We need to keep at the phragmites so it doesn’t spread and hopefully kill it. We kill brush here on odd years, so next year will be busy.


Thanks to John Patterson, John Wa- trous, Doug Conkle, Dave Dummer, Dennis Rogers, Neil Deupree, Finn Bomgaars, Mike Tiffany, Wayne Tiffany,
Brian Schmoldt and son, Joni Denker and her husband,  Workenders, and Rock County Deputies. Volunteers are our life-blood. Keep up the good work.

Spring Creek Reserve entrance, the Public is welcome to walk the reserve (foot traffic only).

Entrance to spring creek

Photo© by Dennis Rogers


Spring Creek Reserve is located west of Beloit on Spring Creek Rd. just past the Katterhenry private drive.



Bluebird Trail in the Gabower-Reilly Reserve. The Public is welcome to walk the trail and enjoy the scenery. Photo taken on the 9-11-12 workday. Bluebird trail signPhoto© by Dennis Rogers

Links to PDF files of aerial views and plat maps from Rock County Conservation Dept.