University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The State of Wisconsin Collection

Page View

Rahmlow, H. J. (ed.) / Wisconsin horticulture
Vol. XXX (September 1939/July-August 1940)

Wisconsin horticulture, vol. 30, no. 10: June, 1940,   pp. [273]-304

Page 303

How To Conserve Wisconsin Wild Flowers 
                       By Emil P. Kruschke, Milwaukee Public Museum 
T HE conservation of our wild 
   flowers is one phase of the 
conservation program which has 
lagged behind, not because it was 
less important, but because we 
didn't understand the language 
and drama of our plant friends; 
because we didn't fully under- 
stand the part wild flowers play- 
ed in relation to other wild life 
and to the development of human 
  In order to preserve our re- 
maining wild flowers for posteri- 
ty, I wish to make a plea to all 
our people, and especially the 
farmer, to hell) in accomplish- 
ing the following program, in 
order that we might partly re- 
deem ourselves for the daniage 
we have already done: 
     Permanent Sanctuaries 
  I. Establishment of permanent 
wild life sanctuaries so that the 
natural habitats of plants might 
be preserved. The state, private 
landowner, or any group or or- 
ganization who loves his native 
landscape can be instrumental in 
creating them. We already have 
one such preserve called the 
"Ridges Sanctuary," at Bailey's 
Harhor, Door County. The rail- 
road right of wvays, are amnong 
the few places where we contin- 
tie to find virgin wvild flowers. If 
these lands were set aside as per- 
manent sanctuaries, we would do 
much to preserve our wild flow- 
  2. Fence the woodlots so that 
  cattle, sheep and goats are not 
  permitted to graze therein. Be- 
  ing born and reared on a farm 
  I know that the woodlot furnish- 
  es very poor pasture. I wager 
  that if you keep the cattle out 
  of your woodlot for a few years 
  you will be doubly rewarded. 
  Your children will have a garden 
  paradise that every city boy and 
girl, despite their beautiful parks, 
will envy. 
  3. Leave a little land along 
your fence lines as a haven for 
trees, shrubs, vines and wild 
flowers. You will be providing a 
home for many wild flowers and 
you will encourage birds and 
other wild animals to come there 
for food and covers. You will 
profit, your community will pro- 
  4. Prevent the contamination 
of your lakes and streams by 
cities and factories. Why permit 
industry to poison the aquatic 
aininals  and  plants  of  our 
streams and lakes? 
  5. Think twice before you sur- 
render your swamp, bog, or lake 
to a selfish, scheming, drainage 
engineer who doesn't know the 
difference between a cat and a 
cattail. Don't disturb the clian- 
nels o)f ymur streanms and rivcrs, 
and by all means protect the 
vegetation on their banks. D)on't 
continue selling your wild ani- 
muals and beautiful orchids down 
the river. 
  6. To those who are fortunate 
to own a cottage and silmne land 
on a lake shore, yot too canl be 
of great help in preserving wild 
tlowers. Protect those aquatic 
plants on y-our shore b\ not cut- 
ting them. Be tolerant of your 
wild flower neighbors an( gi ve 
them ,a chance in their rightful 
     Do Not Pick Flowers 
  7. Discourage all picking, cut- 
ting and digging up of wild flow- 
ers. People should be content to 
look at our remaining flowers in 
their native haunts and appreci- 
ate them there, instead of picking 
them, only to find them wilted 
and useless on bringing   them 
  8. Use your woodlot wisely! 
  Fo(r every tree you cut down, 
plant two in its place. On bare 
hills and slopes, and on land 
which is too poor for crops, 
plant native trees and shrubs. At 
the same time you will create a 
home for woodland flowers. 
  9. Restore the wild flowers and 
native landscape that once grew 
along your highways. Much of 
this has been destroyed by short- 
sighted engineers. The tourist 
business in Wisconsin is second 
in value only to our dairy indus- 
try. Now, if we can protect and 
encourage our wild flowers, we 
can bring back that floral para- 
(ise we once had. Then we can 
advertise them to the public as 
does California, whereby we will 
add tremendously to our tourist 
business from which we all, di- 
rectly, or indirectly, henefit. 
L AWN grass cannot le grown 
    in dense or complete shade 
Iecause the green leaves of lplants 
;imlily must have some sunshine. 
Hlowever, in partial shade it may 
be possible to improve the growth 
1f lawn grass by adding a coin- 
plete fertilizer such as 4-8-6, and 
also incorporating hutmus into the 
so il such as peat. Furthermore it 
i. often very dry amnvg trees. 
The leaves of the trees shed much 
,,f the rain and the tree roots use 
the hunms and fertility. 
  It may also be possible to trim 
!;()me of the branches ioff omr 
trees to let in more sunshine. 
Shade trees need not have low 
branches and they can be opened 
up to allow   stnshine to filter 
through. More water must be 
given grass in shady areas where 
there is competition from roots 
of trees or shrubs than in the 
open. In fact, water is one of the 
niost iml)ortant essentials for a 
good lawn. 
June, 1940 

Go up to Top of Page