Historic cemetery will improve bird habitat with grant support

Tropical Wings provides funding for plantings and educational efforts.




2 minute read

Courtesy Wolf Creek Cemetery

The Wolf Creek Cemetery, 12 miles north of St Croix Falls on the River Road, will receive a $500 grant to improve the habitat for migratory birds from Tropical Wings at the Migration Celebration May 13 and 14 at the Phipps Center in Hudson, WI, Friday 6-8 p.m. and Saturday 8-noon. The award will be Friday with displays of each of the grantees plans. Many activities each day for kids and adults, including a bird walk, banding, and a tropical rain forest recreation. The emphasis is on migrating birds. Free and open to the public. 

The focus of Tropical Wings is the welfare of migratory birds shared between the Upper Midwest and Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula.  As a shared resource these birds play a vital role in the web of life and depend on quality habitat along and at both ends of their migration to thrive.  Tropical Wings is committed to engaging citizens in celebrating and sustaining this natural phenomenon through education and habitat preservation both in Costa Rica and the Upper Midwest.  That includes grants for habitat restoration and improvement along the St Croix Riverway.  

The 1857 cemetery began along the old River Road trail, at the southern edge of the Sterling Sand barrens along the St Croix River. At the time, the barrens were primarily bluestem prairies, a place the Ojibwa called Moscodeng (flower covered prairie).  The area was settled by loggers and farmers in the 1850s through the 1890s, but the thin sandy soil wore out from continuous wheat crops and by the 1890s was blowing away and folks moved out. With fire control and tree planting, the open habitat disappeared replaced by jackpine, aspen and oak forests.  

The cemetery’s goal is to be a 4-B friendly place; burials, birds, bees and butterflies. There are plans for a small prairie restoration area in an unused corner.  A brochure will encourage grave decorations with natural flowers as well birdhouses under hanging flower pots. The new trees and shrubs planted in the cemetery will include those best suited for good habitat.  Access to water will be through a bird bath or water feature.  

The cemetery also hopes to establish a “best practices” brochure and designation for other cemeteries to follow.  With dozens of cemeteries in the St Croix River Valley, what a great possibility we have for making them destination sites for the migratory wildlife in our own neighborhoods. 

You can read about Tropical Wings at https://tropicalwings.org/  For more information on the Wolf Creek Cemetery, check out our Facebook page at  https://www.facebook.com/Wolf-Creek-Cemetery-115388073164926/   Contact wolfcreekcemetery@gmail.com


One response to “Historic cemetery will improve bird habitat with grant support”

  1. Allison Mcginnis Avatar
    Allison Mcginnis

    Sustainable Stillwater MN Org also received a $1000 grant to improve bird habitat along the shores of Lily Lake in Stillwater


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Historic cemetery will improve bird habitat with grant support