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Prairie du Chien Boy Scouts help at Kickapoo Caverns Nature Preserve

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Members of Prairie du Chien Boy Scouts Troop 320 helped with installation of a new interpretive display at the Kickapoo Caverns nature preserve near Wauzeka. The display provides visitors with educational information about bat ecology, karst geology, and the history of the cave. Shown from left to right are (back row) Scout Leader Mike Mara, Kevin Stout, and Alex McNerney, and (front row) Aaron Stout, and Nathan Stout. (Photo Courtesy of Mississippi Valley Conservancy)

WAUZEKA, WI – On a hot and sunny Saturday (6/3), members of Prairie du Chien Boy Scout Troop 320 volunteered a day of service to Mississippi Valley Conservancy as preparations were being made for educational tours of the Kickapoo Caverns nature preserve in July. The scouts were assisted by Troop Leader Mike Mara and several adult volunteers. The work entailed removal of shelving and fixtures from the former gift shop plus installation of new interpretive display panels that tell about the natural history of the cave and how it has touched the lives of native wildlife and human beings.
Kickapoo Caverns, an 83-acre nature preserve near Wauzeka, includes one of Wisconsin’s longest cave systems and serves as a hibernation site for several increasingly rare bat species. Tours of the cave at the nature preserve were suspended for several years during the recent pandemic, but the Conservancy’s efforts to restore wildlife habitat and create a better educational experience for cave visitors continued. With support from the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin and the Crawford County Community Fund, planning and development of the new interpretive display are nearly complete. A final step in the installation process will be a display of geological and archaeological information that reveal more about the history of the cave.
On Saturday, July 22, guided Bat Ecology Cave Tours will once again be offered at Kickapoo Caverns nature preserve to share information about the beneficial role of bats and the importance of protecting their native habitats. Advance registration is required for the free public tours that will be conducted at four times on the same day. Online registration is available at www.mississippivalleyconservancy.org/events.
The Bat Ecology Cave Tours are part of Mississippi Valley Conservancy’s 2023 Linked to the Land program. All of the activities take place on nature preserves protected by the Conservancy. This year’s program is made possible by community support from Olson Solar Energy and WXOW/News 19.

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