GREEN’S PRAIRIE CEMETERY ASSOCIATION
2016 ANNUAL REPORT
TOWN OF YORK, GREEN COUNTY WISCONSIN
The Green’s Prairie Cemetery Association continues to be very active in its responsibility to care for the GPC. It is a privilege to preserve this great prairie remnant under the auspices of the Town of York Board. The Officers, Directors and friends of GPC spend many volunteer hours maintaining, restoring and enhancing the original plants and the stones of GPC.
This unique piece of ground contains about a one acre remnant of the former 5000 thousand acre York Prairie which is considered to be a deep soil mesic prairie; ie: great agriculture land. Herein is contained some of the earliest history of the settlers of the Towns of York, Adams and Primrose. The stones of the interred indicate that this community burial site preceded churches and most family cemeteries. We continue to provide informational paperwork about GPC in the Green Box to the left of the Stile. This information is regularly replenished as it is utilized. Some special activities at GPC included the annual burn, our annual afternoon Memorial Day event, invasive plant eradication and prairie plant restoration, seed collection and field trips..
A very large well trained burn crew of 16 completed the task on April 17, 2016. This was the first year in 26 years that John Ochsner was unable to supervise the burn. He had been at GPC ahead of time to weed whack around all the stones and create several circle refuges for the critters to move for safety.. The day of the burn found John in the hospital having heart surgery. He is back volunteering and doing quite well. Jerry Newman stopped by to take pictures of our efforts.
No stones were reset or repaired by Pechmann Memorials because of their extremely busy schedule in 2016. We still have a contract in place for no more than $900 to repair the vandal damaged stones and other repairs. They certainly hope, as we do, that this task can be completed in early 2017 before we burn. At the September 6, 2016 monthly meeting of TPE/PBC, a motion was made and passed to donate $500 toward stone repair at GPC.
Memorial Day 2016 was a beautiful day to gather at GPC. About 70 individuals enjoyed presentations by Dave Green and Tom Mitchell. Dave spoke about the places from which the early settlers emanated prior to arriving here. Tom Mitchell spoke about one of our “War of 1812” veterans. We capped our time with a special Quilt of Valor presentation to US NAVY veteran, Town of York Board Chairman, Dan Reeson. This was a real surprise to Dan. Tom Boyd, Dan’s brother in law and fellow Navy mate was extremely helpful in securing the information needed to complete the QOV paperwork. Vicki Sasso and Sue Levan-Green made the presentation. This quilt is one of a kind and is signed by the maker. Many of Dan’s family members helped us honor him. Thereafter, newcomers were visiting about GPC While several toured the cemetery to view the plants and stones. Thankfully, we have very competent plant specialists to identify the plants by appearance, give their common and Latin names.
Here is a special note about preparation at GPC .for the 2016 Memorial Day activity: Jodie Bubenzer provided the Bunting hung on the fence. Dave Green provided the War of 1812 flag. Keith Wenger bailed Dave Green out of a difficult mowing job in front of the cemetery along Postville Road since no cutting had been done at that time by the patrolrman.
GPCA held its annual meeting last Saturday, September 10, 2016 at the Gartzke family cabin on Hanna Road. Those present included Dave Green, John Ochsner, Paul Lokken, James MacDonald, Dan Gartzke and Bill Kuenzi. We discussed the 2015-16 activity at GPC, our current status as an organization, proposed plans for the future and election of officers. We were saddened by the health situation of Dick and Marilyn Jaeger that has forced them to sell, move and Marilyn resign as the GPCA Secretary.
The unaudited Treasurer’s report was given by Dan Gartzke. Our current checking account balance is $1649.46. Our CD which matures next spring has a value of $4856.72.
We have formed a Botany Committee consisting of John Ochsner, Tom Mitchell and James MacDonald who will be consulted prior to any reseeding that is to be accomplished. This will guarantee the integrity of the prairie as it was in the 1800’s. (call on James MacDonald to address seed collection and species available for reseeding along with his and Heidi Hankley’s work as stewards of the DNR Town of York properties).
We request that the Board make a motion to direct us to pursue a WI Historical Society signage for GPC. We have begun researching this topic. The Town will need to make the application, but we can do the preparation work and then bring it to you for adoption and submission. We suggest ordering a 36” by 24”, one or two sided, sign with 848 letters on each side. The cost will be $1690 or $1860. TPE/PBC has offered to raise some money for the sign. Chuck Bauer has already made a donation and will consider making a further donation. Others have also expressed an interest in donating to this project. (Call on Dave Green).
Election results for 2016-17 include: David Green, President, Bill Kuenzi, Secretary, Dan Gartzke, Treasurer, Chuck Bauer is our new 3 year Director. Chuck has happily accepted this position. Directors still in office are James MacDonald-2 years and Paul Lokken with 1 year remaining on his term.
William E Kuenzi Jr., GPCA Secretary