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To Protect and Preserve Natural and Scenic Chippewa County Lands.


Join Steve Betchkal for a Bird Hike and Presentation on Bird Migration at 2015 Annual Meeting

The birds at Joas Preserve and the story of bird migration will be the highlights of a Chippewa County Land Conservancy program on Tuesday, May 12 in Lake Hallie and Chippewa Falls. A tour and bird hike at the Joas Park Nature Preserve in Lake Hallie will begin at 5 PM, followed by a presentation at 7 PM in the Trinity United Methodist Church Gathering Room in Chippewa Falls.

Leading the bird hike and later presenting a program on bird migration is Steve Betchkal, a local author, bird enthusiast, and naturalist. Betchkal, of Eau Claire, is a photojournalist and columnist whose articles have appeared in many regional publications. He’s also president of the regional Audubon Society chapter.

The event will begin at the trailhead for the Chippewa County Land Conservancy’s Joas Park Nature Preserve at 5 PM. Participants may walk ½ mile from the trailhead to the preserve or take a shuttle. The trailhead is at 300 Old Eau Claire Rd, Chippewa Falls. It is just north of the entrance to Casper Park on the southwest side of Chippewa Falls. (See Map)

After the tour and bird hike at Joas Preserve, participants will re-convene at 7 PM at the Trinity United Methodist Church Gathering Room where Steve Betchkal will present a program on bird migration. The church is at 201 W Central St., Chippewa Falls.

Betchkal is author of Make Birds Not War: Step by Step Instructions for Saving the World a Birder at a Time and All of This and Robins Too: A Guide to the 50 or So Best Places to Find Birds in Wisconsin. He’s also produced a series of web-based educational videos covering topics related to wild birds for the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology. These videos display Steve’s videography skills while dealing with a diverse range of topics that teach about birds.

In preparation for the future recreational trail, Conservancy volunteers have developed a trail network that provides access throughout the Joas Preserve and its trout stream, pond, marsh, and woodlands. Currently, access is only available via a ½ mile walk southeast along the former rail corridor from Old Eau Claire Rd.

The 52 acre Joas Park Nature Preserve was acquired by the Conservancy in 2010 with assistance from the Chippewa County Stewardship Fund. It lies between the Union Pacific tracks on the east and the former Canadian National rail corridor on the west on the northern edge of Lake Hallie.

Refreshments will be served at the church. Participants are welcome to attend either the hike or presentation or both.

The Chippewa County Land Conservancy protects and preserves wild and scenic lands in Chippewa County and surrounding areas. The conservancy owns several parcels in the Chippewa Falls area which are islands of habitat as well as places for passive recreation and nature study.

For more information contact Richard Smith, 715-967-2164, or visit