Ben Johnson

A lot has changed since Ben Johnson began volunteering with The Buckthorn Man at The Scuppernong Springs Nature Trail and the Ottawa Lake Fen SNA back in November of 2013.

He completed his Master’s Degree in Environmental Planning and Management at the University of Illinois at Springfield, in part by leveraging his volunteer work with me for his master’s thesis.  Ben no longer works at Waukesha Electric Systems, Inc. as a Transformer Test Technician, but rather, following his heart and dreams, he now works as a Land Survey Assistant with the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (SEWRPC) — his new career is headed on an exciting trajectory.

Ben’s philosophy hasn’t changed, and the results of his acting on those principles are becoming manifest not only in his career change but in his creation of the Waukesha Fox River Conservation Group (and on Facebook here.)

Ben has contributed in so many ways including: building and hanging almost 100 birdhouses, building and installing (with help from Karen Johnson) 4 benches and a series of steps down the sand dune at the Indian Campground, getting us off to a successful start on our first deck reconstruction project, rebuilding the deck at the springs just below the Scuppernong Spring, rebuilding 3 long sections of boardwalk (here, here and here), extracting 18′ foot oak beams from the old trout farm raceway, and cutting, piling and burning buckthorn (and I’m leaving a lot of stuff out!)

I am truly grateful for Ben’s volunteer contributions!  Thanks Ben.

I improved the trail while Ben applied the finishing touches.

I improved the trail while Ben applied the finishing touches.

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