Since 2014 a team of apple enthusiasts—the “Badger Apple Corps”—has worked to conserve heritage apple trees that grow on lands of the former Badger Army Ammunition Plant. Our Apple Corps volunteers have located, mapped, and labeled more than 150 apple trees. (See the Badger apple tree map below.) Many pre-date the construction of the ammunition plant and provide a living connection to Sauk Prairie farm life going back more than eighty years. In 2017 the Apple Corps began to propagate these trees by collecting cuttings, grafting them, and establishing a tree nursery in cooperation with the USDA Dairy Forage Research Center. Descendants of the displaced farm families, as well as other community members, have joined in grafting workshops, tree-planting in the nursery, and nursery maintenance. In 2020 and 2021, the first trees from the nursery were presented to descendants and also planted at several sites in and around Sauk Prairie.
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Of Connection and Renewal – The Historic Apple Trees of the Badger Army Ammunition Plant
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