Stewards of History
Since 2014, a team of apple enthusiasts has worked to conserve heritage apple trees that grow on the lands of the former Badger Army Ammunition Plant. Our "Apple Corps" volunteers have located, mapped and labeled more than 150 trees. Many pre-date the construction of the ammunition plant in 1942 and provide a living connection to a century of farm life on the Sauk Prairie.
Click the image to read an article on this project by Apple Corps founder Curt Meine.
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 and nursery maintenance. In 2020, the first trees from the nursery were presented to farm family descendants and also planted at several sites in and around Sauk Prairie.
More Apple Corps Links:
"The Historic Apple Trees of the Badger Army Ammunition Plant" - Wisconsin Public Radio, 2015
"Hoping to revive lost apple orchards, volunteers plant heirloom tree cuttings at former Badger Army Ammo plant" - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 2017
"Preserving Wisconsin's History of Apples" with Apple Corps advisor Dan Bussey - Wisconsin Public Radio, 2023