• BHG Lecture Series 2023-2024 has a NEW DAY! 2nd Wednesdays of each month, September to May •

Questions about attending? Contact


Hybrid talks occur on the 2nd Wednesday of each month, September to May

Attend in-person in the Museum or Zoom in (links below)!

September 13, 2023 – 7:00 pm

Native Art and Culture at Maa Wákąčąk, presented by Melanie Tallmadge-Sainz (Ho Chunk).

Melanie is a visual artist, an art educator, and the founding Director of Little Eagle Arts Foundation (LEAF). She was born in Baraboo and raised in the Wisconsin Dells area. Her parents Roger Tallmadge (Dakota) and Bernadine Miner Tallmadge (Ho-Chunk) worked at the “Powder Plant” in the late 1940s and later operated the Winnebago Public Indian Museum from 1953 to 2000. Since 2019 LEAF has leased the old firehouse on the Ho-Chunk tribal land called Maa Wakacak (Ho-Chunk place name meaning sacred land). Along with being a working art studio, Maa Wakacak Art Studio hosts a variety of cultural gatherings for tribal members, public pop-up and Fall Art Tour art markets, educational workshops, and tours for visitors throughout the spring, summer, and fall months. Melanie will share her journey as a cultural arts professional and a creative community builder through images and stories.

Image caption: Melanie is in front of a ciporoke, holding one of her hand-crafted bags by the Maa Wakacak Art Studio. (Image: Beth Skogen Photography)


October 11, 2023 – 7:00 pm

Badger Contamination and Cleanup, presented by Joel Janssen.

Joel is a hydrogeologist for SpecPro, Inc. and oversees the sampling program for the four groundwater contaminant plumes and monitoring of the closed landfills at the former Badger Army Ammunition Plant. Joel will speak about how the cleanup of Badger has progressed since it’s 1997 closure. It will include the subjects of the buildings demolished, soil/groundwater remediation, and land restoration. Joel graduated from Winona State University in 1991 with a BS in Geology and Math minor.  Since 2002, he has worked at the former Plant area as an Army contractor. Over the past 21 years, he has conducted dozens of soil and groundwater investigations at Badger. He’s  given technical presentations at Army public meetings for 18 years.

Image caption: Fire hydrant in the Maa Wakacak grassland – reminder of the giant Badger industrial facility, and its underground legacy. (Image: Mike Mossman)

Zoom link pending.

November 8, 2023 – 7:00 pm

Converging Histories: Community, Conservation, and the Badger Reuse Process, 1997-2002, presented by Curt Meine.

More than twenty years ago, a diverse group of community members and organizational representatives came together to try to forge a vision for the reuse of the decommissioned Badger Army Ammunition Plant lands. The Badger reuse process succeeded despite the complex legacies inherent in the landscape and the quite varied perspectives among those interested in its future. In retrospect, that success built upon and reflected particular strengths in Sauk County and Wisconsin’s conservation community, trends that were emerging in conservation more generally, and other collaborative land stewardship efforts in Wisconsin and beyond. Curt will look back at the reuse process and place it in this broader context.

Curt is a conservation biologist, environmental historian, and writer based here in Sauk County. He serves as Senior Fellow with the Aldo Leopold Foundation and the Center for Humans and Nature; as Research Associate with the International Crane Foundation; and as Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has authored and edited several books, including the award-winning biography Aldo Leopold: His Life and Work (1988/2010) and The Driftless Reader (2017).

Image caption: The Farmer’s Memorial, remembering the 80 families evicted in 1942, stands in front of a young orchard of Badger apple trees planted on Maa Wakacak and original Plant guard house in background. (Image: Heather Sonntag)

Zoom link pending.

December 13, 2023 – 7:00 pm

Stewardship of Maa Wákąčąk

Presented by Randy Poelma, Environmental Sciences Program Manager of the Ho-Chunk Nation

Image credit: Heather Sonntag

Zoom link pending.

January 10, 2024 – 7:00 pm

Cartoon Propaganda in WW II

Presented by Mike Mossman, wildlife biologist, founding member of BHG, and President of BHG Board

Zoom link pending.

February 14, 2024 – 7:00 pm

Ball Powder Production

Presented by Frank Wolf, retired BAAP Chief Modernization Project Engineer and BHG Treasurer

Zoom link pending.

March 13, 2024 – 7:00 pm

The Kingston Cemetery and Free Thinkers Hall

Presented by Orie Eilertson, BHG Vice President and Volunteer BHG Archivist

Zoom link pending.

April 10, 2024 – 7:00 pm

Buildings on the BOW Site in January 1942

Presented by Verlyn Mueller, Director and Curator of the Museum of Badger Army Ammunition and BHG Archivist

Zoom link pending.

May 8, 2024 – 7:00 pm

Badger Stories to tell, Culled from Forty Years of Research and Writing

Presented by Michael Goc, award-winning author of Powder, People and Place: Badger Ordnance Works and the Sauk Prairie and BHG Newsletter Editor

Zoom link pending.