HOLLAND, Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – The Holland Sand Prairie is one of many pieces of land protected by the Mississippi Valley Conservancy, but invasive species are threatening natural wildlife in the area.

First News at Nine’s Alex Loroff shows us how some members here at FOX 2548 celebrated a special anniversary with a little yardwork.

The Mississippi Valley Conservancy is trying to protect land in the Coulee Region.

To do so, extra work is needed to maintain the area’s prairies.

Prairie enthusiast Jim Rogala says invasive species need to be continually removed from the holland sand prairie so wildlife can flourish.

“This site hasn’t been burned since probably the native Americans were burning it a long time ago, so all of these trees have invaded so the objective here is to make this as open as possible,” said Rogala.

Rogala wasn’t alone in clearing the prairie. He received a helping hand from FOX 2548 volunteers.

Jud Beck, FOX 2548 VP General Manager said, “We’ve got our employees out here and we’re trying to take invasive species out and clear this prairie and maintain it as it should be which is treeless.”

The effort was FOX 2548’s community service project as part of our parent company Nexstar’s Founder’s Day.

Founder’s Day Committee Chair Tori Charnetzki wanted to work with organizations that are distinctive to the region.

“What I love about the Friends of the Holland Sand Prairie and the Mississippi Valley Conservancy is I think they really highlight what’s unique to this area,” said Charnetzki.

Charnetzki adds the project will have long-term benefits.

“By the end of this day we will have cut down a lot of trees, we won’t have solved the invasive species problem, but I think there’s a real measurable impact and I hope they see that in years to come,” said Charnetzki.

Rogala was grateful for the extra help, which he says can be hard to come by.

“There’s only so much of us that are really dedicated so whenever we can get a group of volunteers to come and help that really increases our manpower, you wouldn’t believe how many hours are put into a property like this,” Rogala added.

Beck adds that the project fulfills a goal to give back to the community.

“We all love to serve this community and i think we all sort of chose this business for a lot of reasons, but I think a central core reason when you talk to most broadcasters is service to the community,” said Beck.

Anyone interested in joining the efforts to maintain the holland sand prairie can contact the Mississippi Valley Conservancy.

In Holland, Alex Loroff, First News at Nine.

This year’s Founder’s Day celebration marked the twenty-fifth anniversary of Nexstar.

Nexstar operates 199 stations reaching nearly seventy percent of the country.