Meet our staff and board
Greg Jones, Board President and Events Committee Chair
Greg was a Land Surveyor for 30 years with the City of Madison's Engineering division. He and his wife, Linda, bought property north of Barneveld in 2004. In 2010 they finished their house and moved in the house with 22 acres. They have been managing about 5 acres of prairie and 17 acres of woodland and forest on our property for the past 15 years. When it comes to prairie plants, Greg loves white baptisia, though anything in the Silphium genus is a close second.
Josh Pletzer, BMAP Outreach Ecologist
As the Outreach Ecologist, Josh guides BMAP members as they work to achieve their conservation goals. Josh received a Bachelor of Science in Ecology and Environmental Biology from the University of Wisconsin—Eau Claire. Since then, he has worked with several nonprofit organizations, large and small, who are dedicated to ecological restoration. He also works as a Restoration Ecologist with a local restoration consulting and contracting company. Josh lives in Stoughton with his wife and pets, and his hobbies include vegetable gardening and trying to pack as many native plant species into their small yard as he can. Josh will always struggle to pick only one favorite plant, but when pressed he’ll usually pick rattlesnake master—a species that stands out both in name and visual character amidst its native companions.
Brooke Lewis, Board Member and Communications Committee Chair
Brooke was always more of an animal person, working as a certified veterinary technician and licensed wildlife rehabilitator for most of her professional life. In 2017 Brooke and her husband Jon purchased property north of Barneveld and the world of plants opened up to her when they began restoring their 32 acres of woodland and prairie habitat. Brooke earned her Master Naturalist certification in 2021, and in her free time enjoys hiking, bird watching, traveling, sewing, and gardening with native plants. Brooke’s favorite plants are the milkweeds, specifically butterfly weed, because of the fun of watching for monarch caterpillars!
Mark Rauls, Treasurer and Board Member
Mark is a retired electrical engineer who has always preferred being outdoors when not tied down to a corporate desk job. In early 2000 Mark bought 18 acres in eastern Iowa County with the goal of building a retirement home and living there full-time once retired. Mark is now retired, living on the property with his partner Connie and learning how to manage their land which has grown to almost 59 acres of woodland. Vaguely understanding the need to manage the land back in 2000, Mark and Connie finally got more serious about land management in recent years. Their main focus is on invasive plants, removing less desirable trees, and helping the native woodland plants and wildlife thrive. Mark and Connie attended their first BMAP property tours in 2022 and got so much value from the experience that Mark volunteered to be a BMAP board member and Treasurer, doing whatever he can to help this great organization thrive. Mark appreciates prairie as much as woodland, but if he had to pick a favorite plant it would be a grove of white pine trees for the sound they make in the wind, their pine scent, and the sheltered feeling they provide walking among them. White oak is a second favorite as it makes excellent quarter-sawn lumber for his woodworking projects and provides low-cost heat when converting dead or storm-damaged trees into firewood.
Bill Sonzogni, Secretary and Board Member
Bill is a retired professor from the UW-Madison’s Environmental Chemistry and Technology Program (formerly called Water Chemistry) and concurrently directs the Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene’s facility on the east side of Madison. He loves being outdoors, enjoying fly fishing for trout, birding and hiking. He and his wife Robby have a small property in eastern Grant County with a rustic cabin - a place in the Driftless that they spend time at whenever they can. A visit by the BMAP Ecologist a number of years ago was a big help in learning how to manage the property, as they are trying to establish a small prairie plot here. Bill likes the color blue and is sometimes seen driving around in his 1991 blue Miata. No surprise that Virginia bluebells and lupine are among his favorite flowers.
Sarah Crittenden, Board Member
Sarah studies stem cell biology in UW-Madison’s Biochemistry Department. She and her husband, Alex, live north of Cross Plains and love being a part of a hilly woodland which includes beautiful bur oaks. The woodland has been a great playground for their two daughters as well as an excuse to be outside as much as possible. Sarah and Alex enjoy walking in the woods and watching for everything from morels to garlic mustard and all sorts of wildlife. They have also recently started a small prairie adjacent to the woods. Sarah’s favorite plant is the Bur Oak - she especially likes their gnarled branches and the birds that visit them.
Stephen Gauger, Board Member
Steve had never heard about nor set-foot upon a prairie until 1972 when he and his wife Aimee moved to WI. Steve has worked for the state of WI as a budget analyst specializing in natural resource issues and as the Secretary of the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands until his retirement. Steve and Aimee have raised a family and still live on their rural Mt. Horeb property. Overtime, they realized why they and their kids love the outdoors so much and, with the help of a BMAP Ecologist site visit, are now active land stewards. Steve is excited at this new chapter as a BMAP Board Member and the opportunity to not only work the land, but to meet like-minded people. Steve's favorite plants are Canadian thistle and garlic mustard (he says they keep him in shape).
Linda Millunzi-Jones, Board Member
Linda received her BS in Recreation Resource Management from UW Madison in 1974. After returning from a stretch in Alaska, she retired as a Special Education Assistant from Madison Public Schools in 2015 and later received certification as a Master Naturalist through The Prairie Enthusiasts at the Schurch-Thomson Prairie in 2018. She is passionate about prairie and woodland restoration on her land and home in Iowa County, along with old time fiddling. Linda has found “that Nature provides answers to many of life's questions if I stop, look, listen and take notes.” Linda's favorite plant is Aralia racemosa, or spikenard. Great name, great plant.
All possible because of our members