News from Cherokee Marsh: August 2008


The news from Cherokee Marsh this month includes the awarding of two grants to help the marsh, new information signs for boaters, and reports about recent and upcoming activities.

Grants to Help the Marsh

The Friends of Cherokee Marsh received a $7200 River Protection Planning Grant from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. The Friends will use the grant for a variety of projects including working with the Wisconsin Natural Heritage Land Trust to identify land for protection, sponsoring talks and creating educational materials, and strengthening the group by applying for Federal non-profit status.

Dane County will use funds from the North American Wetlands Conservation Act to restore 32 acres of “old field” in the Cherokee Marsh Natural Resource Area to native prairie. The land is south of River Road, just northeast of the Madison Country Day School.

New Boating Informational Signs for the Upper Yahara River

Boaters, watch for new information signs at the School Road boat landing and in the river at the Hwy 113 bridge. The signs explain that the Yahara River is “no wake” from Hwy 113 upstream to the mouth of Token Creek. Red and white striped buoys mark the river boundary with Cherokee Lake adjacent to the Cherokee Park neighborhood. The no-wake restriction was enacted by local ordinances and approved by the Department of Natural Resources in 1995. During times of high water, Dane County also declares Cherokee Lake as no wake to protect the shoreline from erosion.

Tour and Hike Report

On a perfect evening in June, paddlers had a chance to tour the Yahara River and Cherokee Marsh in two large “voyageur” canoes on loan from the Department of Natural Resources. The tour was part of Dane County’s Take a Stake in the Lakes weeks.

Also in June, on a butterfly hike in Cherokee Marsh Conservation Park’s North Unit, folks who braved the mosquitoes (a brisk breeze helped) spotted creatures with wonderful names like the Great Spangled Fritillary, Pearl Crescent, Baltimore Checkerspot, Spring Azure, and more. The hike was sponsored by the Southern Wisconsin Butterfly Association and the Madison Audubon Society.