News from Cherokee Marsh: June 2008


Recent events in and around Cherokee Marsh include approval of a new development next to Cherokee Marsh Conservation Park, work on two natural area restorations, and support for lower lake levels to help preserve the marsh.

Development News

Madison’s Common Council has approved plans for developing the Cherokee Park neighborhood’s Fifth Addition. The development will be off N. Sherman Ave., north of the Cherokee Country Club golf course. The plan, from developer Cherokee Park, Inc., includes 47 single-family lots on 26 acres. The plan includes wetland buffers and exceeds state and local requirements for stormwater management. The City is buying the remainder of the approximately 40-acre property to add to Cherokee Marsh Conservation Park.

Volunteer Projects

This spring volunteers helped with two projects to restore wetland and prairie in and around the marsh. The Friends of Cherokee Marsh helped plant 1000 seedlings of native lake sedge in a wetland near County Hwy CV and the airport. The planting is part of a restoration made possible when Hwy CV was realigned to improve runway safety. We learned that parts of the marsh have a layer of absorbent peat as thick as 60 feet.

Volunteers with Dane County’s adult conservation team helped broadcast seed for little bluestem prairie grass in a former corn field in Yahara Heights County Park on the north bank of the Yahara River. As time and funds permit, the county is restoring farm fields in the park to prairie. To access the park, traveling north on Hwy 113, turn right onto River Rd. and then take an immediate right onto Catfish Ct. The restoration is just east of the dog exercise area.

Lake Levels

Madison’s Board of Park Commissioners has approved a statement of support for maintaining Lake Mendota at its minimum summer level as an initial step in protecting the wetlands at Cherokee Marsh. The Board has also requested a longer term review of the lake-level issue.