10th anniversary annual meeting to feature talk on cranes

We’re having a party! Mark your calendar for our annual member meeting and celebration of our 10th anniversary on Saturday, January 21, 10 am – 12 noon at the Warner Park Community Recreation Center.

We are excited to announce that our special presentation this year will be Cranes: Ambassadors for Conservation, with Richard Beilfuss, President and CEO of the International Crane Foundation.

Cranes are among the most endangered families of birds in the world with 11 of the 15 crane species threatened and many populations in peril. We’ll explore the role of cranes as sentinels and flagships for conservation worldwide including protecting critical habitat areas for endangered whooping cranes on their wintering grounds in Texas. We’ll also highlight the unique story of crane recovery here in Wisconsin and the role of cranes in conserving some of our most treasured landscapes.

At 10 am, before the presentation, we’ll hold a short business meeting to celebrate our anniversary and elect directors for 2017-2018.

This event is free and family friendly. Everyone, member and non-member, is welcome to attend. If you need further enticement, we’ll have refreshments and our popular door prizes donated by local businesses plus some special children’s prizes.

Annual member meeting

Saturday, January 21
10:00 – 10:30 am—member meeting: accomplishments
and future plans, elect directors
10:30 – 11:30 am—Cranes: Ambassadors for Conservation, with Richard Beilfuss from the International Crane Foundation
11:30 – 11:45 am—Door prizes and social hour
Warner Park Community Recreation Center, 1625
Northport Dr, Madison 53704

We celebrate ten years!

Jan Axelson

In 2017, the Friends of Cherokee Marsh will celebrate our tenth anniversary as a nonprofit group. From its beginnings as a loose group of advocates responding to a development proposal, the Friends has grown to an organization with 200 members.

The event that sparked the group’s formation was a public meeting in 2006 where City of Madison staff introduced a proposed plan for Cherokee Park, Inc., to develop 260 acres in six parcels adjacent to Cherokee Marsh. Following the meeting, Northsiders Ellen Barnard and Pat Woicek began a conversation about the best way for the public to respond to the plan to protect the marsh as much as possible. Read more

Order your 10th anniversary T-shirt!

To celebrate our 10th anniversary, we decided to make a T-shirt! The design features our logo and the message Celebrating 10 years 2007 – 2017.

The shirts are white organic cotton with short sleeves and available in men’s and women’s sizes.

The shirts are available for a limited time only. We must receive your order by Dec 31, 2016. You can order by mail or online.

We expect to mail or deliver the shirts in late January/early February.

All profits from the shirts will go to support hands-on environmental education at Cherokee Marsh.

What we did in 2016

2016 was another busy year as we continued and expanded our activities to protect, preserve, and enjoy Cherokee Marsh. Here are some highlights.

We restored natural communities

Volunteers Tim Nelson and Jim Hughes take a break in the Cherokee Marsh State Natural Area.

In the Cherokee Marsh State Natural Area (SNA), in partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR), volunteers continued in our project to remove invasive giant reed grass (phragmites) from the high-quality wetlands. We also pulled garlic mustard in Cherokee Marsh Conservation Park with the Madison Area Weed Warriors and removed invasives and collected prairie seeds with County Park volunteers at Yahara Heights County Park.

Read more

Meet the director candidates for 2017–2018

Our Board of Directors is responsible for planning, coordinating, communicating and managing the activities of our organization. At our annual member meeting, members elect directors for the coming two years.

The board usually meets on the third Wednesday of the month at 5:30 pm at the Lakeview Branch of the Madison Public Library, 2845 N. Sherman Ave. All meetings are open to members and the public. To confirm the time or request an agenda, or if you’re interested in joining the board or helping out on a committee, contact Jan at (608) 215-0426 or janaxelson@gmail.com.

Directors Jan Axelson, Jim Krause, Paul Noeldner, Dick Walker, Anita Weier, and Dorothy Wheeler are in the middle of their 2-year terms and thus aren’t up for re-election.

Here are statements from the six announced candidates for six positions with terms that will end at our member meeting in January, 2019: Read more

Candlelight snowshoe hike scheduled

Our snowshoe event is back for 2017! Tour the marsh on snowshoes by candlelight. Then warm up with hot cider by the fire. Bring your own snowshoes. If there is no snow or little snow cover, the event will be a walk.

Sponsored by the Friends of Cherokee Marsh and Madison Parks. If you have questions or would like to help set up the event (we need volunteers!), contact  janaxelson@gmail.com or call (608) 215-0426.

Saturday, January 28, 6:30 – 8:30 pm (come anytime from 6:30 on)
Cherokee Marsh Conservation Park, North Unit. 6098
N. Sherman Ave. Travel north on N. Sherman Ave to the
main parking lot at the end of the gravel road.

Parks hopes to perform prescribed burns this fall

Here is a message from Madison Parks Conservation Resource Supervisor Paul Quinlan about plans for prescribed burns at Cherokee Marsh this fall:

Parks regularly conducts prescribed burns on conservation parks to restore and maintain prairie and savanna habitat. Our conservation staff is trained and experienced in proper techniques for igniting and controlling the fire, and managing impacts related to smoke. We have the proper equipment and we develop a burn plan for each management unit, which details our protocol and required weather conditions. We have also secured a permit from the Fire Department. Read more

Proposed project will remove phosphorus from stream beds


(image courtesy of Dane County)

County Executive Joe Parisi’s 2017 budget includes funding for a 4-year, $12 million project to use hydraulic dredging to remove phosphorus from stream beds, including the upper Yahara River and Token Creek upstream from Cherokee Marsh.

Phosphorus encourages algae growth that reduces water clarity and results in fish kills due to oxygen depletion caused by algae’s decomposing. Dredging the sediments will prevent them from making their way downstream into Cherokee Marsh and the Yahara Lakes. Read more

Conservation Park news and updates

caretakers_houseWe have updates and news about the North Unit’s restrooms, the caretaker’s house, and more.

Caretaker’s house to be replaced

Cherokee Marsh Conservation Park’s North Unit has long had an caretaker living on site to open and close the entry gate, perform maintenance such as mowing and plowing, and generally keep a watchful eye on things. The caretaker is a City employee, usually someone from Parks, who pays a reduced rent in exchange for the tasks performed. Read more