Preservation and restoration

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The Token Creek Restoration Project

Cherokee Marsh Restoration Project

In 2008, the Madison Parks Division and Conservation Resources Supervisor Russ Hefty won the Wisconsin Wetlands Association‘s first annual Wetlands Enjoyment award. The award recognizes Parks’ work to protect the wetlands in Cherokee Marsh and encourage recreation such as fishing, paddling, birding, and hiking. The Friends of Cherokee Marsh nominated Parks and Supervisor Hefty for the award.

Cherokee Marsh Management Plan for Eastern Wetland. From the Parks Division.

Survey of the Cherokee Marsh Restoration Project by Jenna Lind, Molly Schneberger, and Rachael Steller. Student project documenting correlations between water depth and vegetation presence, species presence and biomass, and submergent aquatic cover on the wetland floor.

Wheeler Road Stormwater Ponds

Madison’s Engineering Division, in cooperation with Madison Parks, constructed two stormwater management ponds and a restored wetlands on City land north of Wheeler Road between Comanche Way and School Road.

The sign posted at the site

Plan details, 2010

Revised plan, Nov. 2011

Friends of Cherokee Marsh statement on the ponds

The Boardwalk

In 2005, most of the boardwalk that crossed a portion of the marsh was torn out due to maintenance issues and concerns about damage to the wetland.

More information

The Friends’ position paper on the boardwalk.

Lake Levels

This issue has its own page.

Airport project

Dane County Regional Airport earned an FAA environmental award for working to preserve the wetlands while extending the runway safety area along county highway CV. November 21, 2006.


The Cherokee Special Area Plan

The Cherokee Special Area Plan and maps (January 2007) from the City of Madison’s Planning Unit.

Burning Wood Way

The Madison Common Council has approved plans for three condo duplexes at the north end of Burning Wood Way. Final layout with landscaping and erosion control (4MB PDF). The latest word is that this site will have four single-family homes instead of condos. MINUTES: Long-Range Transportation Planning Commission (LRTPC). Thursday, December 21, 2006

Sub-area 5

On April 14, 2010, the City of Madison completed its purchase of 23 acres to add to Cherokee Marsh Conservation Park. The land is west of N. Sherman Ave., north of the golf course, and adjoining the Conservation Park’s south boundary. Newsletter article.

The campaign to protect the marsh in the 1950s and 1960s

In 1968, Ruth Baumann of the Institute of Governmental Affairs at the UW-Extension published a detailed history of Cherokee Marsh in the 1950s and 1960s. The purpose of the history, titled Cherokee Marsh: Win – Draw – Compromise?, was to show the challenges of making public policy in the face of competing interests. As an example, Ms. Baumann tells the story of the campaign to protect the marsh and its surrounding uplands. Cherokee Marsh: Win – Draw – Compromise?


UW Researchers Intercept Sediments

UW researchers Chin Wu and Khurran Khan, PhD. candidate, have been studying the movement of sediments in the upper Yahara River at Cherokee Marsh. In Oct. 2011, in cooperation with the WDNR and Madison Parks, the team installed an experimental, temporary “floating bog interceptor” (FBI) along the north shore of Cherokee Lake. The interceptor blocked wave action and changed the direction of flow in the area. Preliminary data collected suggests that during a short time period, the FBI has played an important role in capturing sediments. Photos and preliminary data Sediment Dynamics at Cherokee Marsh Newsletter article (June/July 2012)

More resources

More resources for learning about and becoming involved with watershed preservation and restoration