Cherokee Marsh is a Wetland Gem
The Wisconsin Wetlands Association has declared Cherokee Marsh a wetland gem.
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.
Posted with permission from UW-Extension, Cooperative Extension.
1970s Survey of Plants and Animals
For over a decade beginning in 1969, volunteers Maarit H. Threlfall, Lu Severson, and Don Samuelson documented the plants and animals in what is now the North Unit of Cherokee Marsh Conservation Park. These are the documents we have from the surveys. The text in the files is searchable.
Plants of Cherokee Marsh, undated.
Plant and Animal Survey in Cherokee Marsh, 1973, a Preliminary Report.
Birds of Cherokee Marsh, 1973.
Hydric soils in Dane County. A hydric soil is a soil that formed under conditions of saturation, flooding, or ponding long enough during the growing season to develop anaerobic (without oxygen) conditions in the upper part.
Map of Cherokee Lake, 1968. Shows the spits of land that defined the lake’s boundary after it was created by dredging wetlands. All of that land has eroded away except for the oak island (the circle marked “PW”).
Cherokee Lake in 1962 (aerial photo). Shows dredging in progress.
Cherokee Lake in 1968 (aerial photo).
In 1974, the Dane County Regional Plan Commission in cooperation with the Wisconsin DNR researched and published a book titled The Wetlands of Dane County, Wisconsin. The book describes and evaluates the county’s wetlands.
Cherokee Marsh maps and descriptions from the book:
Dane County Water Resources. Map showing the watershed and marshes lost since 1905.
The book is available in local libraries.