On December 13, we purchased approximately 200 acres in Rock County (click for map) and gave it to the DNR to be added to the Avon Bottoms State Wildlife Area. The property will be restored to native wetland and upland habitats in the coming year by the Natural Resources Conservation Service through the Wetlands Reserve Program and is open to public for hiking, birdwatching, hunting, and other recreational activities.

Avon Bottoms Wildlife Area is quickly becoming one of southern Wisconsin’s premier public natural areas. Boasting nearly 3000 acres of public lands along the Sugar River, it is home to many rare plants and animals and has been designated a Wisconsin Important Bird Area by the Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative. This property is adjacent to a roughly 350-acre property we permanently protected in 2006.

Because of the generosity of the landowner, we were able to purchase this property at 50% of the fair market value. Funding for this project came from the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship program and members of Groundswell.