We are really happy to report that another wonderful piece of the Wisconsin River has been permanently protected.  This morning Nancy Heiden, a founder of Groundswell Conservancy and lifelong conservationist, generously donated a 13-acre parcel of land on the south side of the river to Groundswell.

Nancy said that she is delighted to donate the property.  “This donation has been a long time coming.  My family and I enjoyed the property for many years.  It was part of many wonderful adventures we had on the Wisconsin River.  I was one of the founders of Groundswell Conservancy back in 1983 when several conservationists came together to form the Dane County Natural Heritage Foundation.  This donation makes perfect sense for me.”

The property includes 800 feet of shoreline on the river.  It features a large “sand blow” which is a specialized wildlife habitat that occurs on unstable sandy areas.  While much of the property is now relatively lightly covered by oak and pine trees, aerial photos from the 1930s show that the property and the surrounding land used to be nearly treeless.

With Nancy’s permission, Groundswell will place a perpetual conservation easement on the property. The easement will limit development of the property. While the property has had buildings on it over the years, it is currently vacant.  The easement will limit development to a small house or cabin.  This structure will have to be located away from the river and out of the delicate “sand blow” habitat.  We will offer the restricted property for sale to a conservation-minded landowner later this year.  The proceeds from the sale will support our conservation work for years to come.