We are happy to share the news that our on-going partnership with landowners and Dane County resulted today, November 20, 2020, in a new streambank and trail easement on Halfway Prairie Creek on the east side of the Village of Mazomanie.

This ten-acre easement has two purposes: streambank restoration and extension of a popular hike/bike trail. It adjoins the Wolf Run Trail that connects Mazomanie with Wisconsin Heights School.

Mazomanie is located near the bottom of the Black Earth Creek watershed and is especially vulnerable to flooding as our climate and land uses change. The community was very hard hit during the big flood two years ago next month. The easement allows the county to work with the landowner to restore more than 1,000 feet of Halfway Prairie Creek, reconnecting the creek to its floodplain and also improving fish habitat.

The Wolf Run Trail is part of an ambitious trail that will one day connect Madison and Middleton with Sauk City and Reedsburg, passing through Cross Plains, Black Earth, and Mazomanie. This easement is another link in the chain.

Wolf Run Trail volunteer, Jason Sromovsky, shot and produced this wonderful video of the Wolf Run Trail and the Black Earth Creek wetland corridor.

This is the second time that landowner Fred Wolf has protected land for the public good. As Fred put it, “I am just proud to be part of this work.  It is in my family blood to do this.  I saw an 80-year-old couple on the trail, with smiles on their faces. That is why I do this.”

Click here to watch a short video about the first Wolf Run Trail segment.

Mazomanie Village Administrator Peter Huebner described the importance of the easement to the Village. “This easement along Halfway Prairie Creek/Spring Valley Creek would be a great benefit for the Village of Mazomanie. The benefits are twofold: it would increase the creek’s effectiveness of holding back floodwaters, and the resulting trail would add to the enjoyment of those that already use our trails.”

Funding to purchase the easement came from the Dane County Conservation Fund and supporters of Groundswell.