Here is something to be thankful for as 2018 comes to a close: a conservation-minded landowner working with Groundswell to permanently protect important land and water. Today, December 5, 2018, we purchased 36 acres of land on Swan Creek from landowner Brian Pasley.

A fourth generation landowner, Brian has been determined to protect the last remaining part of his family’s farm upstream from Waubesa Wetlands. Brian told me he was motivated by the impending development of land in the City of Fitchburg, some of which is in the headwaters of Waubesa Wetlands. Over the next few years, more than one square mile of farmland and rural open space will be transformed into a new neighborhood, bringing changes to the quality and quantity of water heading into Waubesa Wetlands via Swan Creek.

We will be remembering Brian’s family’s history on the property in our name for it, Pasley’s Swan Creek Farm.

We are now working with Robert Pierce and Neighborhood Food Solutions to locate some of Robert’s innovative agricultural programming on the property – creating a place for kids and adults to learn about where food comes from and how to grow it.

We were able to purchase the property thanks to Brian’s generosity in selling the land to us at a discount, along with funding from the Dane County Conservation Fund, Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program, the estate of Marie Fraser, two anonymous donors, and the supporters of Groundswell who help make these conservation successes possible.