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Dineo Dowd loves Patrick Marsh: “It’s like a dream come true to live right next to such a beautiful land. The trails are well maintained and it’s a peaceful land to walk all year around.” Dineo should know; she and her family are Sun Prairie residents and avid explorers of great local places. And she is the Madison representative for Hike It Baby, an organization dedicated to getting families together and out into nature with birth to school-age kids.

We hope it will be welcome news to Dineo and you that on October 31, 2018 we purchased 25 acres on the northwest side of Patrick Marsh on the eastern doorstep of Sun Prairie.

This property was identified as a high priority for acquisition going back to Dane County’s 2003 Patrick Marsh Plan. The land occupies a low hill rising above the wildlife viewing platform and main trail into the wildlife area.  Restoration of the property will expand outdoor learning opportunities for students, nesting habitat for waterfowl and grassland birds, and add to the abundance of prairie flowers needed for pollinators like monarch butterflies. It is also a great place to add a scenic overlook and trail tying into the existing trails at the marsh.

Sun Prairie major Paul Esser has been a strong advocate for adding this land to Patrick Marsh. “I am so pleased that the purchase has been finalized. This addition to Patrick Marsh will benefit the people of northeast Dane County for years to come while providing much needed habitat for many members of the wildlife community.”

The City of Sun Prairie will be the long-term owner of the property. Groundswell, Patrick Marsh Conservancy, and our volunteers will partner with the city to plant the land to prairie and add the hiking trail. If you’d like to join our monthly outdoor volunteering activities at Patrick Marsh, please sign-up for our volunteer emails.

We am thankful to the landowner, Tom Hanley, for selling the property to us at discount.

Strong support from the community made this purchase possible. Many thanks to these funders for their financial support: Dane County Conservation Fund, City of Sun Prairie, State of Wisconsin Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program, Town of Bristol, Patrick Marsh Conservancy, Token Creek Watershed Association, Bart and Shirley Klotzbach, Florence Schmitt, Samuel and Lynne Dennis, Jr., and supporters of Groundswell. We are especially grateful for the partnership with Patrick Marsh Conservancy over the years.

This acquisition is a big win for Patrick Marsh. Thanks for your part in making it happen.