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Groundswell has officially adopted the DNR’s Patrick Marsh Wildlife Area on the east side of Sun Prairie. While the DNR will still own the 225-acre wildlife area, the Land Trust will expand its land management activities, working with volunteers and others to improve wildlife habitat and maintain the hiking trails and signs around the marsh. The Land Trust currently owns and maintains its own 80 acres on the south side of the marsh, where Dane County owns another 14 acres.

“Protecting land is really about connecting people with land, because if people don’t know or love a place, they probably won’t care about it. We want to make it possible for more people to enjoy and learn about natural areas near them, like Patrick Marsh. This partnership allows us to help manage and preserve all the land around the marsh in a way that will involve the communities that work and play here,” said Tony Abate, Conservation Specialist with Groundswell.

The Land Trust’s work adopting the wildlife area is funded in part by a $38,300 grant from Madison Community Foundation. The Land Trust’s “Community Connections” program is being used to build stronger relationships between people and natural areas. Tony Abate is coordinating the Land Trust’s on-the-ground land management activities and engaging the public at Patrick Marsh. His priorities are to expand activities that bring school groups and community members to our preserves for education days, field trips, and volunteer work parties. To get involved in outdoor volunteering or join a field trip, please contact BJ at (608) 258-9797 or


Groundswell is a local, non-profit, community-based organization that protects special places in and around Dane County. Since 1983, Groundswell has permanently protected more than 10,700 acres of land and water. For more information about Groundswell or to make a tax-deductible contribution to support their work, please contact Tony Abate, Conservation Specialist, Groundswell, at or (608) 258-9797 or visit

Madison Community Foundation uses its local knowledge and assets to inspire giving, support meaningful initiatives, and connect people for the common good. It was established in 1942 as a tax-exempt community trust and is governed by a Board of Governors representing the broad interests of the community. Individuals and organizations interested in establishing an endowment with Madison Community Foundation or donating money to its general fund may find more information online at