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Protecting special places forever takes commitment. Thanks to one landowner’s persistence and patience, today¬†139 acres of scenic upland and wetland habitat were protected forever at French Creek Wildlife Area in Columbia County on September 28, 2018.

For generations, Richard Wilcox’s family has owned and operated their farm adjacent to what we now call French Creek Wildlife Area. In fact, some of the Town of Fort Winnebago’s oldest plat books show the Wilcox family farm, and even the road the farm sits on bears the Wilcox name. Richard decided to sell the farmland to Groundswell to ensure the land his family has enjoyed for generations can be enjoyed by others.

Groundswell will manage the property consistent with the adjacent state land to increase public recreation opportunities at French Creek Wildlife Area.

“Restoring the farmland to native cover will increase bird nesting potential, add habitat complexity to a key stopover area during migration, and decrease nutrient runoff within the watershed.” – Sara Kehrli, DNR Wildlife Biologist.

Funding to purchase the Wilcox Addition to French Creek Wildlife Area was provided by Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program, Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, National Wild Turkey Federation, and supporters of Groundswell.