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Dane County Announces Expansion of Walking Iron County Park and Wildlife Area with 174 Acre Purchase

December 17, 2020
Ariana Vruwink, 608-267-8823
County Executive, Land & Water Resources

Today, County Executive Joe Parisi announced that Dane County will acquire approximately 174 acres of property in the Town of Mazomanie to expand Walking Iron County Park and Wildlife Area. The purchase will allow for more outdoor recreational opportunities and increase ease of access to the public.

“We’ve seen a 25% increase in park visits over the past seven months, highlighting just how important our outdoor spaces continue to be for our community’s overall health and wellbeing during the pandemic,” said Dane County Executive Joe Parisi. “Many retreat to the outdoors to relax and explore Dane County’s natural resources. By expanding access and opportunities to Walking Iron County Park and Wildlife Area, we hope to help even more residents find ways to connect with nature and experience new outdoor activities.”

Acquisition of this 174-acre parcel will provide additional recreational opportunities for the Park and Wildlife Area, including the opportunity for a trail corridor connecting the Village of Mazomanie parkland to county lands. The purchase will also allow for more effective management of an existing snowmobile trail that crosses county land into this parcel.

The property contains a mix of croplands, woods, and wetlands. Marsh Creek runs through the northern portion of property and Black Earth Creek touches the southern border. The property has frontage on Segebrecht Road and established field roads which will provide much needed access in this area for land management purposes and for the public.

Walking Iron County Park spans 288 acres and offers miles of hiking and equestrian trails that wind through scenic restored prairies and wooded areas. During the winter, the park provides access to Dane County snowmobile trails.

The Walking Iron Wildlife Area is a public hunting area located north of Walking Iron County Park and offers 898 acres of hunting opportunities for waterfowl, deer, and turkey. Lands east of CTH Y are primarily grassland restoration and crop fields. Lands north of Amenda Road contain a small woodlot, crop fields, and drainage ditches that can offer fantastic waterfowl hunting and observation. Lands south of Amenda Road are being restored to oak savanna and offer excellent deer and turkey hunting.

Dane County will purchase the $1,094,000 property with funds from the 2021 Dane County Conservation Fund budget. A resolution to approve the purchases will be introduced at tonight’s County Board meeting. It is expected to be approved in the coming weeks.

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