Seal of Dane County County of Dane
County Executive's Office

Dane County Executive Falk Announces Donald Park Addition and Historic Farm Preservation

November 10, 2006
Joanne Haas, Office of the County Executive (608) 267-8823 or cell (608) 669-5606
County Executive

Recreational use and environmental protection of Donald Park near Mt. Vernon will expand thanks to a recently negotiated Dane County land purchase agreement. “This land purchase enhances and expands the outdoor experience of Donald Park by adding another trail loop to this park’s extensive trail system and preserving a beautiful hardwood forest,” Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk said. Under the agreement with Vernon Valley Farms, Dane County will purchase 83 acres for $1.4 million and will place another 42 acres under a conservation easement. County Conservation Fund dollars will be used for the purchase. “The park is a gem. It is loaded with oak woods, trout streams, springs and eye-catching vistas,” Falk said of the park located in the Town of Springdale, just off Highway 92 and west of Mt. Vernon. The 83-acre purchase is behind Donald Rock – a well-known rock formation in southwestern Dane County and visible from Highway 92. The 42 acres of conservation easement also will prevent incompatible use of the properties as they bisect the Park. One of these farmsteads, the Donald Farm, is on the national register of historic places. The total 125-acre parcel is located in the Town of Springdale and will be purchased from members of the Woodburn family. The Woodburn family has been instrumental in the creation of Donald Park with the donation of funds and the donation and sale of many key parcels in the park. “Since the establishment of Donald Park in 1993, Dane County residents have sought out the trails in the park to experience the unique landscape of the driftless area and its rural character,” Falk said. “And the purchase of the property and nearby conservation easement will add to the park experience by incorporating existing and viable agricultural lands into the park experience. “I also thank the Woodburn family for their continuing support of the park. Delma Woodburn had a wonderful vision for preserving the beautiful lands and waters in and near her beloved family farm,” Falk said. “And her sons have been diligent and generous in preserving that vision.” Protection of the 83-acre woodland will mean enhanced recreational opportunities, better buffering around the park, and improved wildlife habitat, while the preservation of the two farms will protect the agricultural history of the park and surrounding community. The Dane County Board of Supervisors will consider a resolution for the purchase at its December 7 meeting. The resolution must be approved by the County Board and signed by Falk. # # #
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