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Dane County announces nature conservancy expansion

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DANE COUNTY (WKOW) -- Dane County Executive Joe Parisi joined Parks staff and community members to cut the ribbon on the Joyce M. Baer & George J. Socha Nature Conservancy Friday.

The land was donated to the county in 2007 with a life estate and was turned over to Dane County in 2019. A small parking area and hiking trail recently developed.

“Containing over a mile of the Maunesha River and several drumlins dotting its landscape, this conservancy will offer residents ample opportunities to enjoy Dane County’s natural resources for many years,” said Dane County Executive Joe Parisi.

The 140-acre conservancy offers quiet, nature-based outdoor activities like hiking, canoeing, bird watching and foraging for nuts, berries and mushrooms.

Future improvements will include a canoe landing, additional hiking trails, pedestrian bridges, a second parking lot and prairie and woodland restorations.

“We understood that land is a limited resource and wanted to give everyone the opportunity to experience our land. We want it to be here forever for people to visit, appreciate nature, wander in the woods and marshlands and see all the wildlife here,” said George Socha.

The conservancy is located at 5784 Cherry Lane, about two miles east of the Village of Marshall and three miles west of Waterloo, within Dane County’s Maunesha River Natural Resource Area.

Emily Friese

27 News Producer

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