Seal of Dane County County of Dane
Dane County Land & Water Resources Department

Pheasant Branch Conservancy - Restoration

Dane County purchased the 160-acre property (former Acker Farm) in 2019 as an addition to the Pheasant Branch Conservancy. The county is partnering with community organizations on the planning and implementation of restoration projects. Restoration will significantly reduce stormwater volume due to increased water infiltration into the ground. It will also improve water quality by reducing sediment and phosphorus runoff within the Pheasant Branch Watershed, positively impacting Lake Mendota. The property will also be used for a future regional bicycle trail connection to Governor Nelson State Park.

The property concept plan (PDF) and report (PDF) summarize the restoration project and provide an action plan for implementation.  The key aspects of the restoration project include:

  • Demolish all structures and use the concrete from the building foundations and farm for a future access site.
  • Convert all of the cropland to native prairie over a 4-year period.
  • Implement a major wetland restoration and stormwater management project.
  • Establish perimeter hiking trails that would also serve as firebreaks and connect to the existing trail system at Pheasant Branch Conservancy.