Dane County innovative practices in 2019

Dane County has been a leader in runoff control practices, both as a Yahara WINS partner and through county-led initiatives. In 2019, Dane County continued its “Suck the Muck ” initiative, which involves removal of phosphorus-rich sediment from stream bottoms to stop the continued release of phosphorus into the stream. Following a successful first phase, the county hydraulically removed 20,000 pounds of sediment from Token Creek in the northeast portion of the watershed. This effort will enhance the Yahara WINS project by preventing legacy sediment from counteracting progress made to keep phosphorus out of water bodies.

Another conservation initiative that Dane County completed in 2019 was the purchase of 160 acres of farmland adjacent to Pheasant Branch Conservancy, near Middleton, with the intention of converting the land to prairie vegetation. Not only will this land use conversion prevent an estimated 550 pounds of phosphorus from entering Pheasant Branch and other regional water bodies each year, but it is also anticipated to help mitigate future flooding in the area by absorbing stormwater.

A aerial view of the Pheasant Branch conservancy in autumn.