Village of DeForest

Western Green Park Bench - 2017

View a PDF file of the report.


Chapel Green Corridor Oak Opening Restoration - 2015

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Trail Map for Village Parks - 2014

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In the spring of 2013 the Village of DeForest partnered with our local girl scouts group to plant a rain garden at the shore’s edge of Sunfish Pond. This fall, village staff followed up with plantings of native trees and shrubs around Sunfish Pond. I have attached a photo for reference. The goal of the project was to inject more life into the pond surroundings, making it more accommodating to fishers, ice skaters and general park users. Additionally, the trees provide habitat to songbirds in the nearby environmental corridor.

The project is now complete. It is one of many the Village of DeForest has embarked on to raise awareness and appreciation of the Village’s natural resources through recreation and education. Through a new trails system, interpretive signage, programming and marketing, the Village is finding success in changing people’s perception of the Yahara River Corridor from one of a “drainage ditch” to a valuable resource worthy of stewardship.

Thank you to the Dane County Environmental Council for your funding support on this project. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions.

Many thanks,

Kelli Bialkowski
Director of Parks, Recreation & Natural Resources
DeForest, WI
E-mail: bialkowskik@vi.deforest.wi.us
Phone: (608) 846-6751

Visit Village of DeForest website at vi.deforest.wi.us

View a PDF file of the report.


In 2012 the Village of DeForest completed a 2.38 mile porous asphalt and recycled plastic, boardwalk trail that meanders throughout 142 acres of Yahara River Corridor. The corridor hosts several different natural communities including but not limited to the Yahara River, sedge meadow, uplands, prairie and others. The generous accessibility and recreation opportunity of the trail invites public from not only the DeForest area community, but also from all corners of Dane County to visit the Yahara River Headwaters.

Capitalizing on the wide range of trail user demographics, the Parks Department seeks to inform trail users and residents of the community on the environmental richness of the trail and the adjacent Yahara River corridor. We did this with the help of the Dane County Environmental Council who provided funding assistance for two of nine interpretative signs. Sign topics included Yahara River Floodplain and Birds and Habitat Signage. I have attached photos of the installed signs.

The goal of the signage is to raise awareness and appreciation of the Yahara River Habitats and economies it supports, ultimately facility stewardship.

Subsequently, the Village of DeForest Parks Department has added seven additional signs to the Upper Yahara River Trail. Sign topics are bullet pointed below:

  • Upper Yahara River Trail Public Recreation
  • Stormwater issues in the Upper Yahara Basin
  • Stream Ecology
  • Savanna/woods/invasive species
  • Upper Yahara Wetlands/sedge meadows
  • DeForest Area Settlement
  • Prairie

Thank you to the Dane County Enviromental Council and staff for supporting this program. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any further questions.

Sincerely,

Kelli Bialkowski
Director of Parks, Recreation & Natural Resources
DeForest, WI
E-mail: bialkowskik@vi.deforest.wi.us
Phone: (608) 846-6751

Visit Village of DeForest website at vi.deforest.wi.us

View a PDF file of the report.


As we indicated in our grant application, we sought the professional services of Scott Taylor with Taylor Conservation to assist in restoring some riverbank along the Yahara River to natives, in addition to converting turf to natives.

Mr. Taylor started work late last summer with site preparation including applying herbicide to the turf, selective removal of trees along the riverbank, and herbicide applications to the invasive along the riverbank.

Just last week, Mr. Taylor worked with our Fire Department who are certified in wildlife burns to conduct a burn in both areas. The intent of the burn was to heat the ground to stimulate native seeds as well as control invasives. I have attached some photos for your review.

Our next step in the project is to work with students at the middle school to help seed the project area. After seeding we will continue with invasive monitor and control.

Thank you for assistance in funding this project.

Kelli Bialkowski
Director of Parks, Recreation & Natural Resources
DeForest, WI
E-mail: bialkowskik@vi.deforest.wi.us
Phone: (608) 846-6751

Visit Village of DeForest website at vi.deforest.wi.us