Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk today unveiled plans for Dane County to purchase the Lyman Anderson family farm in the Town of Oregon. Falk made the announcement outside the Anderson home. Lyman Anderson, who passed away in 2005, was a 28-year member of the County Board and also served in the Wisconsin State Legislature and the Town of Oregon Board.
The farm has been in the Anderson family for about 140 years. The County is working with Lyman’s wife Patricia and their children, Ken, Jerry and Lynette, to purchase the land in phases over the next several years.
“This purchase symbolizes the passion that many families feel for their farms and presents an opportunity for the land to remain a resource that is enjoyed by all,” Falk said.
The property features beautiful woodlands and gently rolling agricultural fields. The County will work closely with the Anderson family to create a plan for future public use and preservation. A highlight of the project is a pledge by Patricia Anderson to establish an endowment for the benefit of the property.
“I can’t thank Pat enough for her generous gesture, which demonstrates her commitment to the property and is legacy that she and her family can be proud of,” said Falk.
“Our goal in this project has been mostly to honor Lyman’s memory by making sure no houses are built in these fields. I also want my children, Ken, Jerry and Lynette, my grandchildren, my friends and many others to be able to come here to learn and walk and know the goodness of fresh air and open space,” said Patricia Anderson.
The first phase of the purchase will be approximately 127 acres. Future phases will add up to an additional 270 acres for a total of just under 400 acres. A quarry, operated by Payne & Dolan Inc., is located on the eastern edge of the property and is not included in the sale. The quarry will continue to operate and may be incorporated into the park area well into the future once the quarry has closed. The first phase will cost approximately $1.5 million.
“I want to thank Payne & Dolan for their strong cooperation during this process,” said Falk. “We look forward to working with them and being a good neighbor.”
The property also runs along a rail line that has been identified for future use as a regional bicycle and pedestrian trail. The County hopes to link the Anderson property to other public lands via the trail.
“This is a tremendous opportunity to provide recreational opportunities to an area identified in the Dane County Parks & Open Space Plan,” said Bill Lunney, Chair of the Dane County Park Commission. “We are excited about potential connections to other lands in the future. We appreciate the Anderson families continued commitment to our community.”
Former Supervisor Anderson was a farmer who was active in town, county and state government for over forty-three years. He was first elected to the Oregon Town Board in 1961, where he served until 1974. Between 1975 and 1977, he represented the 47th Assembly District in the Wisconsin State Legislature. Anderson served on the Dane County Board of Supervisors for 28 years, from 1972 through 1976, and from 1980 until 2004. In his long tenure on the County Board, Supervisor Anderson served on innumerable committees, boards and commissions and attended countless meetings. Many of his committee assignments reflected his interest and dedication to agricultural, natural resource, and land use issues.
A resolution authoring the purchase will be introduced to the County Board on February 19th. Once passed by the County Board, Falk will give final approval to the purchase.
Falk noted: “It’s perfectly appropriate to be making this announcement as spring training is about to open. Lyman had a great love for baseball. That was one thing we could always agree on. In a few years, we’ll have a great baseball diamond here. I look forward to Pat and her wonderful family throwing out the first pitch.”
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