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County Executive Falk Announces Rededication of Prairie Heritage Bike Tour

For more information contact:

Lesley Sillaman, (608) 267-8823

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 5/8/2006

Issued By: County Executive
View only releases from County Executive
Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk announced today the reopening of the Prairie Heritage Trail in western Dane County. A 10-mile section of County Highway JG has been designated for the Prairie Heritage Bike Tour. The trail begins in the Village of Mt. Horeb and proceeds south through the towns of Blue Mounds, Perry, and Primrose.

The Prairie Heritage Trail was first established during 1975 as an award winning Bicentennial project. The bicentennial project included releasing a printed guide for the 10-mile long roadway segment and planting 5,000 prairie seedlings and twenty pounds of grass and wildflower seeds in the triangular area at the tour’s southern end. "Now 31 years old, Prairie Heritage Trail is fulfilling its goal as a refuge for Dane County's native prairie flowers and saving some of the cost of roadside maintenance.

“Thank you to the wonderful Environmental Council for their hard work,” said Falk. “Biking on the Prairie Heritage trail is a fabulous way to enjoy some of Dane County’s natural beauty.”

"Now 31 years old, Prairie Heritage Trail is fulfilling its goal as a refuge for Dane County's native prairie flowers and saving some of the cost of roadside maintenance. Today it is providing yet another benefit - that of serving as an excellent location for the ever-increasing popularity of recreational biking" remarked Olive Thomson, a former Dane County Environmental Council chairperson and leader in the restoration of the trail.

The Dane County Environmental Council, a five-member council appointed by Falk and approved by the County Board, worked with the County’s Highway & Transportation Department and the Mound Vue Garden Club to complete the following tasks:

· Renovated the wooden trail signs that mark the tour end points;
· Updated a printed tour guide to document points of interest, prairie plants, birds, and geologic formations that can be viewed along the tour route (tour guides are available at local bike shops and in Mount Horeb’s visitors center);
· Made the tour guide available electronically at http://www.countyofdane.com/commissions/environmentalcouncil;
· Burned the triangular area at the southern end of the tour to help maintain the prairie ecosystem;
· Placed identifiers at points of interest along the tour route;
· Established a small prairie at the northern trailhead; and,
· Informed adjacent landowners of the attempt to return the roadside in this area to native plants.

The Council’s mission is to assist public and private groups in recognizing and protecting natural areas in Dane County and to assume an educational role in the awareness, conservation and protection of the environment and natural resources. This project is one of the activities that the Council has sponsored as part of fulfilling its mission.

For more information on the Dane County Environmental Council, see their website at: http://www.countyofdane.com/commissions/environmentalcouncil or contact their staff, Mindy Habecker at habecker@co.dane.wi.us or (608) 224-3718.
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