Public Input Sought for Starkweather Creek Planning

Monday, February 19, 2007 - 8:10am

Joint Planning Process to generate public input into future City restoration of three City-owned properties along Starkweather Creek.

The public is invited to participate in a planning process with the City of Madison Parks Division to develop a Natural Area Restoration Plan for three properties along Starkweather Creek. The largest property is the 62-acre marsh and upland south of Highway 30 that was recently acquired by the City from the Blettner Group.

This process is the continuation of a public planning process that occurred in 2004. At that time three priorities were identified for the Starkweather corridor, including:
1) Inclusion of trail systems with separate biking and hiking trails
2) Control of storm water to preserve the water quality in Starkweather Creek
3) Restoration of natural areas for quiet recreational activities such as bird watching, etc.

"This is a unique opportunity for public involvement," says Simon Widstrand, Parks Development Manager. "The restoration process is usually planned and completed by the Parks staff. But there is so much public interest in Starkweather Creek that we want to give the public an opportunity to learn about and participate in the restoration process."

The City Parks Division and Engineering Division are working together to manage these properties. The public is being asked to collaborate with the Parks Division to prioritize short-term (1-5 year) projects and long-term (5-10 year) projects for these restorations. The Friends of Starkweather Creek and the East Isthmus Planning Council are also working with the City to facilitate the planning process.

The public has several important opportunities to participate in this planning process. Larry Palm, Alderperson for District 15, said, "I encourage all residents that live along Starkweather Creek to attend these meetings and add their valuable input into the planning process." There are two walking tours of the properties scheduled. People can join a group of other interested people to learn more about the three publicly owned properties along the Starkweather Creek. This walking tour is a great opportunity to inform your thinking about planning for these areas.

The first tour is Saturday 2/24 from 1-3pm, walking each site and taking private cars to the next. It will begin at 393 Blettner Boulevard at 1 pm. The next stop will be at 4501 Lien Road at 2 pm. The last stop is at 2005 East Springs Drive at 2:30. The tour will traverse wild areas, rain or shine so dress accordingly. The second tour date is April 14 from 1pm-3pm and the rain/snow date is on April 15 from 1pm.

There are also two public meetings planned. The first meeting is Saturday, March 3 from 1-3pm at Olbrich Gardens. At this meeting, the public will prioritize land management strategies for the Starkweather properties. The second meeting is Thursday April 26 from 6:30-8:30 at Olbrich Gardens. The City Parks Department will present a Draft Park Management Plan based on the priorities established by the public at the 3/3/07 meeting. The public will review the draft plan at this meeting. Following the meeting, the draft plan will be refined to reflect additional public input.

  • Si Widstrand, 266-4714