Madison Parks offers 19 unique conservation parks. A conservation park differs in how it is managed and why the land was acquired. The goal of the conservation park is to restore native plant and animal communities while providing educational opportunities.
Although there is no set combination of characteristics common to all conservation areas, most exhibit one or more of the following attributes:
- Unique plant communities, wildlife populations, geological formations, or historical sites.
- A critical ecological function, such as protecting surface or ground water quality and supply.
- Relatively undisturbed example of native biological communities.
- Location and features suitable for outdoor education programs.
- Outstanding aesthetic qualities.
History of Conservation Parks
In the late 1960s, the City of Madison began purchasing land in what is now Cherokee Marsh. This large and diverse wetland needed to be preserved for future generations. Since formally establishing a Conservation Parks Program in 1971, the City has acquired and manages over 1600 acres of conservation parkland. Conservation parkland is our past, present and future. We need to preserve this land, restore it to its original state now for future generations to have a window to our past.