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District 12

Alder Barbara Vedder

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Alder Barbara Vedder

Contact Information

Home Address:

2314 E Dayton St

Council Office

Common Council Office:
210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd
Room 417
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: (608) 266-4071
Fax: (608) 267-8669
WI Relay Service

District 12 Blog

Capital Budget Amendment 9 - Purchasing HartMeyer 30 Acres Land

November 11, 2019 11:23 AM

Hi Neighbors,
I was traveling out of state and returned yesterday evening.

Here's an update on the capital budget amendment. In this amendment, I am proposing the city of Madison buys the 30 acres of HartMeyer land next to the Oscar Mayer site.

What is the HartMeyer land? Per the Friends of HartMeyer group:

The Hartmeyer Natural Area is the last remaining remnant of wetland and upland on the near north side of Madison.  This often-overlooked area of the city is vital to our north side community.  Nestled in among industrial, commercial and residential use, the property contributes to the betterment of the area by providing important habitat for plants, birds and animals, natural water infiltration (both upland open space and low-lying areas) to help reduce storm water runoff, and an open green space for area residents and passersby. 

The Hartmeyer Natural Area is an area of where people can connect with nature and enjoy this restorative and calming resource in its natural state. Sustainability most importantly includes sustaining healthy ecosystems for healthy citizens.

Why purchase this land?

Madison Metro has $12,893,000 in the 2020 capital budget for purchasing land at the Oscar Mayer site. Of that amount, $11,240,000 is allocated for purchasing 15 acres of land which consists of parcel 43 and 50 -- which they need for expansion of metro storage and for Bus Rapid Transit (BRT). Also, they are planning to purchase the NorthSide Transfer Point and 2 acres of land next to it. The City of Madison has a 10-year lease on the NorthSide Transfer Point that is very cost effective, and which renews every 10 years. However, the location of this transfer point might change depending on the results of the future BRT study. I am proposing to remove $1.25 million out of the Metro budget and not purchase the transfer point and the 2-acre parcel. Instead, I am proposing to purchase 30 acres of land at the HartMeyer site for a similar cost. 

Here is the link where you can see the value of the site: 


Purchasing the HartMeyer land not only means protecting wildlife and the wetland from future development, but it also has community place making and social justice benefits: "This 30 acre Hartmeyer natural area offers opportunity to preserve a large place making near north side community nature park, especially for surrounding economically challenged neighborhoods, to enjoy compatible nature recreation, nature education and natural health activities, and especially for families and kids who do not have resources or regular opportunities to visit outlying Madison nature parks and natural areas."*

With the future development of Oscar Mayer, this area might see adverse environmental impacts in the shape of redevelopment. Many community members have shared their concerns about this 30-acre area which are very important for natural habitats and animals.

After listening to the community's voices, I am proposing this amendment to purchase 30-acre land and restore it to its maximum potential so people in the community can enjoy nature while living in a dense urban environment.

The amendment is below for reference. Please feel free to share your thoughts and/or support for the amendment with me and other council members at

Amendment 9 HartMeyer

We will be discussing the operating and capital budget amendments from tomorrow, November 12th to the 14th, and the amendment will be approved or refused during these dates.


Alder Syed Abbas 

*Friends of HartMeyer group

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