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District 5

Alder Regina Vidaver

Image of Alder Regina Vidaver

Alder Regina Vidaver

Council Office

Common Council Office:
210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd
Room 417
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: (608) 266-4071
Fax: (608) 267-8669
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Alder Vidaver’s Updates

January 30, 3pm Hoyt Park walk through - invasive species removal

January 28, 2022 4:07 PM

Hello neighbors,

On Sunday, January 30 at 3pm, Parks staff, along with myself, will be hosting a walk-through of the areas where invasive species are being removed in Hoyt Park. We will meet at the Owen Parkway overlook.

Some neighbors had expressed concerns with loss of natural buffering as a result of the removal of invasive species, and resulting ease of trespass on their property for entrance to and exit from the park.

Here is a bit of additional background, courtesy of Paul Quinlan, Conservation Resource Supervisor:?
The Friends of Hoyt Park have been supporting the Parks Division's management of the natural portions of this historic park for several years. They have advanced the restoration and maintenance of valuable oak woodland and oak savanna habitat through steady volunteer labor efforts as well as through funding to hire ecological restoration contractors to remove invasive species and conduct prescribed burns. This has all been done with approval of parks staff and in accordance with Parks' Land Management Plan, which was reviewed by the Habitat Stewardship Subcommittee and approved by the Board of Park Commissioners in 2017. In addition, the Friends commissioned Good Oak Ecological Services to research and develop management recommendations for the park. These recommendations were reviewed by Parks' planning, maintenance, and conservation staff members. Some have been incorporated into our work plan and are being implemented cooperatively by Parks staff and the Friends' volunteers.
Some key points regarding our rationale and methods:

  • ?Removal of invasive species is crucial to restore and maintain plant species diversity.  This in turn allows for a healthy, biodiverse, sustainable ecosystem that is more resilient to climate change.
  • Removal of invasive shrubs is followed by establishment of native herbaceous plants, which slows runoff to prevent erosion and increases infiltration of storm water.  (Counterintuitive to what we often think.)
  • The long-term maintenance of the oak woodland and oak savanna habitat is integral to Parks' work plans, and funded through our general operating budget as well as through Capital Improvement Projects. The Parks Land Management Plan linked above is the guidance for vegetation management in the park system as a whole, but we also use site-specific habitat management plans.
  • Prescribed burns are already conducted safely in Hoyt Park as they are throughout the park system.  Certified, trained staff, contractors, and volunteers conduct burns under a permit from the fire department, and under strict parameters for weather, safety, and smoke and fire behavior.  Burn personnel have ample experience burning in urban areas.  
  • We acknowledge and respect the less desirable aspects of living adjacent to public lands such as parks. We mitigate this through buffer zones of vegetation to deter foot traffic and provide visual screening near residences, and by locating, or re-locating, official trails away from park boundaries.
  • Thickets of invasive shrubs, particularly in buffer zones along park boundaries, are replaced by native shrubs and trees that are either already present and allowed to grow and spread, or planted by staff or volunteers.

Hope you can join us!

Best wishes,
Regina Vidaver
District 5 Alder

Tags: Hoyt park

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