Sauk Creek Greenway Restoration 2020

Last Updated: 03/30/2018

Project Description

The Sauk Creek Greenway located between Tree Lane and Old Sauk Road is badly eroding and needs to be stabilized. There are many trees adjacent to the channel that have fallen across the channel and cannot be removed. These trees create dams that prevent water from flowing through the channel and are causing further erosion. The Wexford pond, behind High Point Church, has been filling with sediment from the channel at a faster rate than the rest of the stormwater ponds within the City. Instead of investing money to remove the sediment from the pond, the City plans to stabilize the greenway system and invest money into holding the soil in place.

While design specifics are still being developed, the channel will likely be stabilized with rock riprap and native vegetation. The side slopes will also be softened to a 4:1 to promote stability and a 10’ wide maintenance access path alongside the channel will be added. The City is beginning the design process in the coming months. The first step is to create a hydrologic, hydraulic model of the 1,318 acre watershed to analyze stormwater flows through the channel during a variety of “typical” rain events. Please see the slides from the Public Input Meeting for more detail.

The 2015 adopted Bicycle Transportation Plan for the Madison Metropolitan Area and Dane County includes a bike path in the greenway system to provide North/South and East/West connections through the greenway. The City is assessing community need in regards to the bike path. As the channel analysis progresses, the City will look at bike path need from a transportation perspective, as well as how the bike path would fit within the greenway design.

The City Parks Division is proposing an additional off-road trail network for mountain biking, snow shoeing, and skiing. The Parks Division is looking at the City comprehensively to find locations where such trails could be beneficial for the community.

A consultant completed a tree survey of the entire greenway for the channel project. The results of the survey highlighted habitat opportunities and documented the ecological degradation that has occurred in these woods due to a lack of invasive management. The youngest oaks in the forest are 80-100 years old. On the current trajectory, the mature oaks will slowly die off without being replaced. The City plans to create a sustainable, long-term restoration plan with help from experts, and input from the community that will promote new oak growth and maintain this quality resource for future generations.

For more detailed information about the tree survey, and the ability to view quality tree locations and ratings, please view the Sauk Creek Greenway Restoration Tree Survey Story Map. Please note that the tree data is represented as dots on the map, loads slowly and is easier to view on a computer.

If you are interested in volunteering or coordinating volunteerism to help maintain the wooded area in the future, please contact Jojo O’Brien, the project manager.


Public Information Meeting
The first Public Information Meeting was held on Tuesday, March 13th. The presentation from this meeting can be found here: Presentation

The City has received a variety of public comments and questions before, after and during the Public Input Meeting. A summary of comments received through March 30th can be found here: Public Comments


Additional Information
The Ecological Summary, authored by Tree Health Management after completing the tree survey, can be found here: Sauk Creek Ecological Summary

Each tree greater than 3” in diameter at breast height was surveyed and given a condition rating. This occurred from November-December of 2017. The collected Tree Data in Excel spreadsheet format can be found here: Tree Data