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Habitat Restoration in Kettle Pond Conservation Park

March 17, 2023 3:04 PM

To better maintain and expand the tallgrass in Kettle Pond Conservation Park, Madison Parks hired Field and Stream Restorations to "forestry mow" in the northern portion of the park. Forestry mowing uses larger equipment to cut and grind rough overgrowth leaving shredded stems, which slows and helps stop plant regrowth and also scatters the debris of cut plants, which returns nutrients back to the soil.

ketle pond
Kettle Pond Conservation Park by Paul Lorentz

Forestry mowing will also extend southward around the east and west edges of the park, where there are dense populations of honeysuckle and porcelain-berry. Forestry mowing these areas now will help better control these invasive species in the long term.  

Complementing this work, staff will hand-cut buckthorn and honeysuckle inside the trail loop around the pond.  Doing this will help control these invasive species while retaining as much native shrub cover as possible to preserve important migrating and resident bird habitats.

For several years, numerous volunteers have been working to control garlic mustard and dame's rocket in Kettle Pond Conservation Park. This spring and summer, conservation staff will continue to support and advance this work to greatly reduce the abundance of these invasive weeds, by hand pulling in scattered growth areas and sparingly using herbicide in controlled dense growth patches.

Kettle Pond is one of more than 20 designated conservation parks. Conservation parks are mindfully and uniquely managed with the primary purpose to preserve Madison's native landscapes, plants and animal populations for the careful use and enjoyment of visitors. As such, dogs are always prohibited.


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