Dane County Partners with Westport, Natural Heritage Land Trust to Protect Natural Resource for Town

July 27, 2010
Joshua Wescott, Office of the County Executive (608) 267-8823 or cell (608) 669-5606
County Executive

                     County Grant Funds 20% of Project, Opening 100 Acres of Land for Public Use

Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk is proud to offer county grant dollars to help purchase and protect 100 acres of land for public use in the Town of Westport.

The county grant provides the Natural Heritage Land Trust with a $239,000 Dane County Conservation Fund Grant to buy the property on Bong Road.  The Natural Heritage Land Trust's total purchase price for the property is around $1.1 million and the county grant covers 20% of that cost.  The county grant is helping the Natural Heritage Land Trust secure dollars from the United States Forest and Wildlife Service and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources' Stewardship program to cover the remainder of the purchase price.

The Town of Westport strongly supported use of the county grant to help buy the land and protect it for the public.  The Town Administrator called the property a "great resource" and "priceless parcel."

A vast majority of the county board - - 31 supervisors - - supported the resolution authorizing the grant.

When Dane County created the Conservation Fund in 1999, the county created this special grant fund just so local governments and nonprofit organizations could access additional outside funding for projects like this.

"This partnership is the latest example of how people from across Dane County, regardless their geography or politics, support the need to protect our vital natural resources so they can be enjoyed for many generations to come," County Executive Kathleen Falk said.  "Through this grant, we're helping preserve another outdoor getaway for families to go enjoy some rest and relaxation." 

The land is being sold by the Koltes Family and is adjacent to the Westport Drumlin prairie, an area that's part of Dane County's Parks and Open Space Plan.

The Conservation Fund Grant dollars for this project come from funding included in 2010 Dane County Conservation Fund.