Dane County Executive Parisi Announces New County Forest

October 17, 2016
Stephanie Miller 608-267-8823
County Executive

Dane County Executive Joe Parisi announced today that Stephen Morton is donating Dane County 114 acres of forest which will be the Morton County Forest in Black Earth. The land was donated to the County in 1999 with a life estate and is being turned over this year.  Located at 5169 Reeve Road, the property is about 2.5 miles south of Village of Mazomaine  on Reeve Rd where it intersects with Fesenfled Rd.


“Dane County has some of the most beautiful county parks in the nation,” said Dane County Executive Joe Parisi. “I want to thank Steve Morton for his generous donation that so many in Dane County will now be able to enjoy.”


The Morton County Forest is located in the Driftless Area noted for its steep topography. It features scenic overlooks, views of Blue Mound, the largest hill in the southern half of Wisconsin and rock outcropping.   


 “I donated my land to Dane County Parks because I felt, given our expanding population, it was important to protect open space and create quiet places of solitude for people to visit as an escape from their more crowded urban environments,” said Stephen Morton.


The Morton County Forest will feature: trails, scenic overlooks include Timber Frame Shelters with seating, a small parking lot, a nature center for outdoor education or special events. There will be hiking, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, wildlife observation, foraging and archery hunting (by permit) opportunities in the Morton County Forest.


There has been a $230,000 permanent Morton Forest Endowment created with the Madison Community Foundation to cover future maintenance and operation costs at $10,000 annually. In 2015 Stephen Morton worked with the Capital Pass Through Account at the Madison Community Foundation for the development of the site to include access and amenities for the property. In addition he donated $15,000 for two timber frame shelters for the overlooks.