Earth Day Restoration Activities at Stewart Lake County Park

April 18, 2022
Land & Water Resources


Joleen Stinson - Interim Parks Director - (608) 422-0657
Shane Otto - Land Restoration Specialist - (608) 575-0396

Media is invited to attend!

MADISON, WI – April 15, 2022 – The Friends of Stewart Lake County Park and Dane County Parks are hosting an Earth Day event for Operation Fresh Start participants, youth ages 16-24, on Thursday, April 21. The activities will run on from 8:45 am – 3:25 pm at Stewart Lake County Park, 3106 County HWY JG, Mount Horeb.

“Dane County Parks and Operation Fresh Start have been collaborating on an Earth Day event for five years now,” according to Cory Rich, OFS Construction and Conservation Manager. “It provides a rare opportunity for all of our staff and crew members to work together with Dane County Parks staff and volunteers on the same worksite to accomplish a great deal of work in a small amount of time. Operation Fresh Start would not be able to do the work we do without great partners like Dane County Parks.”

The day will include spreading native prairie seed, clearing invasive brush, spending time learning about Stewart Lake, climbing trees with arborist equipment, learning about bluebird house maintenance, and transplanting native plants that were started from seed. These Earth Day activities educate and train OFS participants about conservation and land stewardship.

“This project is such a great way to celebrate Earth Day,” stated Dane County Parks Interim Director Joleen Stinson. “It is a great mix of accomplishing work, learning about our natural resources and Earth Day celebration. It is one of my favorite days of the year!”

Dane County Executive Joe Parisi will speak to the participants around 12:00 pm about the importance of Earth Day and to thank OFS participants and park volunteers for their hard work within the Dane County Park System.



Stewart Lake County Park Restoration
Dane County Parks staff, Stewart Lake volunteers and OFS crews have worked for several years to restore the four primary natural resources communities that existed historically in the park: prairie, oak savanna/opening, wetland, and oak woodland. The restored landscape will provide improved ecosystem benefits, such as water infiltration and pollinator habitat, and also offer visitors a biologically diverse landscape to explore. Additional information is available on the project webpage.

Operation Fresh Start Partnership
The County has partnered with Operation Fresh Start Conservation Crews for several years to help ready them for potential careers with Dane County Parks and other forestry, landscaping, agriculture, and conservation related employment fields.

Dane County Parks
Dane County Parks offers a variety of recreational opportunities for the outdoor enthusiast and natural environments for quiet getaways or special events.  Dane County Parks takes an active role to enhance and preserve the county’s finest natural resources.