Natural Heritage Land Trust, Wisconsin
Members from the Natural Heritage Land Trust look out from Westport Drumlin. Photo by Mario Quintana.
Giant teardrops. Whale profiles. Sculpted mounds. People get creative when describing drumlins: steep, narrow hills that clump in large fields, like massive memories of longgone glaciers. One fine example is in Dane County, in south-central Wisconsin, where parallel drumlins interrupt the simple green landscape.
Because the lands at Westport Drumlin are steep and unsuitable for grazing, they still support rare remnants of native prairie. Together, the Madison-based Natural Heritage Land Trust, The Conservation Fund, the town of Westport and our government and private partners are working to protect this magical region.
The potential expansion of two nearby quarries threatened to consume this land, including such native plants as the threatened prairie bush clover. Instead, armed with financing from The Conservation Fund, The Trust purchased two tracts totaling 130 acres in 2010. Much of this land will be planted with native prairie grass and wildflowers. All of it will be protected for generations to come.
“The quarry wanted to expand, and they were outcompeting us in bids. The loan program helped us win, since owner Jim Koltes never wanted to see his family’s farm turned into gravel. He told us how pleased his late father would be to see the land conserved.” — Jim Welsh, Director