The Neighborhood Association has recently applied for a permit with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) and the City of Madison to create a garden of native prairie wildflowers and grasses to benefit butterflies and other pollinator species. This would be located at the end of Whenona Drive where the new pedestrian/bike bridge starts on the North side of the Beltline Highway. There are several potential benefits to this project. This garden would serve as habitat and food source for many butterfly larvae and adults, as well as native bees and other pollinators. Birds will benefit from seed sources, nesting materials, and nesting sites. In addition prairie plants are efficient at taking up rain water from their deep roots, thus improving rain infiltration and reducing storm water run-off.
The permit involves both WisDOT and the City of Madison, as the property is owned by WisDOT and maintenance is shared by both agencies. If we receive approval from DOT, the permit will go to the City. We are applying for permission to create approximately 1000 square feet of garden. Once we receive permission and have a signed “Letter of Agreement” with the City we will be actively recruiting participation from neighbors and other volunteers. Laying out the space and the physical work of starting soil preparation will start potentially in May, and actual seeding and planting will most likely take place in the Fall. A side benefit of this is the community spirit we hope to build!
If you are interested in helping with this exciting new project, please contact Carol Buelow, Board member.