Groundswell Conservancy and the Town of Westport joined forces to protect a 105-acre property near Lake Mendota that was previously slated for development as a Bagels Forever chain restaurant.
The property, which features a mix of grassland, wetlands, and oak woods, was long eyed by Groundswell Conservancy but seemed unlikely due to a high price tag.
“We crossed it off the Lake Mendota plan because we thought it would be out of reach,” said Mike Foy, land protection specialist for the land trust.
However, Groundswell was able to secure a donation from nearby residents Steve and Marianne Schlecht that was enough to make a down payment on the $6 million purchase. The Town of Westport will fund the rest with public funds and about $2 million in private donations.
The property will be protected forever with a conservation easement that ensures the land can never be developed.
Read more in this article by the Wisconsin State Journal.
Photo by the Town of Wesport.