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MAGNOLIA BLUFF PARK PLAN ROCK COUNTY, WISCONSIN

ADOPTED JUNE 28, 2012 PREPARED BY: MSA PROFESSIONAL SERVICES, INC.


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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Magnolia Bluff Park Plan Rock County, Wisconsin

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ROCK COUNTY PUBLIC WORKS COMMITTEE KurƟs L. Yankee - Chair BeƩy Jo Bussie - Vice Chair Eva Arnold - Member David Diestler - Member (former) Brent Fox - Member Dave Brown - Member ROCK COUNTY PARKS ADVISORY MEMBERS Tom Presny - Member Floyd Finney - Member Mike Guisleman - Member ROCK COUNTY - PARKS DIVISION STAFF Lori A. Williams - Parks Director Joleen SƟnson - Community Coordinator ROCK COUNTY MULTI USE TRAIL GROUP

CHAPTER 1

Introduction................................................. 6 1.1 Background 1.2 Planning Process 1.3 Public Input Summary 1.4 Vision Statement

CHAPTER 2

Existing Conditions ................................. 12 2.1 Park Amenities 2.2 Natural Features 2.3 Demographics & Land Use

CHAPTER 3

Recommendations .................................. 26 3.1 Park Facilities 3.2 Trails 3.3 Signage 3.4 Land Management 3.5 Other

CHAPTER 4

Action Plan ............................................... 38 4.1 Action Steps Summary

APPENDIX A

Survey Results

APPENDIX B

Trail Redesign Guidelines

APPENDIX C

SNA Memorandum of Understanding & Management Plan

APPENDIX D

Natural Areas Plant Survey 2002-2012

KEVIN KAWULA - PARK VOLUNTEER ICE AGE TRAIL ALLIANCE Special thanks to the residents of Rock County and other individuals who devoted their me and energy to develop this plan for the future of Magnolia Bluff Park.

PREPARED BY:

MAGNOLIA BLUFF PARK MASTER PLAN

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Summary Action Plan

ACTION P.1a P.1b P.2 P.3 P.4 P.5 P.6 P.7 P.8 P.9 P.10

SHORTTERM

MIDTERM

LONGTERM

2012-2014

2015-2019

2020+

Add picnic shelters (no electricity) within the lower and upper picnic areas.

ESTIMATED COST $4,000 - $6,000 each

Add electricity to picnic shelters.

$10,000 - $30,000

Update the existing wells with ADA-compliant hand pumps.

$2,000 - $4,000 each

Improve the equistrian parking area.

$1,000 - $3,000

Stripe parking stalls in the lower and upper parking lots, including spaces designated for van accessible parking.

$100 - $500

Provide a bike rack at both vehicle parking areas.

$100 - $1,000 each

Eliminate the firepit near the western edge of the upper bluff and upgrade the firepit near the upper parking area.

$500 - $1,000

Provide picnic tables, grills, and garbage containers, as necessary, at all designated picinc areas.

$1,000 - $3,000

Add at least seven more benches (as suggested in Map 12).

$2,000 - $4,000

Add two hitching posts and move an existing one, as shown in the Park Facilities Plan (Map 12).

$500 - $2,000

Add a dispersed camp site along the designated Ice Age Trail within the park.

$100 - $200 for signage

T.1a

Close trail sections that have erosion and accessibility issues, and establish new trail segments to complete the trail system. Create several interlocking trail loops that can be followed using a map and park signage.

$40,000 - $160,000

T.1b

Designate a segment of the trail system for the Ice Age Trail.

$11,000 - $25,000

T.2a T.2b

Build an ADA-compliant path along the lower parking area, connecting the existing well, proposed shelters, existing bathrooms, and trail entrances. Build an ADA-compliant path along the upper parking area, connecting the existing well, proposed shelters, existing bathrooms, and trail entrances.

$3,200 - $8,000 $3,200 - $8,000

T.3

After purchasing the land north of the park, build a new multi-use trail that connects into the existing trail system.

$12,000 - $27,000

T.4

Build a trail that is accessible to all users, especially disabled individuals confined to a wheelchair.

$16,000 - $40,000

T.5

Add grass pavers at the start of the Blue Loop (at the base of the bluff) to the upper picnic area.

S/r.1

Add wayfinding signage on WIS 104 and WIS 213.

S/r.2

Consider upgrading the park entrance sign as the initial step to upgrading the entire County-wide park entryway signage system.

S/t.1

Add additional kiosks at the lower and upper parking areas, providing general information about the park.

S/t.2

Add an educational sign at the bluff overlook.

S/t.3

Replace the trail signage system with reassurance and junction parkers illustrated in the Park Trail and Signage Management Plan Map (15).

LM.1

Land management activities (Spring Burn Season, Growing/Harvest Season, Fall Burn Season, Winter Work Season).

O-1 O-2 O-3

Construct a tree/plant identification course.

O-4

Consider future property acquisitions.

$2,000 - $5,000 $50 - $150 per year per sign $2,500 - $5,000 $500 - $1,000 $500 - $1,500 $2,000 - $4,000

-- annually --

Varies $100 - $1,000

Add painted crosswalks where any trail crosses a road.

$100 - $200

Purchase the wooded property northeast of the park.

Unknown

-- ongoing --

Unknown


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Magnolia Bluff Park Plan Rock County, Wisconsin

Magnolia Bluff County Park is located seven miles southwest of the City of Evansville, in Rock County, WI. Purchased in the late 1960s, this 120-acre park features beautiful rock outcroppings and vistas. Standing on the west outcrop at Magnolia Bluff, you are at the second highest point in Rock County. On a clear day, you can see the land extend west into Green County. Farm fields roll into the distance and it is arguably one of the best places to watch the sunset. In November of 2010, 54 acres of the park were designated as a Wisconsin State Natural Area by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and Rock County. The impetus for a master plan originated when the Rock County Parks Department was working on their Parks, Outdoor Recreation and Open Space Plan (POROS) in 2009. During this process it became apparent that there were issues with the facilities and trails within Magnolia Bluff Park, and to mitigate them a more detailed master plan was needed. The purpose of a master plan is to provide a framework by which the County can manage future maintenance and improvement projects consistent with the vision developed through a collaborative process. In 2011, the County contracted with MSA Professional Services and Trail Design Specialists to assist with the development of a master plan for Magnolia Bluff Park. This plan was developed concurrent with a similar project to develop a master plan for Carver-Roehl County Park. The planning process included a web-based survey and a number of public informational meetings to discuss desired park improvements with area stakeholders. The planning process included: •

An analysis of existing conditions within the park (e.g. trails, facilities, etc.)

Gathering public input and analyzing park improvement needs

Creation of a vision for the use of the park

Developing preliminary and final recommendations for improvements to existing trails and facilities, including potential land acquisition

Establishing a time line and cost estimate for park improvement projects

The table on the previous page provides a summary of the recommendations described in Chapter 3. Major park improvement recommendations include building shelter facilities, redesigning segments of existing trails to mitigate erosion issues, developing new trails (including an accessible trail and a designated Ice Age National Scenic Trail), improvements to park/trail signage, removal of invasive plant species, and increasing opportunities for environmental education. Implementation time frames illustrated in the table are categorized into short-, medium-, and long-term horizons based on such factors as: •

Ease of implementation and whether the project requires any design or construction services

Relative need or desire for the project

Opportunities for coordination with other park improvements

Probable cost

The desired vision for this park cannot be created overnight. However, by incrementally implementing the recommendations within this plan the park can become the outstanding scenic and recreation destination desired by the County and its residents.

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CHAPTER ONE

Croak Rd.

Rock County Parks Division

Rock County, WI

:

Scale 1 Mile

112 Acres Entrance: 4002 N. Croak Road Town of Magnolia T.3N - R.11E Rock County, WI Map Revised 2009-8-13 Rock County Parks

Finneran Rd.


CHAPTER ONE

Introduc on 7 - Background / 7 - Planning Process / 8 - Public Input / 10 - Vision Statement

The impetus for a master plan originated when the County was working on their Parks, Outdoor Recreation and Open Space Plan (POROS) in 2009. During this process it became apparent that there were issues with the facilities and trails within Magnolia Bluff Park, and to mitigate them a master plan was needed. The purpose of a master plan is to provide a framework by which the County can manage future maintenance and improvement projects consistent with the vision developed through a collaborative process. This plan is not to supercede the POROS Plan, but supplements its objectives and recommendations.

1.1 BACKGROUND Magnolia Bluff County Park is located seven miles southwest of the City of Evansville, nine miles northeast of Brodhead, and less than one mile south of State Highway 59. More specifically, it is located on N. Croak Road between WIS 59 and W. Finnernan Road. Purchased in the late 1960s, this 120-acre park features beautiful rock outcroppings and vistas. Standing on the west outcrop at Magnolia Bluff, you are at the second highest point in Rock County. On a clear day, you can see the land extend west into Green County. Farm fields roll into the distance and it is arguably one of the best places to watch the sunset. Rock County Multi Use Trail Group (RCMUTG), a conservation-related organization dedicated to working with the local government to improve and expand the multi-use trails in Rock County, has been particularly active on trail work in the park. In addition, other long-time volunteers have assisted with bluff restoration and vegetation management. In November of 2010, 54 acres of the park were designated as a Wisconsin State Natural Area. by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and Rock County. As part of the designation a land management plan was developed to outline specific

A State Natural Area (SNA) protects outstanding examples of Wisconsin native landscape, significant geological formations and archaeological sites. Wisconsin’s has more than 600 SNAs, encompassing over 330,000 acres. SNAs are important for research and education, the preservation of genetic and biological diversity, and providing benchmarks for determining the impact of use on managed lands. They also provide some of the last refuges for rare plants and animals. More than 90% of the plants and 75% of the animals on Wisconsin’s list of endangered and threatened species are protected in State Natural Areas.

restoration work to be completed. Refer to Chapter 3 for specific management objectives.

1.2 PLANNING PROCESS This plan was developed over approximately twelve months, beginning in April 2011. The process included several meetings with planners from MSA Professional Services and trail designer from Trail Design Specialists. Initially the consultants walked the park property with County staff to assess the condition of park trails and facilities. This included using global positioning systems to accurately inventory the location of all trails, park signs, and other park amenities. Data from this initial inventory and assessment are discussed and illustrated in Chapter 2. To gauge public opinion, a Public Information Meeting (PIM) and a County-wide web-based survey were administered in June 2011. From these public input activities MSA was able to get a clear understanding of park users’ use and satisfaction of existing facilities and desired park improvements for the future. Based on these public input sessions, and MSA’s analysis of the existing conditions of the site, preliminary recommendations were developed.

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CHAPTER ONE County staff reviewed and suggested changes prior to MSA facilitating another PIM in December 2011. Draft copies of the plan were reviewed by Parks Staff, the Public Works Committee, and members of the public prior to presentation and adoption by the County Board. In addition the planning process ran concurrently with the development of a separate park master plan for Carver-Roehl County Park.

1.3 PUBLIC INPUT As indicated in Section 1.2, there were several instances were the public was able to provide comments and insight that has improved this plan.

Public Informational Meetings On June 21, 2011, MSA facilitated a public informational meeting (PIM) to review the project goals, expectations and time line, and present an overview of the conditions of the existing facilities and trails. During this meeting, MSA solicited feedback from attendees regarding their vision for the park, including its long-term use, potential activities, and desired facilities. Below are some of the general comments received at this meeting. •

Interest in designating an Ice Age National Scenic Trail corridor through the park and offering dispersed camping.

General sentiment is that trails need the most attention.

General sentiments run against allowing off road bicycling on trails. Concerns ran towards safety and perceived conflicts. Note: there were no cyclists present at PIM.

Better trail signage is needed.

Maintain at least a few trails as hiking only. Hiker/ horse conflicts not a major issue except horse manure and erosion issues.

Community Survey There were 40 responses from the County-wide webbased survey, which included separate questions for Magnolia Bluff and Carver-Roehl parks. Only one of the respondents indicated they were generally dissatisfied with the park. The park features that rated fair to poor were trail signage/maps, restrooms, drinking water, shelters, and grills. The priorities for improvements were natural resource restoration, restrooms, parking, shelters, and drinking fountains. See Appendix A for the complete results of the survey.

•Inventory/Analyze Existing Issues •Gather Public Feedback on Existing Park Issues and Desired Improvements

Preliminary Park Recommendations •Develop Preliminary Recommendations (e.g. trails, signage, facilities, etc.) •Gather Public Feedback

Existing Conditions Analysis

8

ROCK COUNTY, WISCONSIN - PARKS DIVISION

•Develop Park Master Plan Document •Public Hearing •County Adoption

Master Plan Development


INTRODUCTION •

Identify a wayfinding road signage system that directs drivers how to get to the park from primary area roadways. Identify and prioritize adjacent parcels in terms of future park expansion: the park is only perhaps half the total size it should be to accommodate interest/users.

10. No trails even near the sandy loam areas of the park. 11. Extend SNA designation south along eastern park boundary to protect original grades, slopes and outcrops. 12. Avoid trails on bluff rim. 13. Rehabilitate original farm road so it could be used as an easy route up or down the bluff.

Horse use and trails should not occur on steep erodible areas.

Interest in security system for vandalism.

Interest in a pavilion at the upper parking area.

Need to deberm most of the trails.

15. Can old farm road be improved for possible access for handicap.

Interest in signs to identify plants and trees for educational purposes.

16. Start prairie restoration in old eastern agricultural field.

Eradication of invasive species should be a strong part of the master plan.

Signage should indicate “multi-use” rather than hiker/equine.

17. Please provide separate, pedestrian only (no groomed ski) foot path for the Ice Age National Scenic Trail, 18-24” wide. (two responses)

In addition to the general comments, the following site specific comments were received at the meeting (refer to the map on page 10):

14. Include a dispersed camping area for longdistance hikers (no designated site, no fee).

18. Re-examine horse trails in limited soil conditions with terraces. 19. Please institute a signage/wayfinding/map system that includes trail information (grade, uses, etc.).

1. Proper signage needs to be provided to protect public/private accidents.

20. It would be nice to have a permanent grill by the horse parking and picnic area.

2. Need sign - stay out, out of bounds area, somebody took one away already.

21. Better trail management, repair, and mowing.

3. Concealed cameras at various points in park to photograph all visitors to park during park closed hours. 4. Need mounting rocks near hitching posts. 5. Acquire additional land (woods) from owner (three responses). 6. Proper flowering bushes/and or shrubs along paved surface would add beauty to park. 7. Lots of sharp rocks which are hard on horses so they try to walk on side of trail. 8. Some tree removal to open view sheds. 9. Consider site for primitive camping particularly for Ice Age National Scenic Trail through-hikers.

22. Limit night access using existing lower gate to close upper park at night. 23. No electricity. 24. Add picnic shelter to welcome families and groups. Make sure that park is a destination for the Ice Age National Scenic Trail. 25. I would like an evaluation of the narrow access off Hwy 59 to be signed and used.

On December 5, 2011, a second PIM was held to review preliminary recommendations regarding trail and facility improvements. The attendents ranked the priority of each recommendation and provided their overall level of satisfaction and comments for further improvements. Information gathered from this meeting, and from subsequent discussions

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CHAPTER ONE

with the Parks staff, Parks Committee, and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resource’s Accessibility Coordinator was used to refine the preliminary recommendations and to develop the implementation schedule. Refer to Chapters 3 and Chapter 4.

1.4 VISION STATEMENT Based on the input gathered throughout the planning process the project team presents the following vision statement for the park: Magnolia Bluff Park is one of the crown jewels of Rock County’s park system. As the second highest point in the County the park offers tremendous views of the countryside. The upper bluff land has been restored to its native dry prairie and oak opening ecological habitat. Below the bluff the park is a

stunning example of a southern dry mesic forest. Restoration of state-threatened kittentails, bluffland protection, and the removal of invasive species is a continual priority and management prescriptions are implemented in partnership between Rock County Parks Staff, the WDNR, and local volunteers. The restored prairie, oak woodlands, and geological features of the park provide excellent opportunities for environmental education. Development of additional park infrastructure should have minimal impact to the natural environment and primarily be limited to providing sustainable trails, improved signage, shelter and parking improvements. Primary recreation uses will continue to be hiking, equestrian riding, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, wildlife viewing, and picnicking. Future expansion of the park may provide opportunities for additional recreational activities on those lands. A portion of the trail system is designated as a segment of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail.

10 ROCK COUNTY, WISCONSIN - PARKS DIVISION


INTRODUCTION

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CHAPTER TWO


CHAPTER TWO

Exis ng Condi ons 13 - Park Ameni es / 16 - Natural Features / 22 - Demographics & Land Use

2.1 PARK AMENITIES Park Facilities Within the past two years two significant improvements have been made at the park. A gravel parking lot was added for equestrian use in the upper park area. Prior to the improvements, equestrian users did not have an area for adequate loading, unloading, and maneuvering of trucks and trailers. In addition, in 2011 the park added three new restroom facilities to the park. Two of the restrooms were located adjacent to the facilities they replaced, while the third was located near the new equestrian parking area. The restooms feature newer technology used in vault toilets to mitigate odors. All park facilities are listed in the table on right with their locations shown on Map 1.

Facility Type

Quantity

Condition

Comments

Hand-Pump (fountain)

2

Fair

Upper and lower areas

Restroom Building

3

Excellent

Built in 2011 near all parking areas (lower, upper, and equestrian) ---

Picnic Tables

8-10

Good

Grill

4

Good

---

Fire Rings

2

Good

---

Equestrian Hitching Posts

2

Good

---

Donation Box

1

Excellent

---

Trail Signage

61

---

see Map 2

Entry Signage

2

Fair

stain wearing off supports

Metal Gates

3

Good

---

Trash Receptacle

2

Good

---

Trails

---

Fair

Erosion issues; muddy sections

Driveway

---

Excellent

---

Good

Equestrian parking lot has minimal gravel area and levels (the rest can get muddy)

Parking Areas

---

Map 1: Park Trails & Facilities

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CHAPTER TWO Upon visual inspection, most of park facilities are in good to excellent condition. The driveway, lower and upper parking lot pavement are virtually free of any cracking or other signs of wear. However, both the lower and upper parking lots lack parking stall marking, including no designated handicap parking spaces. The gravel equestrian parking lot needs some improvements to prevent rutting and soil erosion. In addition, other than the new restroom facility, the equestrian parking area lacks other park facilities such as picnic tables, grills, and fire pits. The oldest facilities are the open air shelter (est. 1991) and the two water pumps. The concrete slab underneath the shelter is in excellent condition; however, there is damage to some of the wood and the structure should be repainted. This is also the only shelter located within the park and is too small to be used for activity space. The water pumps are functional and the water is tested annually to ensure compliance with water quality standards; however, the pumps are older and thus may not appear as “welcoming� for visitors.

LOWER PARKING

LOWER HAND PUMP

UPPER PARKING

UPPER HAND PUMP

EQUESTRIAN PARKING AREA

Trail Systems Type, Lengths, & Widths There is approximately six miles of trails in Magnolia Bluff. There is a total of four-miles of natural surface, multi-use equestrian and hiking trails with the remainder (~2 miles) being natural surface hiking trails. No off-road biking is allowed. In the winter, the trails may be used for ungroomed cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. The trails range from two feet to ten feet in width, with the majority of them being between two and six feet in width. Locations & Access Points The non-equestrian trails are primarily in the southern portion of the park, starting from the lower and upper parking lots. The equestrian trails stretch along the northern portion of the park from their designated parking lot. Access to the upper and lower parking lots are prohibited; however, there are hitching posts located near the upper water pump. There are a couple of issues with the existing trails. Poorly Designed Access Points. In the southern portion of the park there are two trails which dead end onto the driveway. In general dead end trails should be avoided in favor of a closed loop as this offers a more appealing experience for park users (i.e. most hikers would rather be walking within the woods than along the driveway). In addition, from the lower parking lot there are four trail access points, which is more than what is needed to serve this area. Poor Trail Alignment. A number of the trails have been constructed perpendicular to the terrain. This has resulted in a number of trail erosion issues. Undesignated Trails. There are two areas where park users overtime have worn trails in areas that are not officially designated for such use. One is the area along the southern edge of the bluff rim where individuals have created a dead end trail in an effort to get along and underneath the bluff. This presents

14 ROCK COUNTY, WISCONSIN - PARKS DIVISION


EXISTING CONDITIONS both a safety issue and further adds to the erosion of the sandstone bluff. The other area is along the northern edge of the property where a undesignated trail spurs off into the 13.8 acre woodland adjacent to the park boundary. There is no sign at the edge of the park boundary indicating this area is private property. Conditions Overall the trails are in fair to good condition. In several locations erosion issues have been an issue due to steep grade changes and weathering (see Map 3). The main trail leading east from the equestrian parking lot contains a few sections with rock outwash. Equestrian users have indicated this is difficult on the horses and it is likely some users are attempting to use the edge of the trails to avoid the rocky terrain. In addition, many of the trails need to be debermed.

Wayfinding & Signage The two primary means of accessing the park are from WIS 59 to the north and from WIS 104 to the west, both via N. Croak Road. WIS 59 travels east-west connecting the City of Monroe to the City of Evansville, via WIS 213 east of the park. WIS 104 travels north-south connecting the communities of Oregon, Brooklyn, and Brodhead. There is a park wayfinding sign at the intersection of N. Croak Road and WIS 59 and another sign one-mile east of the intersection on WIS 59; however, there are no wayfinding signs along WIS 104 or WIS 213. There are 61 signs within the park, including 56 trail signs, a park entrance signs, a parking lot sign, a bluff restoration sign, a picnic sign, and a trash sign. As shown on Map 2, many of the sign posts and faces are in poor to fair condition.

Map 2: Trails Sign & Post Conditions

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CHAPTER TWO There are a couple of issues with the existing trail signage beyond just their physical condition. Poor Location. The park has three kiosks which include a map of the trail system; however, the one located in the lower parking lot is too far away from the parking lot. This kiosk, and the one by the upper parking lot, are in poor condition as compared to the one recently installed by the start of the equestrian trails. Missing Signage. Some of the trail entry points lack an identification sign, as do some of the trail junction locations. Confusing Identification. In some cases it is unclear whether the trail is supposed to be multi-use or hiking only. Missed Opportunities. In the summer of 2011, the Parks Department constructed an educational sign in the upper picnic area providing information about the park’s SNA designation. However, there are other opportunities to provide additional educational signage regarding the history and the natural features of the park.

2.2 NATURAL FEATURES Slope The park has significant amount of bluff sections, which is apparent by the extensive 6-12% and 12-20% slope ranges. In general, slopes 12% or greater are often classified as steep. Due to poor trail alignment several sections have significant erosion issues in the steeper portions of the park. Map 3 (on the next page), identifies the location of some of the more severe erosion concern areas. The area under the southern bluff rim has been previously discussed. The other areas include the trail leading from the lower parking lot to the bluff overlook, and similar trails which cut straight down the bluff on the north side of the park. Modifying these sections or building new trails around these issues will help control future soil erosion and reduce annual maintenance costs.

Viewsheds There are four major viewing spots (overlooks) within Magnolia Bluff Park. As shown in Map 3 (on the next page), these viewing areas are from the bluff looking out beyond the park space. Three of the spots are centered around the western cliff (just west of the upper parking lot). The fourth viewing spot is along the northeast border of the park, looking north and northeast. The images below illustrate the unique views this park offers. Other than the view from the western edge of the bluff, the views have been greatly reduced by vegetative growth.

16 ROCK COUNTY, WISCONSIN - PARKS DIVISION


EXISTING CONDITIONS Map 3: Slope Analysis & Viewsheds

Map 4: Hydrology & Drainage

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CHAPTER TWO Hydrology & Drainage Magnolia Bluff Park is located in the Sugar Pecatonica River Basin and, more specifically, the Allen Creek and Middle Sugar River Watershed. As shown in Map 4 (on the previous page), there are two ridgelines within Magnolia Bluff Park. The east/west ridgeline drains water west towards an intermittent stream that runs north and south through the site. The north/south ridgeline flows north away from the park. Between these two ridgelines is a ravine that carries water northwest off the site.

The following provides an account of the original vegetation/woodland group for each soil series from the Rock County Soil Survey (1974): •

Edmund Loam (EdB2 & EdC2): Oak hickory forest (notes: moderate natural fertility, depth to which roots can grow and low-very low available water capacity are management issues)

Edmund Loam (EdD2): Oak hickory forest (notes: moderate natural fertility, steep slopes and low-very low available water capacity are management issues)

Eleva Sandy Loam (EvC2): Oak hickory forest, prairie grasses and scattered oak trees (notes: moderate natural fertility, sandy soils and low available water capacity are management issues)

Eleva Sandy Loam (EvD): Oak hickory forest, prairie grasses and scattered oak trees (notes: low-moderate natural fertility, steep slopes and low available water capacity are management issues)

Kane (KaA): Prairie grasses and scattered wetland hardwoods such as elm, soft maple and willow (notes: moderate-high natural fertility, medium-high available water capacity are management issues)

Soil Inventory Magnolia Bluff Park is within the Western Uplands physiographic region. It is the oldest landscape in Rock County, dating back more than 30,000 years ago. The landscape was transformed by early Pleistocene glacial ice sheet and subsequent erosion of bedrock. In general, this area has deep valleys that have cut into the underlying sandstone and dolomite bedrock formations (Source: Rock County Land and Water Resource Management Plan). See Map 5 for specific soil types within the park. Map 5: Soil Inventory

18 ROCK COUNTY, WISCONSIN - PARKS DIVISION


EXISTING CONDITIONS •

Oshtemo (OoB & OoC2): Oak hickory forest, prairie grasses and scattered oak trees (notes: moderate natural fertility, sandy soils and low available water capacity are management issues)

Rock Land: Oak hickory forest, with black oak common on north and east slopes, bur oak on south and west slopes (notes: moderate natural fertility, loose soils and steep slopes are management issues)

Sebewa Silt Loam (Se): Prairie grasses and scattered wetland hardwoods such as elm, soft maple and willow (notes: moderate-high natural fertility, medium-high available water capacity are management issues)

Based on Rock County Soil Survey (and illustrated in Map 6), the majority of the park is suitable for trail development, as the soils are only somewhat limited at the top and base of the bluff. Areas where soil suitability for trail facilities are very limited include the area around the pond (due to depth to water) and the Rock Land (Ro) soil series (due to steep slopes).

As shown in Map 7 (see next page), soil suitability for structures (i.e. “dwellings” without basements) are more limiting than for recreational trails due to the park’s steep terrain and shallow depth to bedrock, particularly on the top of the bluff. Only along the western borders is the soil suitable for building substantial structures without limitations. Note that limitations for trails and structures can be overcome or minimized by special planning, design, or installation, although often at an increased cost. In addition, while an entire soil series may be classified as “very limited,” there may be specific locations that are less limiting due to the generality of the soil ratings.

Threatened and Endangered Species The Wisconsin Natural Heritage Working List (WDNR) contains species known or suspected to be rare in the state and natural communities native to Wisconsin. It includes aquatic and terrestrial species legally designated as “Endangered” or “Threatened”, as well as species in the advisory

Map 6: Soil Suitability for Trail Facilities

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CHAPTER TWO Map 7: Soil Suitability for Structures

“Special Concern”. To protect the identified species, only known occurrences within the town and range is provided by WDNR (i.e. no specific locations). The table below lists the known occurrences in the Magnolia Bluff Park area (T.3.N R.10.E) reported as of 11-04-2011. Other communities known to exist in the park are Dry Prairie and Oak Savanna-Oak Opening. In addition, in May of 2012 a volunteer reported a siting of the plant Showy Orchis (Orchis spectabilis).

Group

Scientific Name

Community

Drycliff

Community

Moistcliff

Community

SoutherndryͲmesicforest

Fish

Etheostomamicroperca

Common Name

State Status

DryCliff

NA

MoistCliff

NA

SouthernDryͲmesicForest LeastDarter

NA SC/N

Fish

Fundulusdispar

StarheadTopminnow

END

Fish

Notrpoistexanus

WeedShiner

SC/N

Plant

Besseyabullii

Plant

Houstoniacaerulea

KittenTails

THR

AzureBluets

SC/N

For more information: http://dnr.wi.gov/org/land/er/nhi/

Existing Land Cover Magnolia Bluff features dry prairie, oak opening/oak savanna, oak hickory woodland, southern dry mesic woodland, and sandstone and dolomite cliffs. The ground layer is rich, diverse, and very representative of these native habitat types in southern Wisconsin. The dry prairie slope and bluff support many high quality and rare sun loving prairie species. In the areas adjacent to the prairie bluff, a high quality oak opening/bur oak savanna is found with occurrences of the state-threatened Kitten’s Tail (Besseya bullii).

20 ROCK COUNTY, WISCONSIN - PARKS DIVISION

Kitten’s Tail (Besseya bullii), can be found in the upper Oak Opening/Bur Oak Savanna. It is identified by its flat oval leaves and yellow flowers. A population of over 400 Kitten’s Tail can be found on the west bluff (as of 2012 plant survey).


EXISTING CONDITIONS The oak hickory and southern dry-mesic woodlands are dominated by Bur Oak with Shag Bark Hickory, and White Oak with Red Oak, respectively. The ground layers range from rich and diverse and very representative of this type of habitat in Wisconsin, to somewhat weedy and weedy to the point of being degraded. The sandstone cliffs capped with dolomite limestone(s), support many dry to moist cliff species including Bulbet Fern, Purple Cliff Brake (fern), and liverworts. The small pond is an earlier construction/ or improvement for recreation, that replaced/ covered up the historic natural spring associated with the Kane (KaA) soil formation. The pond is now dominated by native cattails and invasive Reed Canary Grass. (Refer to Appendix D for additional information on plant surveys) Issues threatening the park’s ecological habitats are the spread of invasive species such as European Buckthorn, Tartarian Honeysuckle, Mulberry, Black Locust, Siberian Elm, Multiflora Rose, Garlic Mustard, White Sweet Clover, Spotted Knapweed, and introduced thistle species. The upland prairies and Bur Oak Savanna (with Kitten’s Tail) also have invasive cool season Eurasian turf and pasture

species such as Smooth Brome, Timothy, Kentucky Bluegrass, and Orchard Grass. As shown in Map 8, some areas also contain concentrations of planted evergreens (dating to the late 1960’s or 1970’s). For many years volunteers have labored to clear invasive species from Magnolia Bluff. These volunteers have restored the amazing panoramic view of the countryside from southeast of the upper parking lot, through the western bluff overlook, north of the picnic area, to the upper bathroom facility, all of which had been obscured by invasive brush and trees. The volunteer led western bluff overlook restoration project has also included efforts to stop erosion, replant damaged areas to native prairie, and control visitor foot traffic from further eroding the overlook area with a post and rail fence made from wood reclaimed from clearing the park’s panoramic view.

Map 8: Existing Land Cover

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CHAPTER TWO 2.3 DEMOGRAPHICS & LAND USE Bicycle Routes and Trails

Magnolia Bluff Park is located seven miles south of the City of Evansville. Although the park is located in a rural area it is within an easy drive from several large urban areas, including the cities of Janesville, Beloit, and Madison. The table below provides a demographic report for the region using a drivetime analysis from the entrance to the park. The approximate area within each of the drive-times is illustrated in map below.

15-Minute Drive Time Summary Population

30-Minute Drive Time

The Bicycle Routes and Trails illustrated on the next page were established as part of the Transportation element of the Rock County Comprehensive Plan. The routes were selected in order to connect centers of activity (e.g. parks) with communities in a direct and safe manner. Magnolia Bluff Park is served by an existing designated on-road bicycle route via CTH A and N. Croak Road. The plan identifies providing a future designated on-road bicycle route from the park entrance north to the City of Evansville.

45-Minute Drive Time

2011

2016

2011

2016

2011

2016

8,949

9,367

37,678

39,474

459,951

480,814

Median Age

37.9

38.2

39.9

40.2

34.7

35.0

Households

3,478

3,665

14,587

15,395

193,643

203,606

Drivetime Analysis from Magnolia Bluff Park

Source: ESRI

22 ROCK COUNTY, WISCONSIN - PARKS DIVISION


EXISTING CONDITIONS

Ice Age National Scenic Trail

Existing and Proposed Land Use

The National Park Service is in the process of completing a Scenic Trail Alternative Corridors Report for Rock County. The purpose of this preliminary planning document is to identify corridors with significant value to support the Ice Age National Scenic Trail (NST), which is a 1,200-mile trail that follows features left by the last glacial advance in Wisconsin. While Magnolia Bluff is an older eroded Paleozoic rock formation with patchy till dating to the earlier Illinois Era Glacier, it is included in the NST Corridor Planning Process (CPP), because it fulfills many criteria, including proximity to Wisconsin Era Glacial features, and popularity. In 2007, the steering committee and the technical advisory committee met to consider twelve corridor segment combinations representing the best scenic hiking experience, geology, cultural resources, natural resources, rural character, public lands, and other support facilities. From this meeting four preferred Ice Age National Scenic Trail corridors were created, which all included Magnolia Bluff Park as an end point within Rock County. The four alternatives are shown on the following page.

As can be seen in Map 9 and 10 (page 25), the park boundary actually extends all the way to WIS 59 via a 33 foot wide strip of land. In general, the park is surrounded by agricultural land with a small (approx. 30 lots) rural subdivisions northeast of the park. There is a 13.8 acre wooded site adjacent to the park’s northern boundary, which has been discussed as a potential addition to the park for many years. Based on the Rock County Comprehensive Plan 2035, the preferred land uses adjacent to the park will remain agriculture with some park expansion associated with a potential acquisition of the wooded parcel and agricultural land.

Rock County Comprehensive Plan was adopted to meet Wisconsin’s “Smart Growth” planning law (s. 66.1001). This is a “living” planning document to guide for growth and change in Rock County. The plan represents the County’s best effort to address current issues and anticipate future needs.

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CHAPTER TWO National Ice Age Trail Corridor Alternatives, Rock County

24 ROCK COUNTY, WISCONSIN - PARKS DIVISION


EXISTING CONDITIONS Map 9: County Comprehensive Plan - Existing Land Use

Map 10: County Comprehensive Plan - Future Land Use

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CHAPTER THREE


CHAPTER THREE

Recommenda ons 28 - Facili es / 29 - Trails / 31 - Signage / 33 Land Management / 35 Other

In developing the recommendations for Magnolia Bluff Park, the 2009-2014 Rock County Parks, Outdoor Recreation and Open Space (POROS) Plan was reviewed. The POROS Plan was created as a vision for the entire park system with some specific recommendations for each park. The map displayed on the right illustrate the major suggested improvements for Magnolia Bluff Park. Since the POROS Plan was adopted, the lower parking area was paved and the guard rail was removed. Due to feedback from County staff, Rock County MultiUse Trail Group and the general public, some of the suggested improvements were not carried forward in this plan. These recommendations include adding a playground and a small nature center. The remainder of the recommendations have been included in this plan. The Magnolia Bluff Park Master Plan (shown below) provides a vision for the park in the form of public improvements to be completed over the next ten

SMALL PARK SUPPORT BUILDING FOR GROUPS/ DAYCAMPS

UPGRADE & RESTORE TRAIL SYSTEMS

ROCK CLIMBING AREA

FINISH PAVING ENTRY & PARKING AREA

SHELTER PLAYGROUND

PROVIDE BARRIER FOR PARKING AREA

to twenty years. This Master Plan is intended to enhance existing assets and identify opportunities for improvements. The subsequent sections of this chapter will outline the specific action steps to meet this vision. Chapter 4 will discuss implementation strategies and estimated costs.

Map 11: Magnolia Bluff Park Master Plan

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CHAPTER THREE 3.1 FACILITIES (F) RECOMMENDATIONS 1. Add picnic shelters with electricity within the lower and upper picnic areas. A picnic shelter is a great asset to a park, as it provides cover from weather conditions (e.g. sun exposure, rain, etc.), can be rented out for events, or used as part of environmental education programs. As shown in the above example, a unique structure could be built using reclaimed wood from land management activites. The two shelters need not be built at the same time, although this may provide some cost savings. Electricity is preferable because it allows for a greater variety of hosted events. Electricity would be brought in from Croak Road, 1,500 feet north of the park entrance. Consideration should be given to placing the wires underground and along the driveway to minimize its affect on the park’s natural setting, although this does increase cost. An additional alternative is to provide only electricity to the

lower shelter, or to use a photovoltaic system, particularily for the upper shelter to minimize the amount of land disturbance. Depending on the outcome of a solar assessment it may be possible to mount the solar panels directly to the roof of the park shelter. A half to one kilowatt system is probably sufficient for the electical needs of the park. If lights are provided at the shelter consideration should be given to full cut off (dark sky compliant) fixtures to reduce light trepass or impacts to wildlife. 2. Update the existing wells with ADA-compliant water hand pumps. The current hand pumps are still in working condition; however, they are not ADA-compliant. Updating them will benefit all park users, especially those that are handicapped. 3. Improve the equestrian parking area. The majority of the parking area lacks hard surfacing, such as crushed limestone or asphalt. Creating a full driveway loop will help alleviate erosion and rutting issues.

Map 12: Park Facilities Management Plan

28 ROCK COUNTY, WISCONSIN - PARKS DIVISION


RECOMMENDATIONS 4. Stripe parking stalls in the lower and upper parking lots, including spaces designated for van accessible parking. These spaces should be located nearest to existing facilities and should be signed.

better serve equestrian riders (see Action T.1). Similarly, new hitching posts will be needed near the picnic areas near the lower and equestrian parking areas. Mounting rocks should be located near the hitching posts to aid riders.

5. Provide bike racks at both vehicle parking areas. The County’s Comprehensive and POROS plans support a bicycle network that connects its parks as one system, as the surrounding roads (i.e. Croak Rd, Finnernan Rd, Burr Rd, and CTH A) are already County bike routes (see page 22). To promote this effort in Magnolia Bluff Park, the County should provide a location for bicyclist to properly lock up their bicycles. If this is not provided, bicyclist will be forced to lock up around trees and sign posts, potentially damaging these features.

10. Add a dispersed camp site along the designated Ice Age National Scenic Trail within the park. To provide Ice Age Trail users a place to sleep and/or rest, the County should designate an area for dispersed tent camping. Map 12 (on the previous page) provides two alternative locations that will minimize its overall effect on the natural setting and other park users.

6. Eliminate the firepit near the western edge of the upper bluff and upgrade the firepit near the upper parking area. Confining these facilities to locations near existing activity areas was considered more desirable. Upgrading the firepit area (as shown above) is recommended. 7. Provide picnic tables, grills, and garbage containers, as necessary, at all designated picnic areas. The Park Facilities Management Plan (see Map 12) provides suggested items to be located within each designated picnic area. 8. Add at least seven more benches (as suggested in Map 12). Benches provide users a chance to rest, as well as, take in the views/ wildlife present within the park. Currently there are no benches along the trails within Magnolia Bluff Park. 9. Add two hitching posts and move an existing one, as shown in the Park Facilities Plan (Map 12). The hitching posts allow equestrian riders to tie up their horses without interfering with other park users. The existing hitching post (near the upper parking area) should be moved once the new proposed trail is put in to

3.2 TRAIL (T) RECOMMENDATIONS 1. Close trail sections that have erosion and accessibility issues, and establish new trail segments to complete the trail system. As discussed in Chapter 2, there are several locations where grade changes and poor trail design has created erosion issues. Additionally, these sections often are inaccessible to all trail users. The proposed changes shown in Map 12 will mitigate these issues, creating a low-impact and sustainable trail system. Refer to Appendix B for additional information on trail redesign guidelines. •

As part of the trail reconstruction, create several interlocking trail loops that can be followed using a map and park signage. Instead of establishing a single trail route, this plan suggests creating several trail loops. This allows the user to create their own experience and/or exercise route. It is recommended that each loop be given a color or name (e.g. animal or tree species).

Designate a segment of the trail system for the Ice Age National Scenic Trail. Map 12 identifies a preferred trail for Ice Age Trail designation that would enter the park from N. Croak Road and exit via the small strip of land out to WIS 59. The route would allow IAT hikers to experience all the best features of the park while limiting the amount of trail segment that would be multi-use (see Map 13, page 28). Map 12 includes an alternative trail through the prairie restoration area and potential additional future access points.

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CHAPTER THREE Map 13: Park Trail Management Plan (Type)

Map 14: Park Trail Management Plan (Loops)

30 ROCK COUNTY, WISCONSIN - PARKS DIVISION


RECOMMENDATIONS 2. Build ADA-compliant paths along the lower and upper parking areas, connecting the existing well, proposed shelters (see Action F.1), existing bathrooms, and trail entrances. Both paths could either be a concrete sidewalk or a hard surfaced crushed limestone trail. The key is to provide a firm and stable surface at least 5’ wide connecting the main park facilities. 3. After purchasing the land north of the park (see Action O.3, page 31), build a new multiuse trail that connects into the existing trail system. This piece of property would be a natural addition to the park, and as discussed in Chapter 2, is sometimes mistakenly access by current park users. In order for park users to enjoy this newly acquired amenity, the County should build a trail through these lands. Maps 1314 (on the previous page) will provide guidance in creating this new trail. 4. Build a trail loop that is accessible to all users, especially disabled individuals confined to a wheelchair. The Park Trail Management Plan (Map 14) identifies a trail (white loop) that should have a hard mineral surface to provide an accessible trail within the park. This loop was chosen because it connects the park’s main facilities, best viewshed, can be done in conjunction with Action T.2, and because the existing natural grade has the least amount of undulations compared to the other trail segments. A firm and stable surface (e.g. crushed limestone) at least 5’ wide is recommended. In addition, a hard surfaced trail should be provided to the proposed upper parking area shelter and picnic area (see Action F.1), connecting to the existing hard surface path around the existing bathroom facility. The Master Plan (Map 11) illustrates this connecting path. 5. Add grass pavers at the start of the Blue Loop (at the base of the bluff) to the upper picnic area. Some erosion has occurred due to steep slopes in this area and is likely to continue to worsen with continued use. To mitigate this issue grass pavers can be installed under the native grass. The pavers provide stabilization yet are permeable to allow water infiltration. Refer to Appendix B.

3.3 SIGNAGE (S) RECOMMENDATIONS Road Signage (S/r) Recommendations 1. Add wayfinding signage on WIS 104 and WIS 213. Wayfinding signage provides several benefits to the park at minimal cost, such as advertising (and introducing) the park to new/old users and making it easier for users to find the park. Currently, the park is well signed from WIS 59 (north of the park), but it lacks signage from WIS 104 (west of the park) and WIS 213 (east of the park). Tourist Oriented Directional Signs (TODS) should be placed on both WIS 104 and WIS 213 prior to the WIS 59 intersections (from both directions). The signs should be placed far enough from these intersections to give travelers enough time to acknowledge and make the turn. For more information, go to the WisDOT website on their Directional and Informational Signs webpage. 2. Consider upgrading the park entrance sign as the initial step to upgrading the entire County-wide park entryway signage system. Replace the existing park entrance sign with a more permanent structure using high-quality building materials. The sign should incorporate the park’s signature rock outcroppings. An example is shown on the right. Entrance Sign Example

Trail Signage (S/t) Recommendations 1. Add additional kiosks near the lower parking and upper parking areas, providing general information about the park. A kiosk can provide information regarding park (e.g. rules, history, amenities, etc.), provide a map to guide users within the park, and provide brochures/ pamphlets with pertinent information (e.g. birding,

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CHAPTER THREE State Natural Areas, tree identification course, etc.). The kiosks should be located adjacent to the accessible paths (see Action T.2). 2. Add an educational sign at the bluff overlook. This location offers great views of the countryside and of rock outcroppings. The educational sign could explain the history of the area and the bluff restoration efforts that are being made by the County. 3. Replace the trail signage system with reassurance and junction markers, which is illustrated in the Park Signage Management Plan (Map 15). Junction markers should be placed at any trail intersection, directing users to the correct trail and/or park facility. Reassurance markers should be placed at all trail access points and in the middle of any significantly long trail segments. To allow park users who are

color-blind navigate within the park, the trail identifier sign face could include the letter (or animal/tree species) within the center of it. To reduce the cost of making and installing these signs, a sponsored sign program could be initiated. It is recommended that any sponsored sign remain consistent with the natural park theme, limiting the sponsorship to the person(s)/company name below the sign (as shown in the upper right).

Map 15: Park Signage Management Plan

32 ROCK COUNTY, WISCONSIN - PARKS DIVISION

Junction Marker

R

Reassurance Marker


RECOMMENDATIONS 3.4 LAND MANAGEMENT RECOMMENDATIONS

(LM)

The Park’s varied natural area remnants, are restorable to their historic plant communities (1830’s to 1960’s) with proper and timely management. The removal of invasive species and restoration of native habitat is a long-term project that can take years to complete. As described in the SNA Memorandum of Understanding between Rock County and the WDNR (Refer to Appendix C), the long-term objective is to manage the site as a dry prairie, oak opening, oak woodland and southern dry mesic forest in a manner to restore the ecological function of those natural communities. Natural processes, removal of invasive species and prescribed understory manipulation will determine the structure of the prairies, oak opening, woodland and forest. General land management activities include: •

Conducting prescribed burns. This will help to control invasive plant material. Make sure to remove large volumes of woody material before treatment.

Maintaining/growing the population of state-threatened Kitten’s Tail. Augment the Kitten’s Tail habitat with short statured oak opening ground layer species.

Restoring the old agricultural fields to a native dry prairie.

Using herbicide to control reed canary grass and cattails around the pond area. Make sure to install enhancement seed mixes in areas after treatment.

Maintaining the historic native prairie along the bluff edge to further prevent erosion.

Continuing to use cut and stump treatment on common buckthorn, box elder, mulberry and multiflora rose in woodland areas.

Installing local ecotype enhancement seed mixes in all areas following prescribed burning or herbicide treatments.

Using thinning and slash reduction of understory trees within oak opening and

woodland restoration areas especially near fire breaks to reduce fuel load and permit safe prescribed fire. •

Removing hazard trees. Trees determined to be safety hazards for park trail users should be felled and removed from the trails using least impact practices. Any proceeds from salvaged trees should be used for other land management activities at the park.

The following land management recommendations will provide a guide for current and future volunteers, researchers, visitors, County and State staff and administrators. The recommendations follow a seasonal calendar to mimic natural (pre-settlement) process, maximize effectiveness, and minimize negative impacts. 1. Spring Burn Season (March - early April). The Spring Burn Season is an initial Growing Season weed, bramble, and brush population control tool, intended to clear weed straw, kill weed seed, and provide fire cleared areas in which to spread native species seed. The Spring Burn Season can be started as soon as approved burn areas, and or brush piles can be safely burned without damaging desired plants and trees. Note, many woodland, savanna, and some prairie species can be up and blooming ahead of the burning schedule. Some species will tolerate spring burning while others must be avoided when burning to allow the species to reach flowering and seed production. In woodlands and savanna units, growing spring ephemerals such as Blood Root, May Apple, & Hepatica Violets should be avoided and burned around (3-5’ minimum radius). Richer sites with growing trilliums should also be avoided. In addition, Kitten’s Tail areas should be managed with fire during the Fall Burn Season. After the initial burn, some additional site specific torching and site clean-up may be necessary. With the completion of Spring Burn Season (early April) burn units preparation for the upcoming Growing Season can begin with spreading seed mixes.

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CHAPTER THREE 2. Growing (and Harvest) Season (March through November). The Growing Season is a long season that overlaps into the Spring and Fall burn seasons, and focuses on several plants populations over several months. The growing season for this management calendar technically begins with the first weed plants of concern to show after the winter thaw, invasive Garlic Mustard rosettes and seedlings. By early April spring ephemerals have begun to emerge and they along with the oak savanna/prairie Kitten’s Tail are susceptible to severe setback from later burning. Land management during the Growing Season should focus on controlling invasive herbaceous weed populations, while at the same time providing for the harvesting and spreading of native species seed to replace the invasive populations. Although there are yearto-year differences, and there is always a timing and species overlap, the priority schedule for weed population control should be: •

Garlic Mustard (March-June)

Goat’s Beard (May-July)

Large Thistles and Canada Thistle patches (May-August)

Eurasian Grasses (May-July)

Yellow & White Sweet Clover (May-August)

Wild Parsnip and Common Mullein (JuneAugust)

Burdock (June-October)

Native seed should be spread immediately after harvesting in the appropriate habitat. Native seed harvesting should be conservative in not removing too much seed from any one natural area or species. An accepted level is 30% of any species’ seed available, although this may decrease for rare species and increases to as much as 50% for common species. “Sloppy” seed collecting that leaves an ample amount of seed spread behind in the collection area is encouraged to enrich the original site’s seed bank. Seed harvesting should attempt to harvest 100% of the weed seed present, although in separate containers from those used for native species seed collection.

3. Fall Burn Season (August - November). Late summer into fall was the historic season for prairie fires in the Midwest. The Fall Burn Season today is planned and controlled, and is conducted in a very similar fashion to the Spring Burn Season. Both burning seasons are intended to return the necessary role of seasonal fires as tools for natural area management and enrichment. The Fall Burn Season is a final Growing Season weed, bramble, and brush population control tool, intended to clear weed straw, kill weed seed, and provide fire cleared areas in which to spread harvested native species seed. The Fall Burn Season can be started as soon as piled weeds can be safely burned without damaging desired plants and trees. 4. Winter Work Season (December - February). The Winter Season is the dormant season. Drier, frosty, and frozen conditions allow for brush clearing, tree felling and hauling, and cut stump herbicide applications. Introduced invasive species are of higher priority for cutting and herbicide application, than native species that can be controlled through prescribed burning. Collected woody biomass should be arranged in burn piles in areas with little botanical value (i.e. away from desired trees and if possible in already burned or storm damaged areas with dead fall). The Winter Work Season also provides an opportunity to hold an annual meeting to discuss land management activities. An annual meeting should be held between the County Parks Department, WDNR, and local volunteers to discuss land management activities for the upcoming year and the roles of each party. In addition, any trail construction work planned for the year within an SNA area will need preapproval from the WDNR.

34 ROCK COUNTY, WISCONSIN - PARKS DIVISION


RECOMMENDATIONS 3.5 OTHER (O) RECOMMENDATIONS 1. Construct a tree/plant identification course. To enhance the environmental education opportunities at the park a tree/plant identification course can be constructed along the trail network. Information about the course, including information on how to identify flora and fauna, can be made available at the park’s two kiosks. The design of the course and information on identification worksheets should caution against trampling sensitive plant communities.

is considered adjacent to the park, the Park’s Department should advocate the use of conservation subdivision principals to minimize private development, fragmentation, and clearing of the higher valued woodland areas surrounding the park. •

A.1: 13.8 acre woodland, as previously discussed.

A.2: This 22.5 acre woodland is part of the same tax parcel as the A.1 woodland. The land contains similar relief patterns as the park, with a high point of 1072 feet and a low point of 936 feet. An additional multi-use trail loop could be developed within this woodland. The County could also consider purchasing the entire 122 acre parcel, leasing out the agricultural lands as a source of funding to pay back the costs of the original purchase.

A.3: Future acquisition of this 18.5 acre parcel could be considered (after acquisition of A.2) to connect the park to the existing subdivision. Note this parcel is under different ownership than A.1 and A.2.

B.1 - B.4: The woodlands on these properties follow the south side of the eastwest ridge line. The highest elevation in the area is actually in the northeast portion of parcel B.2 (1082 feet). The elevations drop by over a hundred feet on the south side of the tree line. One potential use for these properties is a mountain biking course. Currently this type of facility is not available in any of the County’s park system and is in limited supply in southern Wisconsin. The closest facilities are in Blue Mound State Park (Iowa County), Cam-Rock Park (Cambridge), and the Emma Carlin Trail (Palmyra). Each of these facilities are over 30 miles from Janesville. Because this type of facility is in short supply in southern Wisconsin expanding the park and building this facility can serve the residents of Rock County while also drawing in visitors from

2. Add painted crosswalks where any trail crosses a road. To guide and enhance safety for trail users crosswalks should be painted anywhere a trail crosses the driveway. Enlarged animal tracks could be painted as an alternative. 3. Purchase the wooded property northeast of the park. County-wide acquisition of additional scenic areas was the preferred amenity from the county survey in the 2009 POROS plan. During the planning process there was support for acquiring this piece of land (Property A.1 on the page 33), to extend the trail network (see Action T.2). 4. Consider additional land acquisition. During the planning process there was some interest in identifying adjacent properties for future park expansion. The logical areas for expansion are described and illustrated on the following page. Expansion opportunities could come from either land donations or real estate purchases. One source of funding for land purchases is the WDNR Stewardship program, which provides a 50% match for the acquisition of nature based outdoor recreational land. The expansion areas are presented in a logical order based on the scenic and recreational value of the land and their proximity to existing park trails and facilities. If additional park expansion opportunities arise the County should add a site plan illustrating improvements (i.e. trails, signage, etc.) as an appendix to this plan. If additional development

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CHAPTER THREE Potential Park Expansion Areas

other counties. According to the 2009 POROS Park Survey, 78% of respondents felt the County Park system had a role in improving the local economy by attracting visitors to the area. One of the concerns raised during the planning process was the potential for conflicts between equestrian and bicycle users on the same trails. By expanding the park a separate area can be designated for mountain biking use. A separate parking area and picnic facilities could be constructed in the northwest corner of the

36 ROCK COUNTY, WISCONSIN - PARKS DIVISION

B.1 parcel, the existing driveway follows this property line. The total acreages of these parcels are 346 (164, 83, 30, and 69); however, all of this area is not required and the priority should be the B.2 parcel, and the contiguous woodlands on either side north to the park boundary, for the reasons stated. Adding to the complexity is the fact that all four parcels are currently under separate ownership. •

C: This 32 acre parcel is relatively flat, only 32 feet of relief, compared to the previous properties discussed. As a flat


RECOMMENDATIONS piece of agricultural land it has little scenic value as is. However, the property could be converted back to a prairie with a looping hiking or multi-use trail system. The lower parking and picnic area would be able to serve this area so additional facility construction would be limited. •

D: This 110 acre parcel is under the same ownership as parcel C, and has many of the same characteristics (flat agricultural land). However, unlike parcel C, it is not adjacent to existing park infrastructure and therefore has less value to the park system compared to the other properties discussed.

•

E.1 & E.2: Either of these two parcels could provide an extension of the park and public access north to Allen Creek. The E.1 parcel (82 acres) and the E.2 parcel (35 acres) are currently under separate ownership.

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CHAPTER FOUR


CHAPTER FOUR

Ac on Plan 39 - Ac on Steps Summary

This plan is a guide to help the County, Parks Department Staff, and local volunteers implement the desired vision for Magnolia Bluff Park. The desired vision for this park cannot be created overnight. However, by incrementally implementing the recommendations within this plan the park can become the outstanding scenic and recreation destination desired. Implementation will take coordination between the County, WDNR, and local volunteers.

4.1 ACTION PLAN SUMMARY Table 4.1 (on the next page) provides a summary of the recommendations described in Chapter 3, including a preferred time frame for completion. Implementation time lines are categorized into short-, medium-, and long-term horizons based on factors such as: •

Ease of implementation and whether the project requires any design or construction services.

Relative need or desire for the project.

Opportunities for coordination with other park improvements.

Probable cost – projects with higher costs are likely to take longer to implement.

The time frames are not mandates on the County for the completion of particular improvements during specific years. The implementation of specific projects could be affected by the availability of grant funding, donations, or volunteer assistance. In addition, some improvements could be implemented in phases, such as the construction of park shelters.

trail construction). Costs are expressed within a range to acknowledge that additional factors beyond the scope of this planning process will determine final cost. For example, the selection of particular materials, vendors, and the timing of projects will all have an influence on the final cost. Some recommendations such as the electric improvements will require additional engineering design services prior to implementation. In addition, particular recommendations may be modified or only partially implemented depending on available funding. For example, the County may wish to implement certain trail improvement projects over a period of time. The estimates are a starting point which can be used to aid in grant applications or future department budgets. Funding to complete proposed projects will come from the following sources: •

General Department Budget

ATC Funds

Program/Park Fees

Donations

Fundraising

State and Federal Grants

Sales from trees removed as part of land management activities at the park

Costs identified are preliminary estimates made prior to design considerations, or engineering studies, and typically assume using County staff for installation (except for major improvements such

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CHAPTER FOUR

Figure 4.1: Action Plan

ACTION P.1a P.1b P.2 P.3 P.4 P.5 P.6 P.7 P.8 P.9 P.10

SHORTTERM

MIDTERM

LONGTERM

2012-2014

2015-2019

2020+

Add picnic shelters (no electricity) within the lower and upper picnic areas.

ESTIMATED COST $4,000 - $6,000 each

Add electricity to picnic shelters.

$10,000 - $30,000

Update the existing wells with ADA-compliant hand pumps.

$2,000 - $4,000 each

Improve the equistrian parking area.

$1,000 - $3,000

Stripe parking stalls in the lower and upper parking lots, including spaces designated for van accessible parking.

$100 - $500

Provide a bike rack at both vehicle parking areas.

$100 - $1,000 each

Eliminate the firepit near the western edge of the upper bluff and upgrade the firepit near the upper parking area.

$500 - $1,000

Provide picnic tables, grills, and garbage containers, as necessary, at all designated picinc areas.

$1,000 - $3,000

Add at least seven more benches (as suggested in Map 12).

$2,000 - $4,000

Add two hitching posts and move an existing one, as shown in the Park Facilities Plan (Map 12).

$500 - $2,000

Add a dispersed camp site along the designated Ice Age Trail within the park.

$100 - $200 for signage

T.1a

Close trail sections that have erosion and accessibility issues, and establish new trail segments to complete the trail system. Create several interlocking trail loops that can be followed using a map and park signage.

$40,000 - $160,000

T.1b

Designate a segment of the trail system for the Ice Age Trail.

$11,000 - $25,000

T.2a T.2b

Build an ADA-compliant path along the lower parking area, connecting the existing well, proposed shelters, existing bathrooms, and trail entrances. Build an ADA-compliant path along the upper parking area, connecting the existing well, proposed shelters, existing bathrooms, and trail entrances.

$3,200 - $8,000 $3,200 - $8,000

T.3

After purchasing the land north of the park, build a new multi-use trail that connects into the existing trail system.

$12,000 - $27,000

T.4

Build a trail that is accessible to all users, especially disabled individuals confined to a wheelchair.

$16,000 - $40,000

T.5

Add grass pavers at the start of the Blue Loop (at the base of the bluff) to the upper picnic area.

$2,000 - $5,000

S/r.1

Add wayfinding signage on WIS 104 and WIS 213.

S/r.2

Consider upgrading the park entrance sign as the initial step to upgrading the entire County-wide park entryway signage system.

S/t.1

Add additional kiosks at the lower and upper parking areas, providing general information about the park.

S/t.2

Add an educational sign at the bluff overlook.

S/t.3

Replace the trail signage system with reassurance and junction parkers illustrated in the Park Trail and Signage Management Plan Map (15).

LM.1

Land management activities (Spring Burn Season, Growing/Harvest Season, Fall Burn Season, Winter Work Season).

O-1 O-2 O-3

Construct a tree/plant identification course.

O-4

Consider future property acquisitions.

$50 - $150 per year per sign $2,500 - $5,000 $500 - $1,000 $500 - $1,500 $2,000 - $4,000

-- annually --

Varies $100 - $1,000

Add painted crosswalks where any trail crosses a road.

$100 - $200

Purchase the wooded property northeast of the park.

Unknown

-- ongoing --

Unknown

Trail Construction Assumptions

Land Management Assumptions

New trail construction cost estimates assume a four foot wide natural surface trail with a cost per linear foot of $3.5 - $8. Rehabilitation of closed trails assumes a cost per linear foot of $2 - $15 and includes check dams for erosion control, and scarification/cover up.

Accessible trail construction cost estimates assume a six foot wide hard mineral surface trail with a cost per linear foot of $8 - $20 and includes all materials.

Grass paver installation cost estimates assume a four foot wide trail with a cost per linear foot of $9.5 - $25 and includes all materials.

Approximately 1,350 annual labor hours: •

425 maintenance labor hours from Rock County,

425 administrative hours from Rock County,

500 volunteer hours.

40 ROCK COUNTY, WISCONSIN - PARKS DIVISION


Appendix A: Survey Results 1. Over the past 12 months on average how often have you or members of your household visited Carver-Roehl Park? Response

Response

Percent

Count

13 or more times per year

7.5%

3

7-12 times per year

5.0%

2

2-6 times per year

22.5%

9

Once per year

20.0%

8

45.0%

18

answered question

40

skipped question

0

Have not visited the park in the past 12 months

1 of 24


2. If you seldom use or do not visit Carver-Roehl Park, what are your reasons? Please check up to TWO choices. Response

Response

Percent

Count

Not interested/No time

21.7%

5

Too far away from home

26.1%

6

Do not have transportation

0.0%

0

Don't know where the park is

21.7%

5

Too crowded

0.0%

0

Feel unsafe

8.7%

2

Don't know what's available

30.4%

7

I use other County parks

43.5%

10

8.7%

2

Lack of recreational facilities that interest me

Other (please specify)

2 of 24

1

answered question

23

skipped question

17


3. With regards to Carver-Roehl Park only, what is the primary reason for your visit? Please check up to THREE choices. Response

Response

Percent

Count

Walking/Hiking

92.9%

13

Jogging

7.1%

1

Cross-country skiing

14.3%

2

Bird/nature watching

57.1%

8

Picnics

28.6%

4

Special Events

7.1%

1

Volunteering - Park Maintenance

14.3%

2

Geocaching

7.1%

1

Nature Photography

14.3%

2

Other (please specify)

0

answered question

14

skipped question

26

3 of 24


4. Over the past 12 months on average how often have you or members of your household visited Magnolia Bluff Park? Response

Response

Percent

Count

13 or more times per year

15.4%

6

7-12 times per year

10.3%

4

2-6 times per year

30.8%

12

Once per year

12.8%

5

30.8%

12

answered question

39

skipped question

1

Have not visited the park in the past 12 months

4 of 24


5. If you seldom use or do not visit Magnolia Bluff Park, what are your reasons? Please check up to TWO choices. Response

Response

Percent

Count

Not interested/No time

13.3%

2

Too far away from home

40.0%

6

Do not have transportation

6.7%

1

Don't know where the park is

33.3%

5

Too crowded

0.0%

0

Feel unsafe

6.7%

1

Don't know what's available

26.7%

4

I use other County parks

33.3%

5

6.7%

1

Other (please specify)

0

answered question

15

skipped question

25

Lack of recreational facilities that interest me

5 of 24


6. With regards to Magnolia Bluff Park only, what is the primary reason for your visit? Please check up to THREE choices. Response

Response

Percent

Count

Horseback Riding

27.3%

6

Walking/Hiking

77.3%

17

Jogging

4.5%

1

Cross-country skiing

18.2%

4

Bird/nature watching

27.3%

6

Picnics

18.2%

4

Special Events

4.5%

1

Volunteering - Park Maintenance

18.2%

4

Geocaching

4.5%

1

Nature Photography

18.2%

4

Other (please specify)

6 of 24

1

answered question

22

skipped question

18


7. How would you rate your overall satisfaction with the park facilities in Carver-Roehl? Response

Response

Percent

Count

Very Dissatisfied

0.0%

0

Dissatisfied

6.7%

2

Satisfied

30.0%

9

Very Satisfied

13.3%

4

No Opinion

50.0%

15

Comment

7 of 24

2

answered question

30

skipped question

10


8. How would you rate the following characteristics of Carver-Roehl Park? Please use the comment box to describe any concerns with the following characteristics. No Poor

Fair

Good

Excellent

Opinion/Don't Use

Response Count

General Park Cleanliness

0.0% (0)

10.3% (3)

31.0% (9)

20.7% (6)

37.9% (11)

29

Cleanliness of Restrooms

3.6% (1)

17.9% (5)

14.3% (4)

7.1% (2)

57.1% (16)

28

Trail Conditions

0.0% (0)

10.3% (3)

41.4% (12)

6.9% (2)

41.4% (12)

29

Trail Signage/Maps

0.0% (0)

27.6% (8)

27.6% (8)

3.4% (1)

41.4% (12)

29

Shelters

0.0% (0)

10.7% (3)

28.6% (8)

14.3% (4)

46.4% (13)

28

Benches/Picnic Tables

3.4% (1)

6.9% (2)

31.0% (9)

17.2% (5)

41.4% (12)

29

Grills

7.1% (2)

17.9% (5)

10.7% (3)

3.6% (1)

60.7% (17)

28

Playground Equipment

3.6% (1)

7.1% (2)

10.7% (3)

3.6% (1)

75.0% (21)

28

Parking

6.9% (2)

17.2% (5)

34.5% (10)

6.9% (2)

34.5% (10)

29

Drinking Water

11.1% (3)

7.4% (2)

14.8% (4)

7.4% (2)

59.3% (16)

27

Comment

8 of 24

2

answered question

29

skipped question

11


9. How would you rate your overall satisfaction with the park facilities in Magnolia Bluff? Response

Response

Percent

Count

Very Dissatisfied

0.0%

0

Dissatisfied

3.6%

1

Satisfied

50.0%

14

Very Satisfied

25.0%

7

No Opinion

21.4%

6

Comment

9 of 24

3

answered question

28

skipped question

12


10. How would you rate the following characteristics of Magnolia Bluff Park? Please use the comment box to describe any concerns with the following characteristics. No Poor

Fair

Good

Excellent

Opinion/Don't Use

Response Count

General Park Cleanliness

0.0% (0)

6.7% (2)

43.3% (13)

33.3% (10)

16.7% (5)

30

Cleanliness of Restrooms

7.1% (2)

25.0% (7)

17.9% (5)

3.6% (1)

46.4% (13)

28

Trail Conditions

0.0% (0)

16.7% (5)

56.7% (17)

6.7% (2)

20.0% (6)

30

Trail Signage/Maps

0.0% (0)

32.1% (9)

39.3% (11)

7.1% (2)

21.4% (6)

28

Horse Tie Down Poles

7.4% (2)

3.7% (1)

14.8% (4)

3.7% (1)

70.4% (19)

27

Shelters

10.7% (3)

10.7% (3)

21.4% (6)

3.6% (1)

53.6% (15)

28

Benches/Picnic Tables

0.0% (0)

20.0% (6)

36.7% (11)

3.3% (1)

40.0% (12)

30

Grills

7.1% (2)

14.3% (4)

21.4% (6)

3.6% (1)

53.6% (15)

28

Campfire Rings

3.6% (1)

7.1% (2)

17.9% (5)

3.6% (1)

67.9% (19)

28

Parking

3.3% (1)

10.0% (3)

56.7% (17)

13.3% (4)

16.7% (5)

30

Drinking Water

7.7% (2)

15.4% (4)

11.5% (3)

7.7% (2)

57.7% (15)

26

Comment

10 of 24

7

answered question

30

skipped question

10


11. How safe do you feel when visiting Carver-Roehl Park? Please use the comment box to describe any safety concerns. Response

Response

Percent

Count

Very Safe

26.7%

8

Somewhat Safe

20.0%

6

Somewhat Unsafe

10.0%

3

Very Unsafe

0.0%

0

No Opinion

43.3%

13

Comment

5

answered question

30

skipped question

10

12. Do you have any accessibility concerns at Carver-Roehl Park? Please use the comment box to describe any specific concerns. Response

Response

Percent

Count

Yes

0.0%

0

No

72.4%

21

Not Sure

27.6%

8

Comment

11 of 24

1

answered question

29

skipped question

11


13. How safe do you feel when visiting Magnolia Bluff Park? Please use the comment box to describe any safety concerns. Response

Response

Percent

Count

Very Safe

45.2%

14

Somewhat Safe

19.4%

6

Somewhat Unsafe

9.7%

3

Very Unsafe

6.5%

2

No Opinion

19.4%

6

Comment

2

answered question

31

skipped question

9

14. Do you have any accessibility concerns at Magnolia Bluff Park? Please use the comment box to describe any specific concerns. Response

Response

Percent

Count

Yes

9.7%

3

No

71.0%

22

Not Sure

19.4%

6

Comment

12 of 24

4

answered question

31

skipped question

9


15. In the future, what type of improvements would you like to see added to (or more of) Carver-Roehl Park? Not a

Low

Medium

High

No

Response

Priority

Priority

Priority

Priority

Opinion

Count

Picnic Areas

14.8% (4)

18.5% (5)

11.1% (3)

18.5% (5)

37.0% (10)

27

Shelters/Gazebos

14.8% (4)

18.5% (5)

25.9% (7)

0.0% (0)

40.7% (11)

27

Grills

11.1% (3)

22.2% (6)

18.5% (5)

7.4% (2)

40.7% (11)

27

Campfire Rings

11.1% (3)

33.3% (9)

7.4% (2)

3.7% (1)

44.4% (12)

27

0.0% (0)

7.1% (2)

10.7% (3)

46.4% (13)

35.7% (10)

28

Mountain Bike Trails

25.0% (7)

14.3% (4)

7.1% (2)

14.3% (4)

39.3% (11)

28

Tent Camping Sites

34.6% (9)

15.4% (4)

7.7% (2)

3.8% (1)

38.5% (10)

26

Dog Exercise Area

22.2% (6)

18.5% (5)

14.8% (4)

7.4% (2)

37.0% (10)

27

Playground Equipment

18.5% (5)

14.8% (4)

22.2% (6)

0.0% (0)

44.4% (12)

27

General Recreational Field

36.0% (9)

20.0% (5)

4.0% (1)

4.0% (1)

36.0% (9)

25

Disc Golf Course

32.1% (9)

17.9% (5)

3.6% (1)

14.3% (4)

32.1% (9)

28

Restrooms

0.0% (0)

14.8% (4)

29.6% (8)

22.2% (6)

33.3% (9)

27

Parking Area

0.0% (0)

26.9% (7)

26.9% (7)

7.7% (2)

38.5% (10)

26

Bike Racks

14.3% (4)

25.0% (7)

17.9% (5)

10.7% (3)

32.1% (9)

28

7.1% (2)

14.3% (4)

17.9% (5)

28.6% (8)

32.1% (9)

28

14.8% (4)

22.2% (6)

22.2% (6)

3.7% (1)

37.0% (10)

27

Natural Resource Restoration

Drinking Fountains Increased Programs/Special Events

Other (please specify)

13 of 24

3

answered question

30

skipped question

10


16. In the future, what type of improvements would you like to see added to (or more of) Magnolia Bluff Park? Not a

Low

Medium

High

No

Response

Priority

Priority

Priority

Priority

Opinion

Count

18.5% (5)

25.9% (7)

25.9% (7)

7.4% (2)

22.2% (6)

27

3.7% (1)

29.6% (8)

18.5% (5)

22.2% (6)

25.9% (7)

27

Grills

11.1% (3)

44.4% (12)

14.8% (4)

3.7% (1)

25.9% (7)

27

Campfire Rings

33.3% (9)

33.3% (9)

11.1% (3)

0.0% (0)

22.2% (6)

27

0.0% (0)

10.7% (3)

3.6% (1)

57.1% (16)

28.6% (8)

28

Mountain Bike Trails

42.9% (12)

7.1% (2)

10.7% (3)

17.9% (5)

21.4% (6)

28

Rock Climbing Area

38.5% (10)

7.7% (2)

11.5% (3)

23.1% (6)

19.2% (5)

26

Equestrain Trails

32.1% (9)

10.7% (3)

17.9% (5)

17.9% (5)

21.4% (6)

28

Horse Tie Downs

35.7% (10)

17.9% (5)

17.9% (5)

7.1% (2)

21.4% (6)

28

Tent Camping Sites

33.3% (9)

22.2% (6)

14.8% (4)

7.4% (2)

22.2% (6)

27

Dog Exercise Area

40.7% (11)

14.8% (4)

14.8% (4)

7.4% (2)

22.2% (6)

27

Playground Equipment

37.0% (10)

18.5% (5)

18.5% (5)

0.0% (0)

25.9% (7)

27

General Recreational Field

37.0% (10)

14.8% (4)

14.8% (4)

3.7% (1)

29.6% (8)

27

Disc Golf Course

55.6% (15)

7.4% (2)

3.7% (1)

14.8% (4)

18.5% (5)

27

0.0% (0)

22.2% (6)

22.2% (6)

33.3% (9)

22.2% (6)

27

Parking Area

22.2% (6)

11.1% (3)

37.0% (10)

7.4% (2)

22.2% (6)

27

Bike Racks

33.3% (9)

18.5% (5)

18.5% (5)

11.1% (3)

18.5% (5)

27

Drinking Fountains

11.1% (3)

25.9% (7)

22.2% (6)

18.5% (5)

22.2% (6)

27

On-site Electricity

37.0% (10)

11.1% (3)

22.2% (6)

7.4% (2)

22.2% (6)

27

Increased Programs/Special Events

25.9% (7)

14.8% (4)

22.2% (6)

7.4% (2)

29.6% (8)

27

Picnic Areas Shelters/Gazebos

Natural Resource Restoration

Restrooms

Other (please specify)

answered question

14 of 24

5

30


skipped question

10

17. If you could make ONE key improvement to Carver-Roehl Park what would it be? Response Count 15 answered question

15

skipped question

25

18. Please share your other suggestions for improving Carver-Roehl Park. Response Count 8 answered question

8

skipped question

32

19. If you could make ONE key improvement to Magnolia Bluff Park what would it be? Response Count 16

15 of 24

answered question

16

skipped question

24


20. Please share your other suggestions for improving Magnolia Bluff Park. Response Count 11 answered question

11

skipped question

29

Response

Response

Percent

Count

21. What is your age?

Under 18

0.0%

0

18-24

3.2%

1

25-34

22.6%

7

35-54

41.9%

13

55+

32.3%

10

answered question

31

skipped question

9

16 of 24


22. What is the total number of persons living in your household? Response

Response

Percent

Count

1

9.7%

3

2

64.5%

20

3

12.9%

4

4

12.9%

4

5 or more

0.0%

0

answered question

31

skipped question

9

23. How many children (18 years old or younger) live in your residence? Response

Response

Percent

Count

0

87.1%

27

1-2

12.9%

4

3-4

0.0%

0

5+

0.0%

0

answered question

31

skipped question

9

17 of 24


24. Indicate the location of your primary residence using the zip code map below. Response

Response

Percent

Count

53114

0.0%

0

53190

3.2%

1

53505

0.0%

0

53511

6.5%

2

53520

6.5%

2

53521

0.0%

0

53525

3.2%

1

53534

3.2%

1

53536

3.2%

1

53538

0.0%

0

53545

29.0%

9

53546

19.4%

6

53548

9.7%

3

53563

0.0%

0

53576

3.2%

1

53585

0.0%

0

53589

3.2%

1

Other

9.7%

3

answered question

31

skipped question

9

Page 3, Q2. If you seldom use or do not visit Carver-Roehl Park, what are your reasons? Please check up to TWO choices.

1

Horses not allowed

Jun 19, 2011 5:13 AM 18 of 24


Page 3, Q2. If you seldom use or do not visit Carver-Roehl Park, what are your reasons? Please check up to TWO choices.

Page 7, Q6. With regards to Magnolia Bluff Park only, what is the primary reason for your visit? Please check up to THREE choices.

1

I am a member of the work group that is maintaining the trails too.

Jun 22, 2011 9:58 AM

Page 8, Q7. How would you rate your overall satisfaction with the park facilities in Carver-Roehl?

1

beautiful park without all the commercialism/plastic playground equipment. Nice to have a natural park

Jul 7, 2011 10:23 AM

2

would like to see mountain biking trails

Jul 4, 2011 11:04 AM

Page 8, Q8. How would you rate the following characteristics of Carver-Roehl Park? Please use the comment box to describe any concerns with the following characteristics.

1

There seems to be single men parked in various parts of the park which makes me uncomfortable. They are not hiking or picnicing, just sitting in cars or standing along the road.

Jun 29, 2011 8:16 PM

2

The hiking/cross-country skiing trails here are great - I love the challenging hill. However, the layout of the trails should be changed - the loop doesn't exactly match up when crossing the park entrance road - instead, there is the confusing option of continuing south on the west or east side of Spring Brook. At the very least, one of these trails should match up to the trail on the north side of the entrance road. Also, I think it might be possible to squeeze some extra trail into the loop, especially on the south side of the park, instead of having "out-andback" spurs.

Jun 22, 2011 1:44 PM

Page 9, Q9. How would you rate your overall satisfaction with the park facilities in Magnolia Bluff?

1

Toilets(heard new ones planned) Park Shelter (would like one near equine parking area)Picnic Tables(more)Grill & campfire ring(none in equine picnic area)

Jun 19, 2011 5:23 AM

2

I guess parks that are unpoliced and lightly used are targets for undesirable activity, so that can be a reason not to use the park

Jun 17, 2011 1:16 PM

3

After bathrooms installed, satisfied; after pavilion installed, very satisfied.

Jun 15, 2011 4:15 PM

Page 9, Q10. How would you rate the following characteristics of Magnolia Bluff Park? Please use the comment box to describe any concerns with the following characteristics.

1

19 of 24 Would be interested in knowing more about the park.

Jun 29, 2011 8:17 PM


Page 9, Q10. How would you rate the following characteristics of Magnolia Bluff Park? Please use the comment box to describe any concerns with the following characteristics.

2

signage is confusing and in disrepair. can users - hiker, horse people use all the trails or selected trails? i primairly use the horse trails and snowshoe in the winter. i would like to see all the trail systems expanded. i would also like to see the park expanded to the east or the south; or in lieu of that perhaps easments negotiated for trail corridors on adjoing property similar to Dane County.

Jun 27, 2011 12:53 PM

3

Park would be a nice destination aong the Ice Age Trail

Jun 23, 2011 1:21 PM

4

This park has some great views for hiking, but the trails could be laid out better. Considering the size, why not have a couple of different loops, with varying lengths? A trail layout similar to the John Muir trails in the Kettle Moraine would work well here. Also, another problem is the trails don't seem very "intuitive," with lots of shortcuts and dead-ends leading to roads.

Jun 22, 2011 1:57 PM

5

The ride is short but beautiful and home is in Magnolia Township; so, we have not far to come to enjoy the beauty of the park.

Jun 22, 2011 10:00 AM

6

I've worked many years to help improve MB. I realize it takes time and money for major improvements. I greatly appreciate the new equine parking area! I'm happy to hear of the new toilets. Hopefully, a park shelter will be built soon. Thank you Lori, Joleen, Jim and the rest of the Parks staff!

Jun 19, 2011 5:23 AM

7

Parking for horse trailers can be less than desirable at times and very hard to turn around in the upper parking area.

Jun 17, 2011 9:20 AM

Page 10, Q11. How safe do you feel when visiting Carver-Roehl Park? Please use the comment box to describe any safety concerns.

1

Homosexual activity has been a problem here.

Jul 14, 2011 12:25 AM

2

There were lone men sitting in cars or standing by the road, not obviously hiking or picnicing, that made me uncomfortable to get out of my car.

Jun 29, 2011 8:19 PM

3

My only safety concern when visiting Carver-Roehl is driving out to the park during the winter - the roads can be fairly hard to navigate when covered in snow and ice.

Jun 22, 2011 1:58 PM

4

It is much better than in previous years, however, we still have the problem of men sitting in parked cars.

Jun 16, 2011 11:52 AM

5

Have been confronted by strange characters there.

Jun 15, 2011 12:10 PM

Page 10, Q12. Do you have any accessibility concerns at Carver-Roehl Park? Please use the comment box to describe any specific concerns.

1

Have never been to this park-know nothing of its facilities.

Jun 22, 2011 10:01 AM

Page 11, Q13. How safe do you feel when visiting Magnolia Bluff Park? Please use the comment box to describe any safety concerns.

20 of 24

1

We were there a couple years ago when a motor cycle group was arriving for a

Jun 22, 2011 10:05 AM


Page 11, Q13. How safe do you feel when visiting Magnolia Bluff Park? Please use the comment box to describe any safety concerns.

picnic. Fortunately, our horses were used to motor cycles and the drivers did slow down when passing our trucks and trailers where we were returning from a morning ride. 2

the remote location and past issues with undesirable characters frequenting the park make me a little uneasy.

Jun 15, 2011 12:13 PM

Page 11, Q14. Do you have any accessibility concerns at Magnolia Bluff Park? Please use the comment box to describe any specific concerns.

1

i like the rugged nature of the park and the fact you have to work to enjoy it.

Jun 27, 2011 12:54 PM

2

There are some trail areas that still need work. Wish riders would not leave the trails. Currently there are some large trees to remove after a recent storm. Our group removed 17 that we could handle last week. Please do not open this park to bikers-mountain type bikes as I believe that spells trouble with the way the trails will be torn up and the noise and scary presence that they have for the equines.

Jun 22, 2011 10:05 AM

3

Mainly parking for horse back riding. Overall the group that maintains the horse trails does an awesome job. It's a very nice park for a short ride offering all types of terrain. Kudos to the volunteer works crews that keep this park open to horses!

Jun 17, 2011 9:22 AM

4

Is the plateau (lookout) accessable to the disabled (wheelchairs)?

Jun 15, 2011 12:13 PM

Page 12, Q15. In the future, what type of improvements would you like to see added to (or more of) Carver-Roehl Park?

1

no fire in the parks, please!

Jul 7, 2011 10:25 AM

2

Would love to see some mountain bike trails in County Parks.

Jun 28, 2011 4:24 PM

3

I have no opinion to offer as I do not know anything about this park.

Jun 22, 2011 10:05 AM

Page 13, Q16. In the future, what type of improvements would you like to see added to (or more of) Magnolia Bluff Park?

1

no fires in the park, please! camping and playground equipment destroy the natural beauty of the parks

Jul 7, 2011 10:27 AM

2

Would love to see some mountain bike trails in County Parks.

Jun 28, 2011 4:25 PM

3

Connection to nearby communities

Jun 23, 2011 1:23 PM

21 of 24


Page 13, Q16. In the future, what type of improvements would you like to see added to (or more of) Magnolia Bluff Park?

4

I love the current peaceful atmosphere & lack of crowds. Magnolia Town people have used for a general picnic but it is hard to get people organized when families have so many other events all summer. Saddly, more people means more trash & noise.

Jun 22, 2011 10:09 AM

5

Do NOT want to have bikes on these trails! Doubt the geography would support "rock climbing". It's been difficult to keep folks on the trails without inviting "climbers"! Educational building/shelter would be great. Please buy more land to expand this park!

Jun 19, 2011 5:50 AM

Page 14, Q17. If you could make ONE key improvement to Carver-Roehl Park what would it be?

1

Mosquito abatement in season.

Jul 14, 2011 12:32 AM

2

Restrooms

Jul 7, 2011 10:27 AM

3

disc golf and mountian biking trails

Jul 4, 2011 11:06 AM

4

Mountain bike trails!

Jul 4, 2011 9:59 AM

5

Better picnic area.

Jun 29, 2011 8:21 PM

6

Replace the bathrooms

Jun 28, 2011 4:57 PM

7

Natural resource restoration/protection.

Jun 28, 2011 4:26 PM

8

Better parking

Jun 23, 2011 5:13 PM

9

Better trail layout, namely, one where the loop is actually continous.

Jun 22, 2011 2:02 PM

10

No opinion as I do not even know where this one is.

Jun 22, 2011 10:10 AM

11

Emphasis on nature and open space. no more construction

Jun 20, 2011 11:19 AM

12

I'm not familiar with this park. Possibly birdhouses, benches along trails for folks to rest and enjoy the view

Jun 19, 2011 5:50 AM

13

Parking Area

Jun 16, 2011 2:33 PM

14

Create more parking without changing the natural look of the park.

Jun 16, 2011 11:59 AM

15

Keep the oddball sexual predators out.

Jun 15, 2011 12:19 PM

Page 14, Q18. Please share your other suggestions for improving Carver-Roehl Park.

1

Make it more picnic-friendly with plenty of picnic tables, grills, and water fountains.

22 of 24

Jul 14, 2011 12:32 AM


Page 14, Q18. Please share your other suggestions for improving Carver-Roehl Park.

2

Mountain bike trails!

Jul 4, 2011 9:59 AM

3

A disc golf course at this park would be great!

Jun 28, 2011 4:57 PM

4

Would love to see some mountain bike trails in County Parks.

Jun 28, 2011 4:26 PM

5

Please do not add more playground equipment. This is a county park not a city park.

Jun 23, 2011 5:13 PM

6

improve trails and bridges

Jun 16, 2011 2:33 PM

7

Leave the red pines as they are, they have been there a long time. As they die, they will eliminate themselves naturally.

Jun 16, 2011 11:59 AM

8

Flora and Fauna restoration and conservation

Jun 15, 2011 12:19 PM

Page 15, Q19. If you could make ONE key improvement to Magnolia Bluff Park what would it be?

1

The road leading to the park needs to be paved.

Jul 7, 2011 10:28 AM

2

disc golf and mountian bikeing trails

Jul 4, 2011 11:07 AM

3

Replace the bathrooms

Jun 28, 2011 4:57 PM

4

Natural resource restoration/protection.

Jun 28, 2011 4:26 PM

5

more length in horse trails and don't mix with bikes ... and as i said earlier keep it rugged

Jun 27, 2011 1:01 PM

6

ELECTRICITY

Jun 23, 2011 5:14 PM

7

Removal of Invasive species

Jun 23, 2011 1:23 PM

8

Better trail layout. Currently, trails just do not make sense.

Jun 22, 2011 2:03 PM

9

Continue to improve and develop equestrian trails.

Jun 22, 2011 10:12 AM

10

Update the restrooms and drinking water.

Jun 20, 2011 11:20 AM

11

Park Shelter/Educational Center: dual purpose for social activities (weddings, family gatherings, meetings, fundraisers) and school programs. Best location on grassy clearing west of equine parking area and east of upper level toilets

Jun 19, 2011 5:50 AM

12

Add security camera at entrance

Jun 17, 2011 1:18 PM

13

Improve parking for horseback riders

Jun 17, 2011 9:23 AM

14

Improve restrooms

Jun 16, 2011 2:34 PM

15

Trail maintenance - deberming. Bathroom are scheduled for installation. Pavilion in upper area.

Jun 15, 2011 4:24 PM

23 of 24


Page 15, Q19. If you could make ONE key improvement to Magnolia Bluff Park what would it be?

16

Paved walk out to the lookout area.

Jun 15, 2011 12:21 PM

Page 15, Q20. Please share your other suggestions for improving Magnolia Bluff Park.

1

A shelter near the bluff overlook

Jun 28, 2011 4:57 PM

2

Would love to see some mountain bike trails in County Parks.

Jun 28, 2011 4:26 PM

3

signage, restrooms primaily on othe upper level, more trail length

Jun 27, 2011 1:01 PM

4

Better parking and CLEARLY LABELED HORSE TRAILS SPEARATE FROM HIKING TRAILS

Jun 23, 2011 5:14 PM

5

Connect to nearby communities

Jun 23, 2011 1:23 PM

6

Improved signage for specific use and trail directions. We leave our dogs home and I do not want to see any loose dogs in the park...need a sign for that too.

Jun 22, 2011 10:12 AM

7

A lookout tower at the top to utilize the view in all directions. It is the highest point in the county.

Jun 20, 2011 11:20 AM

8

Purchase adjacent wooded bluff/land to expand the park. Promote "birdwatching": post info at trailhead about types of birds there, install benches along lower perimeter trail adjacent to farm field as the song birds love the choke cherry trees, bluebird houses along the grassy picnic area in upper level

Jun 19, 2011 5:50 AM

9

Security cameras in parking areas

Jun 16, 2011 2:34 PM

10

Maybe having educational signs that identify trees, flowers, plants, etc.

Jun 15, 2011 4:24 PM

11

Flora and Fauna restoration and conservation

Jun 15, 2011 12:21 PM

24 of 24


Magnolia Bluff Goal: To restore dry prairie, oak opening, oak woodland, and southern dry-mesic forest, and provide an ecological reference area. Accommodate the development and use of a portion of the State Natural Area and the Ice Age National Scenic Trail. Management Objectives: Manage the site as a dry prairie, oak opening, oak woodland and southern drymesic forest in a manner to restore the ecological functions of those natural communities. Natural processes, removal of invasive species and prescribed understory manipulation will determine the structure of the prairie, oak opening, woodland and forest. Maintain the population of state-threatened kittentails (Besseya bullii) and augmentation the kittentails habitat with short statured oak opening ground layer species. Provide opportunities for research, education and interpretation on the highest quality native prairies, oak opening, woodland and forest. Management Systems: The native dominant oak opening tree species (primarily oaks) are mostly managed passively. However, some thinning of the canopy, understory manipulation and shrub control via harvest, brushing or fire may be needed to mimic natural disturbance patterns or to provide safe use of the trail system. The mostly passive canopy management and understory manipulation will determine the ecological characteristics of the site. Exceptions include control of invasive plants and animals, and maintenance of existing facilities. Augmentation of the ground layer will only add species that historically would have been found on the site utilizing seeds or plugs from local genetic material. Salvage of trees after a major wind event can occur if the volume of woody material inhibits fire prescriptions. Management Prescriptions: The prairie, oak opening, and woodland restoration are long-term projects that may take years to complete. • • • • •

Prescribed fire at appropriate intervals as the primarily management tool. Use thinning and slash reduction of understory trees within oak opening and woodland restoration areas and especially near fire breaks to reduce fuel load and permit safe prescribed fire. Periodically monitor for and eradicate exotic species. Spotted knapweed, common buckthorn, and sweet clover are the primary targets for eradication. Provide opportunities for public use, education, and interpretation of the natural values of the site. Maintain park infrastructure (trails) to county parks standards. Trees determined to be safety hazards for park trail users can be felled and removed from the trails.


•

Work with the National Ice Age Trail Foundation to develop and maintain a segment of the trail to Ice Age Trail standards.

Implementation: Both the County and Department have limited funds to accomplish the site objectives. These funds are determined via respective, county and state budget processes. This plan should be more effective by bringing together both parties and in addition, Magnolia Bluff Steering Committee, to better manage the resource. To accomplish efficiencies, an annual meeting of all parties should assemble to discuss the next years work plans. In general, Rock County Parks would be responsible for trail and other infrastructure management. The Department would provide consultation on species augmentation, invasive species control methods, and interpretation of the natural features. The Magnolia Bluff Steering Committee would accomplish on the ground native community management activities. Annual meetings would determine the seasonal roles of each party in management of the invasive species, brush removal, prescribed fire, seed collection and planting, and other items that may arise.


Magnolia Bluff State Natural Area Rock County T3N-R10E, Sec. 7, 8, 18 54 acres

W State Road 59

W Lilac Ln

7

N Dandylion Ln

8

¨ State Natural Area

17 0

0.1

0.2

0.3

0.4 Miles

1:12,000

W Finnernan Rd Burr Rd

18

N Croak Rd

Rock County Parks

2010


Magnolia Bluff State Natural Area Rock County T3N-R10E, Sec. 7, 8, 18 54 acres

W State Road 59

W Lilac Ln

7

N Dandylion Ln

8

¨ State Natural Area

17 0

0.1

0.2

0.3

0.4 Miles

1:12,000

W Finnernan Rd Burr Rd

18

N Croak Rd

Rock County Parks

2010


APPENDIX D MAGNOLIA BLUFF’S NATURAL AREAS PLANT SURVEYS 2002-2012 Native Plants (Herbaceous) listed alphabetically by Latin, then Common, then Habitat - P = Prairie, S = Savanna, W = Oak Woodland 92 native herbaceous species Agrimonia gryposepala – Tall Agrimony – S, W Amorpha canescens – Lead Plant – P (planted in ‘08 erosion control, from Lone Rock) Andropogon gerardii – Big Bluestem Grass – P Andropogon scoparius/Schizachyrium scoparious – Little Bluestem Grass - P Anemone cylindrical – Thimble Weed – P, S Anemone quinquefolia - Woodland Anemone S, W Anemone virginiana - Tall Thimbleweed, Tall Anemone P, S, W Antennaria species – Pussy Toes – P, S Aquilegia canadensis – Wild Columbine – S, W Arenaria stricta – Rock Sandwort – P Asclepias syriaca – Common Milkweed – P Asclepias tuberosa – Butterfly Weed (planted in ’08 erosion control) P Asclepias veticillata – Whorled Milkweed – P Asclepias viridiflora – Short Green Milkweed – P (One plant, rare) Aster laevis – Smoot Blue Aster – (planted ’08 erosion control, local source) P, S Aster oblongifolius – Aromatic Aster – P Aster sagittifolius – Arrow Leaved Aster – S, W Athryrium filix femina – Lady Fern – W Besseya bullii – Kitten’s Tail – S Botrychium virginianum – Rattlesnake Fern – W Bouteloua curtipendula - Side-Oats Grama – P, S Carex blanda – Common Wood Sedge – S, W Carex brevior – Plains Oval Sedge – S Carex gracillima – Purple Sheathed Graceful Sedge - W Carex granularis – Pale Sedge – S, W Carex hirtifolia – Hairy Wood Sedge – S, W Carex pensylvanica – Common Oak Sedge – P, S, W Circaea quadrisculata – Enchanter’s Nightshade Coreopsis palmata – Prairie Coreopsis (planted in ’08 erosion control) – P Danthonia spicata – Poverty Oat Grass – P, S Desmodium canadense – Showy Tick Trefoil – P, S Dodecatheon meadii – Shooting Star – S, W Equisetum species – Horse Tail - S Erogrostis spectabalis – Purple Love Grass – P Eupatorum rugosum – White Snake root – S, W Erigeron strigosus – Daisy Fleabane – P, S Festuca obtuse – Nodding Fescue – S, W Fragaria virginiana – Wild Strawberry – S, W Galium arapine – Annual Bedstraw - S, W


Magnolia Bluff’s Natural Areas Plant Surveys - 2002-2012 cont’d Habitat - P = Prairie, S = Savanna, W = Oak Woodland Galium boreale – Northern Bedstraw –S, W Geranium maculatum – Wild Geranium – S, W Geum canadense – White Avens – S, W Helianthus divaricatus – Woodland Sunflower – P, S, W (poss. H. strumosus - H.hirsutus) Hepatica americana – Round Lobed Hepatica – W Heuchera richardsonii – Prairie Alum Root – P, S, and Open W (poss. H. americana) Hieracium logipilum – Long-Bearded Hawkweed – P Hypoxis hirsute – Yellow Star Eyed Grass – P, S Juncus tenuis – Path Rush – P, S, W Lactuca canadensis – Wild Lettuce P, S, W Lespedeza capitata – Round-Headed Bush Clover – P, S Linum sulcatum – Grooved Yellow Flax – P Lithospermum incisum – Fringed Puccoon – P (also: poss. L. latifolium in S) Luzula multiflora – Common Wood Rush – S (one plant as of 2012) Lysimachia lanceolata – Lance-Leaved Loosestrife – S Oenothera biennis – Evening Primrose – P, S Orchis spectabilis – Showy Orchis – P, S, W Osmorhiza claytonii – Sweet Ciceley – S, W Oxalis violacea – Violet Wood Sorrel P, S Panicum leibergii – Prairie Panic Grass – P Panicum oligosanthes var. scribnerianum – Scribner’s Panic Grass – P Pellaea glabella – Purple Cliff Brake – grows on limestone cliffs Petalostemum purpureum - Purple Prairie Clover – P Phryma leptostachya – Lopseed – S, W Physalis virginiana –Ground Cherry –P, S Podophyllum peltatum – May Apple – S, W Polygala incarnata – Purple Milkwort – P Polygonatum biflorum (caniculatum) – Solomon’s Seal Polypodium virginianum – Polypody – grows on limestone cliffs Potentilla arguta – Prairie Cinquefoil –P, S Potentilla simplex – Common Cinquefoil – P, S, W Ranunculus fascicularis – Early Buttercup – P, S Sanicula marilandica – Black Snakeroot –W Scrophularia lanceolata – Early Figwort – W Scutellaria parvula – Small Skullcap – P Senecio plattensis – Prairie Ragwort –P Silene antirrhina – Sleepy Catchfly - P Sisyrinchium campestre – Prairie Blue Eyed Grass – P, S Smilacina racemosa – False Solomon’s Seal – S, W Smilacina stellata – Starry False Solomon’s Seal – P Smilax lasioneura – Common Carrion Flower – S, W Solidago canadensis – Canada Goldenrod – P, S Solidago nemoralis – Old Field Goldenrod – P Solidago speciosa – Showy Goldenrod – P (planted in ’08 erosion control) Solidago uimifolia – Elm Leaved Goldenrod - W Sorghastrum nutans – Indian Grass – P


Magnolia Bluff’s Natural Areas Plant Surveys - 2002-2012 cont’d Habitat - P = Prairie, S = Savanna, W = Oak Woodland Sporobolus heterolepis – Prairie Dropseed - P Sporobolus neglectus – Small Dropseed –P (also poss. H. vaginiflorus) Stipa Spartia – Needle or Porcupine Grass – P Tradescantia ohiensis - Common Spiderwort P, S, and open W Viola pedata – Bird Foot Violet – P, S Viola pedatifida – Prairie Violet – P Viola pubescens – Yellow Violet – W Viola sagitata – Arrow Leaved Violet – S

Native Trees, Shrubs, Brambles and Vines 29 species Acer negundo - Boxelder Betula papyeri – White Birch Carya ovata – Shagbark Hickory Cornus racemosa – Grey Dogwood Fraxinus pennsylvanica – Green Ash Juglans nigra – Black Walnut Parthenocissus inserta and P. quinquefolia – Thicket Creeper & Virginia Creeper Picea mariana – Black Spruce Pinus species – planted pines Prunus pensylvanica – Pin Cherry Prunus serotina – Black Cherry Prunus virginiana – Choke Cherry Quercus alba – White Oak Quercus macrocarpa – Bur Oak Quercus rubra – Red Oak Quercus velutina – Black Oak Rhus glabra – Smooth Sumac Rhus radicans – Poison Ivy Rhus typhina – Staghorn Sumac Ribes missouriense – Wild Gooseberry Rubus species – 1-3 species possible Salix bebbiana – Bebb’s Willow (pond area) Sambucus canadensis - Elderberry Tilia americana – American Basswood Ulmus americana - American Elm, White Elm Ulmus rubra – Red elm Vitis species – Grapevine


2012 Rock County Magnolia Bluff Park Master Plan