- Walking Trails
One of the most important land areas in Little Muskego Lake’s watershed has been preserved! In 2012, the City of Muskego purchased 104 acres of land just north of Field Drive. It was named Badertscher Preserve in commemoration of the family who farmed there for many years. This purchase utilized a portion of the city’s landfill settlement funds earmarked for conservation and was leveraged with a Stewardship grant from the State of Wisconsin. The Little Muskego Lake Association also generously donated $50,000 toward acquisition and development. May 2012 - Land Purchased
Badertscher Preserve is located in the northwestern portion of the city immediately north of Field Drive. It also lies south of and adjacent to the city-owned Ridges Conservation site making it collectively over 130 of contiguous acres of conservancy. The physical geography of the site covers rolling glacial topography and has wetlands and artesian springs which give rise to Spring Creek, the highest quality stream in the city and a major tributary to Little Muskego Lake. Land restoration objectives include restoring native vegetation that existed before European settlement and invasive species management.
Oak savannas once dominated southern Wisconsin’s landscape with an estimated 5.5 million acres covering Wisconsin. They are characterized by widely-spaced oak trees growing amid prairie grasses and wildflowers, controlled and managed by fire. An estimated 500 acres of established oak savanna remain in Wisconsin, around .01% of the historic total.
A 12-acre wooded area dominated by large, formerly open-grown oak trees lies in the middle of Badertscher Preserve. An extensive brush removal project was completed in late 2012 to control invasive Honeysuckle and Buckthorn shrubs in the understory of this historic oak savanna. These openings have been seeded with appropriate oak savanna plant species. Periodic controlled burns will help control re-invasion of shrubs and maintain openings.
The wetlands at Badertscher Preserve include a relatively rare calcareous fen plant community. Native wetland plant species were reintroduced through hand seeding. In addition to providing wildlife habitat, these wetlands will help naturally manage storm water resulting in a cleaner, more consistent flow of water to Little Muskego Lake.
A nine-acre woodland on the northwest part of the property has a mixture of hardwood tree species. Extensive removal of invasive species such as Buckthorn, Honeysuckle, and Garlic Mustard begun in 2013 and is a continuing management objective.
What were formally agricultural fields were seeded with over 70 native prairie species in the winter of 2013-2014. Since 2014, it has taken form and continues to be a beautiful natural landscape year after year. Invasive species control and periodic prescribed burning aid in making the prairies of Badertscher as diverse as they are. These prairies also provide plenty of space for local animals to live.
March 2014 - Dormant Seeding Badertscher