Pearl Island Recreational Corridor Conservation Plan


Abigail Becker


Green County
Community Size
University of Wisconsin - Madison
UniverCity Year
Case Type
Project Stories
Focus Areas
Enviormental Studies
EPA Region 5, USA
University Department Code
Earth and Environmental Sciences
Sustainable Development Goals
11 Sustainable Cities and Communities
Population Type

The Pearl Island Recreational Corridor is an 80-acre recreational property located in Brodhead, WI, just 10 miles north of the Wisconsin/Illinois border. This community project
began in November 2012 when the property received a matching grant in order to fund
recreational activity enhancement. There are three main ecosystems that were chosen for
conservation biodiversity targets (see Glossary). The site contains a portion of Decatur Lake, the
first biodiversity target, where the project team choose to focus on increasing the water quality of
the lake in order to enhance recreational opportunities such fishing, boating, and kayaking. A
second target of this project site is the Mill Race: a hand dug waterway created in the mid 1800’s
to furnish power for factories and a flour mill in the City of Brodhead. The project team chose to
focus on increasing the riparian buffer zone of the Mill Race in an effort to increase native
vegetation in order to mitigate runoff from nearby residential and agricultural areas, as well as
lessen the severity of flooding. The third and final target of this project is the surrounding
lowland forest area along the Mill Race, which contains several recreational trails with cultural
significance to the city. This area was once predominately Ash trees, however, the forest area
was recently devastated by the Emerald Ash Borer. This caused a large reduction in tree cover.
The area is also highly susceptible to flooding from the Mill Race due to increased precipitation
caused by climate change. The focus on this target is to create more “water-resilient” trails by
planting trees that can persist in wetter environments as well as replace the Ash trees lost to the
Emerald Ash Borer. With the generation of an Open Standards plan for this project site, the Pearl
Island Recreational Corridor project aims to increase the engagement, restoration, and
management of the composed area in an effort to improve the site as a community recreational

Read the final student report delivered to the local gov/community partner.

UniverCity Year Contact Info
Gavin Luter
Managing Director

University Faculty Contact
Arlyne Johnson
Environmental Studies

Local Government / Community Contact

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