WESPEN Online Order Form print this page
US Fish & Wildlife Service FieldNotes

Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program Restore Wetland Basin in Cooperation with Waukesha County Parks

Region 3, April 4, 2013
Artificially drained wetland basin taken before restoration.
Artificially drained wetland basin taken before restoration. - Photo Credit: n/a
Ben Axt, NAWCA Biologist, probing for drain tile.
Ben Axt, NAWCA Biologist, probing for drain tile. - Photo Credit: n/a
Kurt Waterstradt, Wisconsin Partners for Fish & Wildlife State Coordinator, staking out construction.
Kurt Waterstradt, Wisconsin Partners for Fish & Wildlife State Coordinator, staking out construction. - Photo Credit: n/a
Ben Axt (on right), NAWCA Biologist, working with a local contractor to create shallow wetland scrapes.
Ben Axt (on right), NAWCA Biologist, working with a local contractor to create shallow wetland scrapes. - Photo Credit: n/a
Left to right: Ben Axt (NAWCA Biologist), Kurt Waterstradt (State Coordinator), and Waukesha County Parks employee.  Installing non-perforated tubing to restore the wetland.
Left to right: Ben Axt (NAWCA Biologist), Kurt Waterstradt (State Coordinator), and Waukesha County Parks employee. Installing non-perforated tubing to restore the wetland. - Photo Credit: n/a
Full pool on the restored basin.  The project will be completed with a high diversity, local genetics seed mix.
Full pool on the restored basin. The project will be completed with a high diversity, local genetics seed mix. - Photo Credit: n/a

Biologists from the Wisconsin Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program restored a nine-acre wetland basin in cooperation with the Waukesha County Parks. The project is in the southeast Wisconsin Wetlands, Prairies, and Oak Savanna Focus Area as well as the North American Wetlands Conservation Act grant South-central Wisconsin Prairie Pothole Initiative area. 

The area started as a field of non-native grass that was maintained with artificial drainage. We began by hiring a local contractor and working with them to create shallow wetland scrapes. The spoil from creating the scrapes was used to build an overlook for park visitors to learn about and appreciate our wetland wildlife. The scrapes and the overlook were completed, and we could begin to remove the drain tile. First we exposed the tile. Then we removed it. 

We replaced 70 feet of drain tile with tubing that was not allowing water to seep in to the ground. To prevent flooding, we installed a riser and an inlet on our new piping. The new water height was set below the trail surrounding the area. In the Spring of 2013 our wetland project was at full pool. A native plant community will be established to complete the project.

Learn more about the work we are doing in the Midwest. Check us out online: http://www.fws.gov/midwest/partners/.

Contact Info: Benjamin Axt, 608-221-1206 x13, ben_axt@fws.gov