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Letter from Wetland Scientist Dr. Joy Zedler


From: Joy B. Zedler, Ph.D., Professor of Botany and Aldo Leopold Chair of Restoration Ecology

Re: Northeast Neighborhood (NEN)

I am a wetland scientist; I reside in the Town of Dunn at the headwaters of Murphy Creek. I have personal experience with runoff from Fitchburg, because a farm across the road from me despoils my native sedge meadow with sediment, nutrients, and pesticides. The runoff is converting native vegetation to Wisconsin’s worst wetland weed (reed canary grass, Phalaris arundinacea). A graduate student of mine recently showed that the portion of my sedge meadow that is dominated by reed canary grass has only half as many plant species as the area in front of the invasion, and many of the associates of reed canary grass are weeds. Another student documented increased nitrogen content of plant leaves as we sampled plants away from and close to the culvert that imports Fitchburg runoff from the corn/soybean field. The source of the problem is nutrientrich runoff and the outcome is continued degradation and loss of substantial value (“natural capital”) due to runoff from a Fitchburg farm.

Here are my science-based concerns about urban development west of Larsen Road: (Read More)

Watch our short animated video:

Click here to see our new animated video,"Why the rush to pave over Fitchburg? (How new developments will affect taxes in Fitchburg WI)." It does a great job of laying out the issues regarding the controversial proposed developments in Fitchburg, in a 3 minute, 40 second nutshell. Then please share it via Facebook, email, Twitter, carrier pigeon, etc! Help us spread our message far and wide!

Recruit your neighbors to sign our petition!

So far we have collected 431 signatures from Fitchburg residents on our petition urging the Common Council to NOT submit an Urban Service Area Amendment for the rural area known as the "Northeast Neighborhood" at this time. Frigid temperatures are making it impossible to canvass door-to-door, so we're asking our supporters to reach out to family, friends and neighbors who live in Fitchburg. Click on the headline above to access the petition and then collect signatures and send them back in as soon as possible!

November 2013 Newsletter

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Fall 2013 Brochure

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UW Madison Professor Cal DeWitt on the drawbacks to developing the Northeast Neighborhood

Click Here to read Professor Cal DeWitt's letter to the Fitchburg Planning Commission, urging them not to develop the Northeast Neighborhood.