Zeloski Marsh – Hope Lake Bog – Jefferson
At 1,496 acres, this is Madison Audubon Society’s largest purchase to date. It is located about one mile west of Lake Mills. The majority of the property (1,300 acres) was farmed wetland that was restored to wetland habitat in Fall 2006. Ditches were filled and drain tiles disabled. 286 acres of tall grass prairie and 270 acres of sedge meadow were planted. Emergent wetland and shorebird habitat were developed. Fully restored, the area provides excellent habitat for wetland and grassland wildlife. More than 140 species of birds have been tallied. Highlights included hundreds of waterfowl and shorebirds on spring migration, nesting Dickcissels and Brewer’s Blackbirds, and a short visit by two Whooping Cranes.
In 2006, Madison Audubon Society transferred 1,461 acres to the Department of Natural Resources, which added the land to its Lake Mills Wildlife Area. The Glacial Drumlin State Trail runs through the area.
Madison Audubon Society retains ownership of the 35-acre Hope Lake Bog, a botanical gem known to generations of Wisconsin conservationists. This small floating tamarack and sphagnum bog is a long, narrow 35-acre tract separated from the main part of Zeloski Marsh. Two wooded glacial moraines drop steeply toward a narrow wetland that runs most of the length of the property. Common plants include poison sumac, pitcher plants cotton grass, leatherleaf, bog rosemary, bog birch, and cranberry. This is being preserved as an undisturbed sanctuary. There is no public access to Hope Lake Bog.
The June 14, 2007 dedication program, aerial photo, and habitat map can be viewed at ftp://ftp-fc.sc.egov.usda.gov/WI/wrp/ZeloskiMarshprogram.pdf
Directions: Zeloski Marsh is west of Lake Mills and Rock Lake (see p. 37 of the Wisconsin Atlas & Gazetteer). There are four parking lots (including the one for the Glacial Drumlin State Trail in London about 1 mile west of the marsh). Access is by foot-travel ONLY except for the Trail, which can be accessed by bicycle as well.
East side (Glacial Drumlin State Trail): from Cty B, go south on Cty S to Finch Bros. Rd. A DNR parking lot for the Trail is a short way down the road. Walk or bicycle west on the Trail for 5-10 minutes to reach the marsh and a long trestle that crosses a remnant tamarack bog. Most of the shorebirds and waterfowl can be found in the ponds past the trestle. A second DNR parking lot is farther south on Cty S at the west end of Alley Rd.
South side (London Rd): Continue south on Cty S to Cty A. Turn right and drive less than 1/2 mile. Turn right on London Rd. Drive about 1 mile to the DNR parking lot on the right (north side). This parking lot is on higher ground, so you can get a good view of the entire marsh.