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Stricker's Pond

7214 Longmeadow Rd., Madison, WI 53717
OVERVIEW

Stricker's Pond on Madison's west side is one of many local landscape features created during the most recent phase of glaciation. Roughly ten thousand years ago, a block of ice was buried in the earth as the glacier receded. When the ice later melted, a "kettle" formed in the void and filled with water, creating a wetland with no natural outlet. Historically, water levels in the pond would vary from year to year, depending on surface runoff, evaporation, and seepage. Emergent aquatic plants would fill the shallows during periods of low water and would be replaced by open water when water levels rose. Old aerial photos show that with low water levels the pond looked more like a marsh, with only a small amount of open water in the center. This dynamic natural cycle provided food and shelter for diverse invertebrate and wildlife communities. On the bright side, Stricker's Pond still provides habitat for a variety of birds, turtles, and frogs. Herons and other wading birds stalk the shores and migrating warblers feed in the canopies of mature oaks surrounding the pond. In spring and fall, large numbers of migrating waterfowl visit the pond. Viewing opportunities are excellent due to the extensive trail system along the pond's perimeter. The conservation park features an 0.8-mile gravel trail that begins at a paved bike trail off Longmeadow Road in Madison and continues northward into the adjacent City of Middleton parkland. These trails are all very popular for walking, jogging, and bird watching.

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