Seal of Dane County County of Dane
Dane County Land & Water Resources Department

Dane County Parks – Seasonal Changes and Park Activities

March 26, 2014
Darren Marsh Parks Director 608-224-3730
Land & Water Resources

Potential Park Closings

With the warmer weather predicted for later this week, Dane County Parks Director, Darren Marsh, is advising county park patrons that some county parks may be temporarily closed during the next several weeks.  The warmer weather will start to bring out ground frost, making park lands and some facilities susceptible to damage due to the soft ground.  Vehicle and pedestrian traffic in certain parks may cause considerable damage to roadways, turf areas, and trail surfaces.


Over the next several weeks, visitors may find some park gates and facilities closed.  Marsh requests that park patrons stay on surfaced pathways and roads.  Marsh says "if we can reduce the damamges at this time of year, it reduces our maintenance costs and allows us to provide better services through the rest of the year."


After a few spring rains and drying winds the ground will firm up and parks will re-open.  If patrons have questions regarding a closed park or facility, they should contact the Dane County Parks Office at (608-224-3730) or visit our website at

Prescribed Burns

As the weather improves, Dane County Parks, along with many other conservation partners, will be conducting prescribed burns throughout the County. “Burning is an important management tool for restoring and preserving our grassland and woodland habitat,” stated Marsh.


According to Marsh, due to the late snow cover it is going to be difficult to predict and schedule specific days when these burns will occur.  Marsh added, “We’re going to need flexibility to burn when conditions are favorable. Some parks may be temporarily closed during a burn. This may cause an inconvenience for some patrons, especially at sites like Prairie Moraine County Park, the county’s largest dog park, and other sites that have a high number of daily visitors.  Badger Prairie County Park has another great dog park just a couple miles away.”


The County Parks burn program is supported by trained volunteers and managed by the Parks Naturalist, Wayne Pauly.  “We are always looking for volunteers with an interest in land management, especially those individuals who have wild land burn experience,” added Marsh.  If you’d like to learn more about the burn program, please contact Rhea Stangel-Maier, Volunteer Coordinator, at (608) 224-3601 or


For more information on the County Parks, please visit, call the 24/7 Information Line at 608-242-4576, or call the Parks Office at 608-224-3730.


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