Dunn’s Marsh Neighborhood e-News
September 16, 2011
The DMN e-News and an occasional hard copy DMN News are published by the Dunn’s Marsh Neighborhood Association (DMNA) on an “as-needed” schedule. The Dunn’s Marsh Neighborhood Association, Inc. has been working to unite neighbors to solve mutual problems and promote fellowship among neighbors since 1973. Our neighborhood is in Madison & Fitchburg.
President, Bob Hague, email@example.com 218-1760
News contact, Mary Mullen, firstname.lastname@example.org <mailto:email@example.com> 298-0843
Website: http://www.dunnsmarsh.org <http://www.dunnsmarsh.org> (temporarily out of order)
On Facebook: http://facebook.com/note.php?note_id=378988848623 <http://facebook.com/note.php?note_id=378988848623>
This issue is primarily about the APACHE POND. The next DMNA Council Meeting is Wednesday, Oct. 5.
1 - Tomorrow (Saturday, Sept. 17) - Apache Pond Planting Party & Dedication Ceremony
9:00 am - Welcome (Rick Eilertson) & Overview of Apache Pond Volunteer Planting Party Activities (Rick Eilertson; Sarah Kraszewski, Stantec; and A.J. Kriha, Boys and Girls Club of Dane County)
9:15 am - Begin Apache Pond Volunteer Planting Party http://www.city.fitchburg.wi.us/departments/cityHall/publicWorks/ApacheDrivePondConstruction.php
Noon - Dedication Ceremony (Confirmed attendees so far include: Shawn Pfaff, Fitchburg Mayor; Carol Poole, Fitchburg Alder and DMNA member; Torch and Keystone Club of Boys and Girls Club of Dane County; David Martin, RCC and DMNA member; Mary Mullen, DMNA Communications; Eric Rortec, Department of Natural Resources; Jeremy Balousek, Dane County Water Resources; Elizabeth Zimmerman, wetland scientist; and Stantec, the planting consultant. Representatives from Iverson Construction have also been invited.)
12:30 pm – Lunch (Stone Soup, pizza, lemonade, water, and cookies will be provided for confirmed volunteers and attendees.) Volunteers and attendees are encouraged to RSVP to Rick Eilertson. Bringing a can of clear-based soup and/or a dish to pass are encouraged, but not required.
Project Contact: Rick Eilertson, Fitchburg Environmental Engineer, firstname.lastname@example.org, (608) 270-4264 or 235-0412
Photos and text are from Fitchburg press release.
2 - Neighborhood People Plan to Create a Book About the Apache Pond: Responses to a Brainstorm
(Attachment: “col Somers paintings1.jpg)
Last month’s “Hacker’s Corner” followed the story of the so-far-non-existent frontage road bike lanes through e-mail correspondence. Here’s another similar feature you primary source history buffs might enjoy. This time it’s about a creative local history venture that’s already underway.
So far, this concept has stimulated quite a number of people. If you too become excited by the idea of a neighborhood-generated book about Apache Pond, don’t just sit on it. Get in on the action.
“Here's a You Tube video of a book that my mom recently passed on to me for reading to my youngest son, Evan (2): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1EECSWTznqY => Little Turtle's Big Adventure. This is now Evan's favorite book and he asks me to read it to him nearly every night.
“I've been thinking it might be fun to do an adaptation of this book - perhaps Hoppy, the frog who hung out in the Dunn's Marsh North Complex in the late 1960s when it was filled in to build Crescent Road. In the 1970s, Hoppy is found by a group of kids (Mary, David, John, Ron, etc.) on Lots 19 and 20 who work together with town, city, and county leaders to purchase the land from the developer to keep apartments from being built upon the lots. In 2010 and 2011, another boy comes up with an idea to get additional funds to build a pond (Apache Pond) on Lots 19 and 20 just upstream of the wetland to clean up the stormwater entering the wetland, plant native vegetation for habitat, and install signage to help other kids and kid's adults make connections about how their actions can affect the environment. By this time, Hoppy has long since passed away; however, his grandson "Happy" decides to move in to Apache Pond to sing to little boys and girls who join in on a volunteer planting party (~Sat., Sept. 17th, 8am to 11am) to plant trees, a rain garden, and the pond margin around Apache Pond.”
This brainstorm by Fitchburg Environmental Engineer Rick Eilertson back on August 13 met with positive responses.
Brooke Norsted, DMNA member and marsh friend, was the first to respond. “I really like this idea and, being the daughter of a elementary school librarian, have a soft spot for kids books. After looking a bit online, there are a few different ways to publish a soft-cover book independently. I just started playing around with Lulu (http://www.lulu.com/ <http://www.lulu.com/> ) and it seems reasonable. Is anyone out there an artist who could do some sketches/watercolors to go along with text?”
Fitchburg Alder Dorothy Krause picked up the ball with an artist suggestion: “Mary Somers lives on the edge of Dunn's Marsh and works with water colors. She might be tempted to consider it, especially if Mary encourages her and others support her :)”
Mary Somers ran with the idea: “I will be up north all next week starting this Sunday painting, if you tell me what you are looking for I will give it a try while I have a week to paint. Sounds like fun.”
Encouragement followed from the other Mary (Mullen): “Mary, It's great that you are willing to do this. What could be better than having someone who lives right next to Dunn’s Marsh, is practically a professional artist, and is willing to give it a try? I'd suggest using a frog that we know lives in Dunn's Marsh. That would definitely be the chorus frog. I'm sure you can also add the other birds and animals you see all the time living by the marsh. I know you've talked to me about the hawks and the foxes. I’ve seen deer and raccoon tracks, and of course, there are many kinds of ducks. Great blue herons come around, and on the day we did the cleanup this year, we saw sandhill cranes light in the north marsh area.”
“Sounds good,” wrote Mary Somers in reply. “I saw some children catching frogs with a net in our new pond today. They told me they play with them and then let them go, but it looked like they wanted several in the same net and not too healthy for the frogs so I told them we really want the frogs to be in the pond and we were writing a story about them.”
Then Rick chimed in again suggesting that we have a meeting to talk about the ideas that had been generated.
But meantime Mary Somers had done some paintings that featured the chorus frog, and Mary Mullen had gone over to her house to take photos of these new paintings and some earlier paintings that seemed good candidates for the book. These were forwarded to the people Rick had first contacted about the book idea. It was now August 30. (To see some of them, go to the attachment.)
New story lines suggested
That brought out a new story line from Jeff Durbin: “What an incredible collection of paintings! I like the adaptation of Little Turtle (with a chorus frog for the main character as Mary suggested), but while looking at all the different animals Mary illustrated, I thought the story could also be about a boy or girl (or both) gradually discovering the secrets of Dunn's Marsh through various adventures. Like any natural place it takes time and effort to see everything around the marsh, plus it's not easy to approach in many places (thick undergrowth in woods, wet ground, tall cattails, Seminole highway), so the boy/girl's discoveries could encourage kids to spend time exploring. The boy/girl's parents and grandparents could tell them stories of changes to the neighborhood and marsh, how the north marsh was saved, and how the new pond will help. So one big question is the story's point of view--animal or child? I could see both working.
Then Mary Somers came up with an alternate story for the book. “I have an idea for a story,” she said. “Frog Crossing, the animals meet every morning at the frog crossing for a drink of clean water, this is before any development in the area, and then as progress around the marsh develops the animals begin to move to cleaner waters leaving behind a sad frog family who does not leave Dunn’s Marsh, but has many farewell parties for his friends. Until one day improvements are made to make the water clean again and the families move back and celebrations to welcome the families back, The frog crossing could be like a morning coffee shop is for people who gather. Just an idea for someone to develop as I leave for Ireland. it has the possibilities of animal relationships, history of the marsh as well as an explanation of why the new pond. I know there will be many more until this is done. You would have to make the fox a friendly fox who does not eat other animals.”
A see on good ground
As any reader can tell, this book idea is still in flux. Anyone who wishes to get involved may do so. The plot of the story needs to be selected and developed, an author is still needed, publishing alternatives need to be explored, and funding might be necessary. What do you think? Contact Rick Eilertson or Mary Mullen if you have any ideas or want to help.
The seed has been planted and so far has fallen on good ground.
by Mary Mullen
3 - History of Pond Available - Many Photos
A picture is worth a thousand words. Followers of the Dunn’s Marsh Neighborhood e-News have seen many photos of the progress of the Apache pond area over the past year and a half.
Progress reports on the official City of Fitchburg site detail the history of pond construction and include pictures that haven’t been in the e-News.
There are several photos and a nice timeline of the work up to July 26 on the webpage
At the bottom of the page are links to the 7 reports. If you like photos, you won’t be sorry you checked out the reports.
by Mary Mullen
4 - Next DMNA Council Meeting, October 5
Any resident may attend the Dunn’s Marsh Neighborhood Association Council meetings. They are held on the first Wednesday of each month.
The next meeting is Wednesday, October 5, 7 p.m. at Prairie UU Society, 2010 Whenona Drive.
Please contact DMNA President Bob Hague if you plan to attend and have something special you want to bring up to the Council. Only Council members can vote, but residents generally are allowed to speak.
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