Closely guarded Badger Army Ammunition Plant in Baraboo, WI, to open as the Sauk Prairie Recreation Area
Baraboo, WI –The National Park Service's Federal Lands to Parks (FLP) program transferred, at no cost, 1,853 acres from the former Badger Army Ammunition Plant to the State of Wisconsin for the Sauk Prairie Recreation Area.
This land is the first part of the 3,300 acres (of the overall 8,000 acres plant) to be transferred to the State for the recreation and conservation area. The land includes wooded bluffs, prairie, and glacial features, and provides a link between the Devil’s Lake State Park to the north and the Wisconsin River to the east. The site is near the Ice Age National Scenic Trail.
Governor Jim Doyle said, “This land will provide habitat for wildlife, it will be an education resource for children, and it will offer new opportunities for outdoor recreation. These areas define us and they are part of what makes Wisconsin unique.” Meanwhile, the Sauk County Conservation Alliance, through its education and stewardship program, restores prairie on the site through volunteers and involving youth through school outreach and outdoor service learning opportunities.
The land was converted from local farmland to the restricted Badger Ordnance Plant in 1941, billed as the world's largest ammunition plant in 1942, and it was in active production mode through World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.
A decade-long planning and clean-up effort brought together the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the Army, the General Services Administration, the NPS, the Ho-Chunk Nation, citizens of the community, the Sauk Prairie Conservation Alliance, other various conservation groups, the University of Wisconsin and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Today, Wisconsinites plan for the conservation and recreation of the site for today and generations to come.