In 1941, the U. S. Army acquired 7,354 acres of farm land in Sauk County, Wisconsin, to build what would become the Badger Ammunition Plant, the largest such facility in the world. The Badger plant remained active until 1975, employing, at its peak, more than 23,000 people. In 1997 it was declared surplus property by the Army. A decade-long process was begun to clean the site of toxic materials and determine its future. Federal and local government agencies, the Ho-Chunk Nation, local citizens, and conservation and environmental organizations participated in this effort. Finally it was decided that the National Park Service should transfer 1,853 acres of the abandoned plant to the State of Wisconsin through its Federal Lands to Parks program to be merged with another 1,147 acres of state land to form the new Sauk Prairie Recreation Area. The SPRA is dedicated to public recreation and prairie conservation.
Photo: Imagine no buildings and open tallgrass prairie here after the site is restored