- Option 1, with the stream buried and a road on top, was the old plan neighbors soundly rejected--because of the road and loss of 65 trees.
- Option 2 is a little better because it leaves the stream open and eliminates the road, but it cuts 66 trees, and fills the ravine with stone rubble called riprap. Riprap is not friendly to children or wildlife.
- Option 3 leaves the stream relatively natural and cuts few trees, but doesn't solve erosion or all of the sewer problems. The erosion is bad and needs to be fixed for health of the lakes. People want the sewers to work.
What we need from City Engineering is a real choice--an Option 4. Something that leaves the ravine more natural, with some pools of water, yet still solves the problems of erosion and sewage.
Wildlife lost out, because they weren't among the 5 objectives listed for the project:
- Address erosion in the greenway
- Address aging sanitary sewer
- Allow for maintenance of sanitary sewer
- Minimize land disturbance
- Minimize tree loss
"Option 4" should also include long-term plans for reducing runoff from the neighborhood. For example, rain gardens to handle runoff from streets, and a hundred tiny dams to hold the water back during a cloudburst. With less stormwater runoff, designs for the ravine can be more modest--less destructive and less expensive.
What's the hurry?
There's time to develop Option 4. If there aren't any suitable techniques to stop erosion, then let's design new ones that can be installed without destroying the ravine. There's plenty of talent in Madison.
Wildlife seen in or near the ravine in recent years
'Possum (probably had young this year in dead tree 190)
Hawk (circling overhead and calling today)
Nature--not always pretty, but always educational for kids. Young 'possum found dead in ravine today.
'Possum carcass in foreground, probable den tree #190 in rear.