Glacier under Mt. Walker survives into June

Mt. Walker hides a remnant of ice, under a mantle of garbage.

Question: Where can you still find winter ice in Madison?
Answer: Under scenic Mt. Walker, on the west end of Campus.

It's a favorite stop for geology field trips, where students can see how things looked at the end of the ice age.  The rubble, called "parking lot till," lies strewn about the site.  All you have to do, is imagine the pieces of muffler or exhaust pipe are mammoth bones, and it's easy to believe you're viewing the end of the ice age.

The blanket of garbage, containing salt, drippings from engines, and litter, protects the ice from the sun.

Yup... there it is.  Ice... in Madison... in June.

Dumping garbage by the lake is an old UW tradition.  Years ago, a dump was located where Lot 60 is now situated.  What a useful way to cap a landfill!  Around the edges, you can see brown fluid seeping out, towards the lake (right).

In the late 1960s, the Charter St. heating plant used to dump fly ash in the Marsh just south of Mt. Walker, until students reported it to DNR.  The UW barn also dumped manure into the wetland.  Where the trucks had tipped their loads, the area looked like a range of small mountains.

Eventually, it was all bulldozed flat, except for a small portion left unfilled.  This is what became the Class of 1918 Wetland--now touted as an environmental achievement.

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First story on Mt. Walker
Second story on Mt. Walker
More photos of ice under Mt. Walker in June.
At the recent New Urbanism conference in Madison on June 4, 2011, the UW had a booth.  They claimed "The...UW-Madison is a nationally recognized university for sustainability."

1 comment:

  1. I'd feel more comfortable sharing this article if this wasn't connected to Governor Walker. There are some conservationists who are like the man for business reasons.


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