2010 Wisconsin Code
Chapter 36. University of Wisconsin system.
36.37 Downer Woods and buildings preservation.

36.37

36.37 Downer Woods and buildings preservation.

36.37(1)

(1) Statement of purpose. The purpose of this section is to promote the permanent conservation and enhancement, by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, of the area known as Downer Woods; to designate and protect, as a permanent conservancy area, at least 10 acres of the woods; and to permit limited modification, in a manner consistent with the aforesaid purposes, of that portion of the woods whose present character as park and woodland lends itself to utilization, by the university and the surrounding community, as essential recreational and aesthetic corridors.

36.37(2)

(2) Legislative findings. The legislature finds it in the public interest to recognize and foster the principle of environmental quality in the area known as Downer Woods by preserving it as a conservancy area and protecting it, consistent with sub. (4), from encroachment or disparate uses. The woods is the sole remaining natural area remaining on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and as such, its preservation and enhancement is consistent with the university's recognition of its need to protect and enhance its own physical environment, and to serve the pressing human need of its faculty, students and staff, as well as the greater Milwaukee community, to live and work in an urban environment which respects those portions of unspoiled nature which yet exist. The woods is a unique asset; it provides visual relief to the concentrated building pattern surrounding it, complements the urban landscape and affords aesthetically and psychologically attractive places for people to congregate and relax. In addition, the woods serves as a refuge for wildlife and vegetation, and is, therefore, an important educational, scientific and ecological resource to the university and the community. Its presence imparts priceless recreational and aesthetic values.

36.37(3)

(3) Definitions. In this section, "Downer Woods" or "the woods" means those parcels of wood, parkland and buildings comprising more than 21.4337 acres located on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and divided into 5 separate and distinct categories, which categories shall define the proper and permissible uses of the parcels, as follows:

36.37(3)(a)

(a) Permanent conservation area, consisting of 11.101 acres, which is to be physically defined by means of fencing or other suitable means.

36.37(3)(b)

(b) Permanently reserved woodland, consisting of 3.018 acres.

36.37(3)(c)

(c) Park and woodland areas, consisting of 4.686 acres, which may be subject to limited modification, such as landscaping, but which are to be protected from disparate uses and encroachment.

36.37(3)(d)

(d) The buildings and grounds of the former Downer college with any reconstruction or renovation which may be authorized by the board.

36.37(3)(e)

(e) Park and woodland areas, consisting of 2.6287 acres, which may be subject to limited modifications, such as landscaping and utility lines.

36.37(4)

(4) Downer Woods conservation.

36.37(4)(a)

(a) That portion of Downer Woods designated a permanent conservation area is to be forever protected from encroachment or disparate uses, and its boundaries are to be defined and protected by fencing or other suitable means. The chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, through the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Field Station, shall prepare and implement a Downer Woods natural area management and restoration plan to ensure that the conservation area is managed properly as a natural area.

36.37(4)(b)

(b) That portion of Downer Woods designated as permanently reserved woodland shall be set aside exclusively for purposes of community enhancement and relaxation, and any disparate uses to or encroachments upon such land is prohibited except for the purpose of constructing an addition and providing service to Sandburg Hall, which may not exceed 0.75 acres. The board shall grant a temporary easement sufficient to facilitate the construction of the addition, and whenever necessary to facilitate the maintenance of Sandburg Hall, conditioned upon the ecological restoration of the area within the easement.

36.37(4)(c)

(c) Those portions of Downer Woods designated as park and woodland areas under sub. (3) (c) and (e) may be used by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee as recreational and aesthetic corridors. Any modifications made to such portions of the woods under sub. (3) (c) and (e) may not significantly alter the present character of such land, and any disparate uses to or encroachments upon such land are prohibited.

36.37(4)(d)

(d) The buildings of the former Downer college shall be preserved and no portion thereof may be razed without prior approval of the building commission.

36.37 - ANNOT.

History: 1973 c. 335; 1975 c. 386; 1997 a. 226.

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