Project Description

Storm Water Basin & Prairie Management

University Research Park is an internationally recognized research and technology park located in Madison, WI and established in 1984. At the time of establishment, some very progressive engineering techniques were employed to deal with site storm water management for the facility. Large basins, planted with native prairie and wetland species, were constructed to collect runoff from the newly constructed buildings and hard surfaces. At the time, the regulations for stormwater management, infiltration, and sediment and nutrient loading from runoff weren’t the same or as stringent as they are today. As a result, and through expansion over the years, URP now has over 12 actively managed storm water and prairie units in the park, encompassing approximately 25 acres. NES is the acting native landscape management contractor at the park.

  • NES conducts prescribed burns in 2-3 year cycles for all of the management units.
  • Open prairie green spaces are actively managed for invasive and woody species control.
  • Brushing is conducted in various basins in the park when willows or other woody brush begins to encroach.
  • Prairie areas are restored through site prep and seeding, if necessary, when new construction or other man-made disturbance occurs.

URP is in an urbanized area with roadways throughout, preschools, and tenant buildings with sensitive HVAC systems. Posting of road signage at key access points in the park is critical during burning times as well. For these reasons, NES is very proactive with residents, tenants, and municipal officials in communicating the tasks that are ongoing and the reason for them.

Project Details


Dane County, Wisconsin


Native Habitat Restoration