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Sauk County, WI –Wisconsinites have been exploring the former Badger Army Ammunition Plant for decades, most of them unaware about the extensive history beneath their feet. On October 25th, 2021, the Sauk Prairie Conservation Alliance will launch EXPLORE THE BADGER LANDS, a free mobile app that allows users to navigate the fertile past of the Badger Lands at their own pace. The app features a non-linear tour that uses GPS to help users locate nearly 70 points of interest, each equipped with an in-app educational excerpt. Visitors traveling along public access roads by car, exploring regional trail systems on foot or biking the Great Sauk Trail will, quite literally, have unprecedented accompaniment to one of Wisconsin’s most interesting ecological preserves in the palm of their hands.
As a navigational and interpretive tool, the app offers audio-visual content on the geologic, natural, cultural and conservation histories across the former 7,350-acre Badger Army Ammunition Plant. The Badger Lands are now managed by the Ho-Chunk Nation, Department of Natural Resources and US Dairy Forage Research Center, who continue to make improvements to infrastructure and conduct restoration projects on the property. The app will be especially useful for visitors exploring the 3,450-acre, state-owned Sauk Prairie State Recreation Area, which has been open to the public since 2018. The other properties have no public access but can be viewed from the adjacent public roads and trails.
The app is free and available through the Apple Store and Google Play.
EXPLORE THE BADGER LANDS APP is supported in part, by the Badger Oversight Management Commission grant in 2020 and the “Good Idea” grant from the Sauk County Extension Education, Arts & Culture Committee and the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin in 2021. Content on this app was initially supported by the Greater Sauk County Community Foundation and Wisconsin Arts Board grants in 2018.
In addition to these past and present sponsors for EXPLORE THE BADGER LANDS APP, the Alliance is also grateful to Mike Mossman for identifying the points of interest and writing the content, Heather Sonntag for building the app, Ellen Kinzer for building the Story Map on which this App is in part based, as well as the Badger History Group and Sauk County Historical Society for permission to use historical images from their archival collections.