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Wisconsin State Natural Areas Program Cherry Lake Sedge Meadow (No. 120)

Cherry Lake Sedge Meadow

Photo by Thomas A. Meyer



Within Honey Creek Wildlife Area, Racine County. T3N-R19E, Sections 10, 15. 83 acres.



Cherry Lake Sedge Meadow is located in a serpentine basin in glacial till and contains southern sedge meadow, fen, and northern wet forest communities. With only a few openings in the deep sedge mat, Cherry Lake is a misnomer. The sedge meadow contains both alkaline- and acid-loving plants. Of special interest are round-leaved sundew, shrubby cinquefoil, yellow twayblade, marsh St. Johns-wort, marsh fern, and sphagnum moss. To the north of the sedge meadow is a small fen. Shrub-carr is scattered throughout the area, and a tamarack-poison sumac bog lies to the northeast. There has been some tamarack die-off, which promotes even more bushy growth. A portion of an esker runs along the west boundary. This upland area has been grazed in the past and is now brushy oldfield. Cherry Lake Sedge Meadow is owned by the DNR and was designated a State Natural Area in 1975.


Driving directions

From Rochester go south one mile on CountyW to the Honey Creek Wildlife Area parking lot. Walk west and southwest 0.5 mile into the area.


Cherry Lake Sedge Meadow is owned by:

  • WDNR


The DNR's state natural areas program is comprised of lands owned by the state, private conservation organizations, municipalities, other governmental agencies, educational institutions and private individuals. While the majority of SNAs are open to the public, access may vary according to individual ownership policies. Public use restrictions may apply due to public safety, or to protect endangered or threatened species or unique natural features. Lands may be temporarily closed due to specific management activities. Users are encouraged to contact the landowner for more specific details.

The data shown on these maps have been obtained from various sources, and are of varying age, reliability, and resolution. The data may contain errors or omissions and should not be interpreted as a legal representation of legal ownership boundaries.


Site objectives

Manage the site as a calcareous fen and oak opening reserve and as an ecological reference area. Natural processes and prescribed fire will determine the structure of the fen. Provide opportunities for research and education on the highest quality native calcareous fens and oak openings.

Management approach

The ecological characteristics of the site will be primarily shaped by an intensive fire management program. The native fen species are managed actively through tree/shrub control using brushing and especially fire to mimic natural disturbance patterns. Occasionally native wetland conifers and black ash may be retained at low densities. The native dominant savanna tree species (primarily oaks) are managed passively. However, some thinning of the canopy, understory manipulation and shrub control via harvest, brushing or fire may be needed to mimic natural disturbance patterns. Augmentation of the ground layer will only add species that historically would have been found on the site, using seeds or plugs from local genetic material; this usually occurs in the early stages of restoration. The mostly passive canopy management and understory manipulation will determine the ecological characteristics of the savanna. Other allowable activities throughout the site include control of invasive plants and animals, maintaining existing facilities, and access to suppress wildfires. Salvage of trees after a major wind event can occur if the volume of woody material inhibits fire prescriptions.


Very few State Natural Areas have public facilities, but nearly all are open for a variety of recreational activities as indicated below. Generally, there are no picnic areas, restrooms, or other developments. Parking lots or designated parking areas are noted on individual SNA pages and maps. Trails, if present, are typically undesignated footpaths. If a developed trail is present, it will normally be noted on the SNA map and/or under the "Access" tab. A compass and topographic map or a GPS unit are useful tools for exploring larger, isolated SNAs.

Allowable activities

In general, the activities listed below are allowed on all DNR-owned SNA lands. Exceptions to this list of public uses, such as SNAs closed to hunting, are noted under the "Access" tab above and posted with signs on site.

  • Hiking
  • Fishing
  • Cross country skiing
  • Hunting
  • Trapping

Prohibited activities

  • Camping and campfires
  • Collecting of animals (other than legally harvested species), non-edible fungi, rocks, minerals, fossils, archaeological artifacts, soil, downed wood, or any other natural material, alive or dead. Collecting for scientific research requires a permit issued by the DNR
  • Collecting of plants including seeds, roots or other non-edible parts of herbaceous plants such as wildflowers or grasses
  • Geocaching
  • Horseback riding
  • Rock climbing
  • Vehicles, including bicycles, ATVs, aircraft, and snowmobiles except on trails and roadways designated for their use

For rules governing state-owned SNAs and other state lands, please consult Chapter NR 45 Wis. Admin. Code [exit DNR]

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Last revised: Thursday, October 11, 2018