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Newcomb Construction Company Donation Completes “Seed the Need” Funding for 2021

Bret Newcomb, President of Newcomb Construction Company, recently presented the Friends of Pheasant Branch Conservancy (FOPBC) with $5,000 in response to their appeal for the Seed-The-Need campaign for 2021. 
The Friends group has been raising funds for a four-year seeding of the platinum prairie” - a prairie of such quality and diversity that it can thrive and produce future seed for thousands of acres on other Dane County properties. 
The presentation was made on Friday, Nov. 19, 2021, on the Conservation Trail and the Middleton Parks Department Bike Trail along Pheasant Branch Creek.  Newcomb wanted to stress how businesses in that area offer employees the benefits of the trails and scenery. 
A durable prairie is like a durable building: it anticipates a range of climate and weather conditions.” Many of the buildings in the area were constructed by Newcomb Construction Company. Like a business investment, this is an investment for the future of Pheasant Branch Conservancy as well as other Dane County prairies and parklands” he said.
This donation joins countless others in matching the $100,000 Challenge grant from Alliant Energy working with the Clean Lakes Alliance for supporting the seeding project.  This four-year effort allows for a phased effort planting 40 acres per year.  In years ahead, FOPBC will seek the matching monies for 2022 and 2023 to complete the full seeding of the County 160-acre parcel.
The Dane County Land purchase and initial creation of retention ponds provides immediate flood control and pollution control benefits.  And the restoration plantings are designed to ensure that natural habitats and return of wild species will also occur successfully. The project creates numerous benefits:

  • Stormwater infiltration and groundwater recharge
  • Lower flood risk
  • Reduced management costs
  • Carbon sequestration 
  • Seed source for other County properties
  • More plant and animal species and habitat
  • Aesthetic beauty
  • Ecosystem resilience to climate change
The Pheasant Branch Conservancy has over 700 acres jointly managed by Dane County and City of Middleton.  The Conservancy is for supporting plants and animals, as well as human passive uses, such as nature study and birdwatching.  The areas protection started over 60 years ago, with former Middleton Mayor Walter Bauman leading interested conservationists.  This pressure to preserve Pheasant branch and its watershed has continued through generations of leaders in the private and public sectors.  Educators, scientists, teachers, scouts groups, businesses, and volunteers of all sorts have made Pheasant Branch a regional resource by continuing the restoration of prairies, forests and wetlands.
FOPBC works in restoring, preserving, and protecting the area, as the only non-profit group that advocates exclusively for the Pheasant Branch Conservancy.
Accepting the donation was Hans Hilbert, Co-President of the Friends group, and Lois Sater, Chair of the Development  and MarketingCommittee.  They gratefully acknowledged Newcomb's contribution and support since 2015. 
Hilbert said “We will also recognize Newcomb Construction at our Annual Meeting on January 8, 2022, at Holy Wisdom Monastery.  The meeting will cap off our celebration of this organization’s 25 years of preservation, restoration and advocacy.”

To complete the funding drive for CY 2021, Newcomb Construction donated $5,000 to support the prairie-seeding project in the Pheasant Branch Conservancy.  This will meet the needed $25,000 match to a Challenge Grant from Alliant Energy and the Clean Lakes Coalition.  The project will improve Conservancy conditions influencing flooding, water quality and habitat.   
Press Contacts for questions:
Bret Newcomb, President of Newcomb Construction Company - 608-833-5220

Hans Hilbert, Co-President of Friends of Pheasant Branch Conservancy- 608-217-3885
Lois Sater, Chair, Development and Marketing Committee/FOPBC - 608-234-2487
Seed The Need Information:


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