Voit Pond is a privately owned spring-fed gravel pit lake that is located on the urban east side of the City of Madison, Wisconsin. Lying within the Starkweather Creek watershed, the pond is immediately surrounded by both wetlands and industrial lands. Its sister pond, once located immediately to the east, was filled in with road debris in 2005. It is a part of the 34-acre Voit property, which is up for sale and being considered for purchase by the City.
Although local activism supports the acquisition of the parcel, there are differences among interested parties in how best to restore and manage the land. Some of these management strategies include a combination of park and recreation lands, and a proposed Starkweather (Phosphorus) Coagulation Project*, which could use Voit Pond itself as an aluminum settling pond.
Above: LiDAR derived 3D point cloud, looking south (Voit Pond is center-right).
Because of the importance in finding the best uses for the Voit Pond, on both local and regional levels, we initiated a project at Geographic Techniques to help aid local activists and citizen scientists with maps. Using recent (and publicly available) NAIP imagery, LiDAR point clouds, and derived GIS map layers, we prepared a set of maps illustrating the land use and variation across the Voit parcel and surrounding properties (below).
*The Starkweather Coagulation Project is a pilot experiment to justify more coagulation experiments throughout the City of Madison and Dane County in the future. It is an effort to remove phosphorus from the watershed through adding aluminum compounds to Voit Pond. While aluminum captures phosphorus making it unavailable for life, the mixing of other chemicals may provide for other toxicities to plants and animals.
Source: Starkweather Coagulation Project and Milwaukee Street Special Area Plan (A Letter to the City of Madison Alders). John Steines and Matthew Miller, PhD. Madison, Wisconsin (December 10, 2018).