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When asked to nominate a favorite place in the Preserve, Roma Lenehan, a long-time member of the Friends of the Lakeshore Nature Preserve, offered Raymer's Cove as a beautiful site that too few people know. She wrote:
Raymer's Cove has recently been renamed to recognize the long-ago gift of this parcel byGeorge Raymer, a prominent local landowner and newspaper editor, who donated this land to the Madison Park and Pleasure Drive Association. You might try to imagine this lake overlook in the early 1900s, crowded with families arriving by horse and carriage for a Sunday afternoon picnic and swim.
Please note: The university does not provide lifeguards at Preserve beach areas and water quality is not monitored. Swim at your own risk. Public Health Madison and Dane County can tell you if Spring Harbor or Memorial Union beaches are open and safe for swimming. Visit their web site at http://www.publichealthmdc.com/environmental/water/beaches/.
Raymer's Cove provides easy access to the shoreline from Lake Mendota Drive. Free short-term parking is available here for visitors who wish to take the new staircase down to the water's edge. The sandstone cliffs where Raymer's Ravine meets the lake are especially beautiful at sunset.
A 2003 Department of Natural Resources grant to reduce erosion and storm water runoff into Lake Mendota was obtained through matching resources from the State of Wisconsin in combination with a generous gift from the Friends of the Lakeshore Nature Preserve. Through their advocacy, financial support, and volunteer labor, the Friends continue to be leaders in promoting projects that infiltrate rain water where it falls to prevent it from becoming damaging runoff in fragile areas of the Preserve. Volunteers are restoring this lovely prairie area. This restoration effort will help protect a few rare prairie species on the sandstone cliffs above the lake that are not found anywhere elsewhere in the Preserve.
See also Raymer's Ravine
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