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Northside Changemaker: Jan Axelson

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Any listing of the great outdoor experiences of the Northside includes Cherokee Marsh. Ask Northsiders who makes Cherokee Marsh the great place it is and you’ll get a resounding answer: Jan Axelson. Jan has been the president of Friends of Cherokee Marsh for the past nine years. The group formed in 2007 with 20 members. Today over 200 people participate in the work of protecting, preserving and restoring Cherokee Marsh and the upper Yahara River watershed.  Jan works with nonprofits, city, county and state officials to achieve those goals.

Included in her list of achievements for the organization are the creation of the Cherokee Marsh Conservation Fund, funding field trips for school students, environmental programming for adults and children, an active volunteer group that assists in educational opportunities and restoration projects, as well as guiding publication of the Friends newsletter.

One of those who nominated Jan summed up her contributions well: Jan consistently volunteers many hours each week for Cherokee Marsh by utilizing her writing skills, attending countless meetings, pulling weeds, leading tours and advocating for the marsh every chance she gets.

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