The Council Spring is so named perhaps because it magically appears from beneath the Kenneth Jensen Wheeler Council Ring near Arbor Drive and Monroe Street. Together with the nearby Dancing Sands Spring the two were once collectively known as the Marston, Topp, or Lime Kiln Springs (Noland, 1951.)
The stream from the Council Spring is graced with a series of stepping-stones to enable hikers to negotiate the small waterway as it flows toward Ho-Nee-Um Pond and Lake Wingra. The Council Spring has an average flow rate of 204 gallons per minute (range 82 to 512 gallons/minute) as measured over four years from 2007 to 2011.
The spot is well-known to birders. During spring and fall migrations the Council Spring is a virtual bird magnet, especially for warblers, as they drop down to refresh and refuel in this little oasis in the urban desert.
Noland, W.E. 1951. “The Hydrography, Fish and Turtle Population of Lake Wingra.” Wisconsin Academy of Science, Arts and Letters, Madison, Wisconsin.