Badger Army Ammunition Plant

BAAP, 2003
Badger Army Ammunition Plant Overview, 2001
Carpet Roll Building, BAAP, 2003
Building interior, BAAP, 2001
Building Interior, BAAP, 2002
Compressor machinery, BAAP, 2000
Conveyor, BAAP, 1999
blend and glaze houses, smokeless area, BAAP, 2008
Gunpowder storage buildings with rail service, BAAP, 2003
Gunpowder storage bunkers, BAAP, 2002
Environmental cleanup places giant bladders filled with toxic soils in gunpowder area, BAAP, 2001
Escape Chute and fortified building, BAAP, 1999
Gate House, BAAP, 2000
Model T graveyard at BAAP, 2001
Graffiti inside a building, BAAP, 2003
homestead silo, 2000
Miller Cemetery, one of three cemeteries on BAAP grounds, 2000
Overgrown #1, 2000
Perimeter Road, BAAP, 2000
remains of solvent recovery buildings 2008
Reservoir accepting runoff from buried bladders, from environmental cleanup in gunpowder area, BAAP, 2003
Shimniok homestead, apple trees, BAAP, 2000

The Badger Army Ammunition Plant (BAAP), located near Baraboo, Wisconsin, was decommissioned in the 1990’s.  Its 4000 acres and 1200 deteriorated structures were abandoned to grasses, vines and trees. The 81 homesteads which were removed by the army in 1941 to make way for ordinance production continued to be  hidden in plain sight as foundational remains and productive orchards.

I began to photograph there in 1998. My mission evolved into an effort to document the evolution of this space from its geologic foundations  to the environmental cleanup of toxic soils. I was deeply attracted to the 1200 oddly shaped BAAP structures and homestead foundations.

To photograph in Badger also offered a magical entry into a world of natural sound and peacefulness.  Fox, coyote, deer, sandhill cranes, owls, sandpipers, ducks—all of these creatures roamed and left their marks.

This selection of photographs highlights some of these features:  the look and structures of the extensive ammunition plant, the foundational remnants of the homesteads and their orchards, nature’s encroachment, the wandering cows of the US Dairy Forage, and finally the attempt at environmental remediation.  (Photographs of the restoration of Badger’s prairies through fire can be found in the Firelines  section of the website).