The Dane County Land & Water Resources Department (LWRD) is requesting input from county residents in updating a plan that helps determine how Dane County manages its outdoor resources, including where and when recreational opportunities like dog parks, public hunting grounds, and disc golf courses are created.
The Dane County Parks and Open Space Plan is a countywide comprehensive outdoor recreation and natural resource plan that must be updated every 5 years to maintain eligibility for State Stewardship grant funds. Updates to the plan include identifying recreational needs and significant natural, cultural, and historical resources in the county to be considered for protection. The planning process will seek input from Dane County residents that will help guide future park and trail development projects over the next 5 years.
“This plan will serve as the blueprint for how we go about the important work of enhancing the parks, trails, and special lands that citizens enjoy and contribute to our great quality of life here in Dane County,” County Executive Kathleen Falk said.
As County Executive, Falk championed the Dane County Conservation Fund and the Land and Water Legacy Fund that combined have helped preserve over 10,000 acres in the county over the past 13 years.
Citizen and stakeholder input is a critical component of the plan and the county will have an extensive 6 to 8 month public input process to solicit ideas for updates. Recommendations may include anything related to protection of historic, cultural, water and land resources, or any other park, recreation facility or trail development project that would help Dane County better provide for the needs of its residents. Some current park programs that have resulted from the Park and Open Space Plan include development of dog exercise areas, disc golf, public hunting and fishing areas, numerous bicycle trails and the protection of thousands of acres of key natural resource lands throughout Dane County. The current 2006-2011 Dane County Park and Open Space Plan expires the end of 2011.
“The success and diversity of the Dane County Parks system has long been founded on citizen and stakeholder input that is generated through the Park and Open Space planning process,” Parks Commission Chair Bill Lunney said. “The public input process helps us to reach out to residents who may not be as familiar with our park system and better understand from existing park users recreation and resource protection needs.”
Dane County Parks will facilitate a public information meeting to provide an overview of the current plan and explain how everyone can participate in the planning process. The meeting will be held at 7:00 p.m. on December 15th at the Lussier Family Heritage Center, located at 3101 Lake Farm Road, Madison, WI 53711.
For more information contact the Dane County Parks Planner at:
Dane County Parks
Attn: Chris James
1 Fen Oak Court Room 234
Madison, WI 53718