Groundbreaking for Jenni-Kyle Preserve Brings Special Park for Residents with Disabilities Closer to Reality
August 29, 2003
Sharyn Wisniewski (608) 267-8823
A Dane County park that provides special accommodations for residents with disabilities is closer to reality today as ground was broken for park improvements.
The Jenni and Kyle Preserve in the Dane County Nine-Springs E-Way along Post Road in the City of Madison will include a parking area, shelter building, restrooms and picnic areas, two fishing ponds, trails and observation areas, all accessible to persons with disabilities. Completion is expected by June 2004.
The park is adjacent to the Madison Area Rehabilitation Center (MARC) that serves persons with disabilities.
“All of us, including children and adults with disabilities, love to get out in nature,” said County Executive Kathleen Falk. “I’m tremendously grateful to the generous donors who helped make this unique park a reality.”
Falk said, “This groundbreaking is also a fitting tribute to Ken LePine’s last day on the job as Dane County Parks Director. His heart and vision for our parks system guided his great leadership over the past 13 years as director and a total of 22 years with Dane County parks.”
In 1988, Dane County accepted a $100,000 donation from Patricia S. and Harvey D. Wilmeth, of Mequon, grandparents of Jennifer and Kyle Wilmeth, the children of Sally Wilmeth and Terry Geurkink. Both children died of a degenerative neurological disease at the age of 4. Of the original donation, $70,000 was used to help purchase 160 acres of wetland and 30 acres of upland, and two spring ponds in the Nine Springs E-Way.
The remaining $30,000 was kept by the Friends of the Dane County Parks Foundation to assist the county in development of the Jenni and Kyle Preserve.
Providing a barrier free recreation site with the potential to connect people with disabilities to nature and to the Capital City Trail has been a goal of Dane County Parks and for the Jenni and Kyle Preserve.
Not all of the land needed for the Preserve was available earlier. The City of Madison extended Post Road in 2000 and some commercial lots became available for purchase. On December 6, 2001, the Dane County Board of Supervisors approved exercising the option to purchase the land needed to provide vehicle access to the site.
Dane County committed $95,000 to the purchase of the parkland. Additional monies were raised to cover the rest of the $250,000 purchase price for this commercial real estate.
Major donors for the purchase and development include the Madison Community Foundation, which contributed $40,000, the Capital Times, which helped the Friends of Dane County Parks raise over $66,000, the Department of Natural Resources which gave a grant of $140,000 and the Madison Fishing Expo which donated $10,000.
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