County to Begin Next Steps for Silverwood County Park
January 17, 2014
Jim Neidhart, Dane County Park Planning, (608) 224-3614 or Casey Slaughter Becker, Office of the County Executive (608) 267-8823 or cell (608) 843-8858
Nearly 300 Acres Named for Local Teacher Irene Silverwood Holds Potential for Regional Agriculture Education Showcase
Dane County Parks staff are set to begin the master planning process for one of Dane County’s newest parks, and they are looking for input and partnership from the public, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi announced today.
Silverwood County Park, located in the Town of Albion near Edgerton, is nearly 300 acres and includes a mix of woodland, agricultural fields, grassland, and significant public shoreline access along Rice Lake.
Parks planning staff will hold the first of several meetings to inform and gather public input for the future development of the park. The meeting will be held on January 30th, 2014 at 6:30 p.m. at the Albion Town Hall, 620 Albion Road, in Edgerton.
“Silverwood County Park has the potential to become an amazing regional attraction – connecting people to Dane County’s agriculture heritage and our vast natural resources,” said Parisi. “The outpouring of support this park has already received from the community has been extremely helpful, and is critical to our planning process moving forward.”
At the meeting, staff will propose future management goals, agricultural activities, recreational use such as fishing and canoe/kayaking, as well as park facility development. The planning area will include lands surrounding Rice, Sweet and Turtle Lakes. The master plan may make recommendations for future expansion of the park.
Parisi’s 2013 budget contained a $150,000 capital investment for initial development of the park, matched by another $150,000 investment in his recently released 2014 budget. The money will help increase accessibility to the land with signage, road access and parking for the park, renovation of buildings on-site, and walking trails.
Park development will be done through Operation Fresh Start. A long-time partner with the county, OFS works with at-risk youth and young adults to help them earn a high school or equivalent diploma while learning valuable job skills.
Silverwood County Park has enjoyed early support from the community, including the formation of a dedicated Friends of Silverwood County Park volunteer group, and partnerships with local schools.
Silverwood County Park is named for Irene Silverwood, an Edgerton educator for 44 years and a volunteer for Dane County Parks for nearly three decades, who generously donated the land for the park in 2002. A condition of the donation was that any future park feature a strong agriculture education component.
Irene Silverwood passed away in 2003. Her husband, Russell, served on the Dane County Board from 1949 to 1963 and was a former chairman of the Albion Town Board.
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