By Chad Schooley
Wood County Park and Forestry Department Director
The Wood County Park and Forestry Department would like to announce the start of a fundraising capital campaign entitled “Powers Bluff Development Project – Preserving the Past, Planning for the Future.”
As some of you may recall, the Powers Bluff County Park Long Range Master Plan was completed in 2005. The plan’s mission statement was as follows: “Powers Bluff County Park is a unique natural, cultural, and recreational resource.” The long-term vision is to protect it for future generations of Wood County residents so they may enjoy the park for years to come.
The main recommendation from the Master Plan was to acquire adjoining property north of the park. This would enable the outdoor recreation opportunities to be maintained and improved while protecting cultural and environmentally sensitive areas. This land acquisition became reality in 2012 when Wood County completed a land trade, which resulted in ownership of 223 acres of property north of the park. Since that time, the Park and Forestry Department has been creating a site plan for the park as well as initial construction renderings and cost estimates for a new multiuse shelter building.
The Powers Bluff Development Project aims to fund many different improvements.
Within the existing 160-acre park, the following improvements will be made: removal and relocation of the maintenance shop, wood storage shed, and salt/sand shed; installation of interpretive signage for the 1.5-mile nature trail; creation of interpretive signage detailing the Native American history within the park; installation of lighting and snowmaking equipment for the ski/tube hill; and elimination and/or rerouting of existing snowmobile and ski trails to help protect sensitive areas.
The development of the new 223 acres will include the following: new entrance road from County Highway N to the base of the ski/tube hill, a 150-stall parking lot, a 12,000-square-foot multiuse shelter building at the northern base of the ski/tube hill, playground equipment, seven miles of single track bike/snowshoe trail, five miles of hiking/cross country ski trail, a three-acre fishing pond, sledding hill, and outdoor ice skating rink.
How will this project become reality? Only with the assistance from people like you.
Wood County is seeking $4.4 million to assist in funding these projects. All donations, big and small, are very much appreciated. Wood County is also applying for several community grants from area businesses, the Wisconsin DNR, and private foundations.
Because Wood County is a tax-exempt, governmental entity, donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. Questions regarding contributions should be referred to your tax advisor.
If you or someone you know would be interested in finding out more about this project, contact the Wood County Park and Forestry Department office at 715-421-8422. Those wishing to make a donation should call or visit co.wood.wi.us/Departments/Parks to find a project brochure and donation card. Thank you for helping us improve the outdoor recreation opportunities in Wood County.