For Hub City Times
In 2003 a group of concerned citizens came together to help determine the future of Powers Bluff County Park. This 160-acre park is unique in central Wisconsin for its geology, plant life, recreational opportunities, and cultural significance to the Prairie Band Potawatomi and Ho-Chunk nations. The Friends of Powers Bluff helped to galvanize awareness and support for protecting the park and to fund a study to guide future plans.
Central to the plan, which was presented and adopted in 2005, was the acquisition of the 223-acre parcel of land to the north of the park. This would allow for the outdoor recreation opportunities to be maintained and improved while protecting the cultural and environmentally sensitive areas.
Wood County completed the land trade in 2012, and Wood County Park and Forestry Department has been creating a site plan. Construction renderings will be on display at a special informational meeting on Wednesday, March 22, at 7 p.m. in the current Powers Bluff shelter building.
Plans include a new entrance road from County Highway N, a parking lot, and a 12,000-square-foot multiuse shelter building. Also planned are trails for bicycling/snowshoeing and hiking/cross country skiing, a 3-acre fishing pond, sledding hill, and outdoor ice skating rink. The $4.4 million project will be funded through both public and private sources.
“We’d like to revitalize the Friends of Powers Bluff,” stated founding member and President Gene Bymers. “We can partner with the county parks department to help with fundraising for the new improvements and help in many capacities as volunteers.”
Membership information for the Friends of Powers Bluff will also be available at the March 22 meeting.
To learn more about the project, contact the Wood County Park and Forestry Department office at 715-421-8422. The original master plan, as well as a project brochure and donation card, are available online at co.wood.wi.us/departments/parks.