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County looks for public input on new park

Published On: Jan 19 2014 11:21:04 AM CST

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MADISON, Wis. -

Dane County Parks officials are looking for input and partnership from the public on one of Dane County’s newest parks, according to a release.

Silverwood County Park will be located in the town of Albion near Edgerton, officials said. The nearly 300 acres is a mix of woodland, agricultural fields, grassland and public shoreline access along Rice Lake.

Parks planning staff will hold the first of several meetings to provide information and gather public input for the future development of the park on Jan. 30, according to the release. The meeting will start at 6:30 p.m. at the Albion Town Hall at 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,” Dane County Executive Joe Parisi said in the release. “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 management goals, agricultural activities, recreational use and park facility development, according to the release. The planning area will include lands surrounding Rice, Sweet and Turtle lakes.

Parisi’s 2013 and 2014 budget included a $150,000 capital investment for initial development of the park, officials said. The funding will help increase accessibility to the land with signage, road access and parking for the park, renovation of on-site buildings and walking trails.

Park development will be done through Operation Fresh Start, a longtime partner with the county that works with at-risk youth and young adults to help them earn a high school or equivalent diploma while learning job skills, according to the release.

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, according to the release. A condition of the donation was that the park features a strong agriculture education component.

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