For the City Times
The Wood County Park and Forestry Department have announced the start of a fundraising capital campaign entitled: Powers Bluff Development Project – Preserving the Past, Planning for the Future.
Completed in 2005, the Powers Bluff County Park Long Range Master Plan’s statement describes itself as 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 the 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 multi-use shelter building. The Powers Bluff Development Project will have many different improvements included in it.
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 snow making equipment for the ski/tube hill.
-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.
-150 stall parking lot.
-Construction of a 12,000 sq. ft. multi-use shelter building at the northern base of the ski/tube hill.
-7 miles of single track bike/snowshoe trail and 5 miles of hiking/cross country ski trail.
-3 acre fishing pond, sledding hill, and an outdoor ice skating rink.
The new multi-use shelter building will be the main improvement of this project. This building will have 4 different use areas: The Atrium, Event Hall, Classroom/Meeting Room, and the Lower Level.
The Atrium will be an open air shelter area that will be available for all park users throughout the year. This area will have access to restrooms, drinking fountain, concessions, and ticket booth. There will be tables and chairs for people to use as well, and may be reserved for smaller events.
The Events Hall will serve as a warming house during the winter sports season, and will be available for rent throughout the year for other community events. This room will seat 300 people and will have access to a kitchen area, concessions, and restrooms.
This room will be ideal for weddings, class/family reunions, holiday parties, sporting events, and many other community gatherings. The classroom/meeting room will be designed to host area school groups for natural resource education.
The room will accommodate up to 70 people and would be reservable throughout the year. The lower level would be utilized during the winter sports season primarily. There would be a first aid room, lockers, restroom, employee break room, and equipment rentals (skis, snowboards, ice skates, and snow shoes).
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 Department of Natural Resources, 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, please contact the Wood County Park and Forestry Department office at 715-421-8422.
If you would like to make a donation, please give us a call or visit our website to find our project brochure and donation card at www.co.wood.wi.us/Departments/Parks/.