$40,000 from Madison Community Foundation for Jenni-Kyle Preserve Brings County Park for Disabled Citizens Closer to Reality
December 12, 2001
Sharyn Wisniewski, 267-8823
A Dane County park that provides special accommodations for the disabled is closer to reality as the result of a grant made by the Madison Community Foundation to the Friends of the Dane County Parks Foundation.
The $40,000 grant will be used toward the purchase of land needed to complete the Jenni and Kyle Preserve in the Dane County Nine-Springs E-Way along Post Road in the City of Madison.
“I’m tremendously grateful to the Madison Community Foundation for their generosity in helping to make this unique park a reality,” said Dane County Executive Kathleen M. Falk. “All of us, including children and adults with disabilities, love to get out in nature. This gift brings us one step closer.”
Libby Lewis, president of the Friends of the Dane County Parks Foundation, said, “This grant is an enormous help to our fundraising plan. We will continue to invite other donations for this most beautiful and special location.”
In 1988, Dane County accepted a $100,000 donation from Patricia S. and Harvey D. Wilmeth, of Mequon, grandparents of Jennifer and Kyle Wilmeth. Both children died of a degenerative neurological disease at the age of 4. Of the original donation, $70,000 was used to help purchase most of the land needed for the park. The remaining $30,000 was kept by the Friends of the Dane County Parks Foundation to assist the county in development of the Jenni and Kyle Preserve.
Providing a barrier free recreation site with the potential to connect people with disabilities to nature and to the Capital City Trail has been a goal of Dane County Parks and for the Jenni and Kyle Preserve.
Money is needed to complete the drive, and to develop a parking area, restrooms, shelter building and picnic areas that are accessible to people with disabilities. Also planned for the park are two fishing ponds, signage, plantings, prairie restoration and trails in the E-Way with wetland observation areas off the trails.
Not all of the land needed for the Preserve was available earlier. The City of Madison extended Post Road in 2000 and some commercial lots became available for purchase. On December 6, 2001, the Dane County Board of Supervisors approved exercising the option to purchase the land needed.
Dane County has committed $95,000 to the purchase of the parkland. An additional $115,000 needs to be raised to cover the rest of the $250,000 purchase price for this commercial real estate. The Friends of the Dane County Parks Foundation have been seeking gifts, bequeaths and grants for this purpose.
A plan for the Jenni and Kyle Preserve by the Dane County Parks is in place. Adjacent to the parkland will be the new facility built by the Madison Area Rehabilitation Center (MARC). The potential for a partnership with MARC in helping the county operate the park and providing a place for MARC clients is another very positive aspect to this project, according to Parks Director Ken LePine.
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