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County Executive Announces $225,000 Grant for DeForest's Upper Yahara River Trail, Boost Outdoor Recreation Economy

July 24, 2013
Casey Slaughter Becker, Office of the County Executive (608) 267-8823 or cell (608) 843-8858
County Executive



Completion of Phase 3 of Upper Yahara River Trail One of 12 Projects Across the County Recommended for PARC Grants This Year


Dane County Executive Joe Parisi announced today that the Dane County Park Commission has approved recommendation of nearly one million dollars in PARC grants for 12 projects that will partner the county with local communities to boost the outdoor recreation economy.


The awards include $225,000 for the Village of DeForest to complete construction of Phase 3 of the Upper Yahara River Trail.


The PARC program partners the county with local communities and organizations looking to invest in projects that will help them strengthen local economic development efforts through improvements to tourism, recreation, and conservation. 


“Each of Dane County’s communities have something special to offer residents, visitors, and businesses,” said Parisi.  “Our PARC grants partner the county with local governments and private organizations to further strengthen our outdoor recreation economy and our quality of life – from new biking and hiking trails to increased access to our great waterways.”


The county’s $225,000 PARC grant will help DeForest complete construction of Phase 3 of their multi-year Upper Yahara River Trail project.  Once complete, the trail will extend from DeForest’s Sunnybrook Park to an existing trail that leads to downtown DeForest.


The trail connection will provide a key link between the Village’s new mixed use neighborhoods to its redeveloping downtown, and also improve public access to the river.  Last year, the county awarded DeForest $134,049 in PARC grant funds to help with the trail.


“The Village of DeForest has done a tremendous job with its trail system, converting the Yahara River from something people drive past into something they can truly experience,” said Supervisor Maureen McCarville.  “The County’s continuing support of those efforts is a great investment.”



“Village of DeForest residents will benefit from this PARC grant from Dane County,” said Village of Deforest President Judd Blau.  “This trail connection is a vital link to connect our new developments with our downtown. It will increase accessibility to all members of the community.  We are grateful to be awarded this grant.”


This year’s other PARC grant recommendations include funds for the development of a bicycle/pedestrian trail connection in the Village of Cambridge; recreation and natural resource enhancements at Heritage Park in the Town of Dunn; construction of a boardwalk bicycle/pedestrian trail in the City of Fitchburg; construction of a segment of the Lower Yahara River Trail in the Village of McFarland; trail improvements at Tiedeman Pond and fishing enhancements at Lakeview Park in Middleton; major upgrades to the Lottes Park boat launch and riverwalk in Monona; upgraded boat launch and pier construction for Lake Kegonsa in the Town of Pleasant Springs; and construction of a bicycle/pedestrian path in the Village of Shorewood Hills.


PARC Grants were also recommended to local organizations, including funds for the Aldo Leopold Foundation for upgrades to the Aldo Leopold Nature Center in Monona, and funds for the Madison Skatepark Fund to help construct Madison’s first outdoor concrete skate park.


PARC money awarded to the approved projects is matched on the local level by a local unit of government and/or by the organization requesting the grant.  In many cases, local supporters raise more money for their projects than the county’s contribution. 


Dane County Parks staff worked with the County Park Commission to rank all the PARC grant proposals.  Grant money will be awarded this summer, pending the Dane County Board’s final review of the Parks Commission’s funding recommendations.


A full summary of this year’s PARC grant recommendations is attached.

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