Seal of Dane County County of Dane
County Executive's Office


January 09, 2018
Josh Wescott 608-266-9069
County Executive

Dane County Executive Joe Parisi is encouraging the public to review the county’s  draft 2018-2023 Parks and Open Space Plan, a proposal that will help guide recreation and resource protection initiatives over the next five years.


“Dane County residents have continued to demonstrate strong support for the great park, trail and resource protection projects that are included within this plan,” said Parisi.  “Many of these projects, such as the Lower Yahara River Trail, started out as ideas that we have heard at public information meetings to update the Parks and Open Space Plan.”


The Parks and Open Space Plan, prepared by the Dane County Parks Division planning staff, identifies significant natural, cultural and historical resources to be protected as well as future park, recreation and trail needs.  The plan must be updated every five years for Dane County to remain eligible to apply for state Stewardship grant dollars necessary to help support long-term investment in the county’s quality of life. 


Three kick off meetings were held at various locations to introduce the planning process and provide instructions for how input could be provided on March 30th, April 5th and June 20th , 2017.  All meetings were well attended by local units of government, non-profit conservation organizations, recreation user groups and the general public.


Recommendations found within the draft plan were based on a variety of planning criteria including local and regional recreation trends, public and stakeholder input, comments gathered throughout the planning process, related planning efforts, population demographics, partnership opportunities and land management considerations. 


The plan provides an inventory of the existing park system and makes recommendations for new program initiatives, future park improvements, land acquisition areas, trail projects and park management objectives to be carried out during the next five years by the Dane County Parks Division.


“Our park system has continued to grow in many directions including volunteer and user numbers, size and recreation opportunities offered,” said Dane County Park Commission Chair, Bill Lunney.  “The plan is created through a grass roots level planning effort and  provides a unified vision that will allow us to meet our ever diversifying park and recreation needs.”  


On Tuesday, January 16th , Dane County Parks will host an informational session at the Lussier Family Heritage Center, 3101 Lake Farm Road in the City of Madison at 7 p.m.  A second meeting will be offered January 23rd at the Central Madison Public Library at 201 W. Mifflin St, Madison, WI 53703 at 7 p.m.  The meetings will allow the public to be briefed on the plan and provide feedback on the draft plan recommendations.  The draft plan is anticipated to be available for review prior to the meetings on the Parks website at: .


Comments on the draft plan will be accepted by phone, letter or e-mail until February 9th, 2018.  The final plan is anticipated to be completed and adopted by the Dane County Board in March.


For more information, please contact:


Chris James, Senior Landscape Architect

Dane County Parks Division

5201 Fen Oak Drive

Madison, WI 53718

Phone: 608.224.3763