By DAVID KRIER
The Southwest Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (SWWRPC) recently completed the first draft of a Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan for the city of Boscobel, a document planning for the maintenance and improvement of Boscobel’s recreational and open space resources.
This five-year plan is an update of the Boscobel Outdoor Recreation Plan prepared in 1996.
“I’m excited to share with you our first draft of the City of Boscobel Outdoor Recreation Plan,” James Winters of the SWWRPC wrote the city on Tuesday. “There are a few details that will be added in before the final plan. Any goal, proposal or recommendation in the plan is non-binding. The state can’t hold it against you. If you want federal or state funding for a project, then it should be mentioned in the plan. So we tried to cast a wide net to encompass as many recommendations and projects as possible.”
Policy decisions made by the Boscobel Park Commission and the Boscobel City Council for park programs and improvements shall be guided by the goals, objectives, findings, and recommendations of this adopted plan. Actual public policy decisions are contingent on funding sources, new opportunities, changing growth patterns, budget priorities, and changing community needs and desires. For this reason the plan should be reviewed annually and a detailed update such as this should be completed every five years.
Updating the plan every five years is also a requirement of the State of Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for a community such as Boscobel to stay eligible for matching government funds for parkland acquisition and facility improvements. But just as importantly, the City of Boscobel needs to set a course of action for continued improvement of its parks and outdoor recreational system.
Goals and objectives
One of the most important roles of local government is its responsibility to provide open space, parks and recreation facilities and programs for public use. This portion of the Updated Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan is to provide city officials with some general policies to show in guiding the future growth and development of Boscobel’s park system and outdoor recreation facilities. The goals and objectives below have been deemed important to the efforts in providing this important service
• Continue to provide excellent maintenance to Boscobel’s parks and recreational facilities.
• Continue to make Boscobel parks handicap accessible, by incorporating updates into the formal maintenance schedule.
• Provide additional park amenities to existing parks including picnic tables, playground equipment, sports equipment, grills, benches and others.
• Continue to provide excellent restroom maintenance.
• Continue to provide excellent equipment maintenance, repairing and replacing items like trash cans, water fountains, and recycling bins and adding more items where needed.
• Develop new parks and recreational facilities that meet the needs of Boscobel residents throughout the calendar year.
• Develop a handicap-accessible walking and biking trail that connects the Sanders Creek walkway through the Lower Wisconsin.
• Develop more indoor recreational opportunities for Boscobel residents to utilize during the winter months.
• Develop more walking and bike pathways throughout the city.
• Continue to efficiently utilize existing funding streams and find new funding solutions for Boscobel’s parks systems.
• Continue to host regional sporting and recreational events.
• Continue to cooperate and coordinate work with the school district, county, and state agencies to provide efficient outdoor recreation programs and opportunities.
• Leverage local support to develop more external grant funding for additional parks and recreation amenities, equipment, and maintenance.
The plan calls for specific improvements to Boscobel city parks, including:
• Kronshage Park:
Add recycling bins in two more locations and expand current recycling to include paper and plastic.
Repair horseshoe pit.
Repair tennis/basketball court fence.
Repair drinking fountain.
Add sand to volleyball courts.
Add short handicap accessible walkway between parking lot and an immediate shelter.
Add handicap accessible walkway connecting visitor side football field/track, playground, basketball/tennis courts.
Add additional handicap accessible picnic tables throughout the park.
Add additional grills at other shelters.
Repair/replace broken/outdated playground equipment in two location.
Update grass playground base to woodships.
• Fireman’s Park:
Add bike racks near the playground/shelter and by the softball field.
Replace manual scoreboard with electric scoreboard.
Add recycling bins at the softball field shelter.
• Scout Cabin Park:
Add bike racks near the cabin/playground.
Add recycling bins near the trash cans.
Expand basketball court to a half-sized court.
Add a shelter behind the cabin or retrofit the cabin to be used as a shelter.
Upgrade bathrooms to make them handicap accessible.
• Sanders Creek Walkway:
Add historical exhibits, mileage markers and fitness course exercise stations.
• Depot Park:
Add historical/artistic exhibits.
Make more handicap accessible by installing a paved path through the park.
• Additional rec spaces:
Add walking/biking trail through the Lower Wisconsin River Waterway.
Add park at 908 Cedar Rd.
Address dog park concerns through policy changes or by installing a dog park.
“This document summarizes all the park-specific recommendations into a single document that will be used for the Capital Improvement Schedule (CIS),” wrote Winters. “Please keep in mind that the CIS and the plan are only recommendations in the eyes of the state. So it’s better to have a line item in the plan and decide later not to implement it, than to exclude an item from the plan and decide later to try and get funding for it.”