The Poynette Village Board presented their Jamieson Park master plan draft at their regular meeting on Monday, Oct. 28. The plan includes the current state of the park as well as proposed changes, phases and costs.
The board starting working on a master plan after approving a work order with MDRoffers Consulting LLC in February. The master plan includes information gathered from a five-year Parks and Open Space Plan completed early last year, as well as talks with sport clubs, Friends of Rowan Creek, the Poynette School District and a community survey.
Village Administrator Martin Shanks said the goal of the master plan was to further develop ideas for the park, provide a platform for budgeting/grant writing and begin to initiate detailed engineering plans and in-field siting for different improvements, according to a memo.
Currently, only nine of the 46 total acres of Jamieson Park have been improved, with the rest being heavily wooded with mown paths. The facilities are described as “primitive” in the master plan. The open shelter does not have electricity and the picnic tables, grills and lights need to be updated. There are also no permanent restrooms.
In addition, it is next to land owned by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the Columbia County Sportsman League. Because of this, The village has determined there are opportunities for a larger footprint in Jamieson Park, either nature-based or nature-compatible activities.
The plans says it is looking to turn the park into a gathering spot for youth and family outings while creating an environment for environmental and recreation education and experiences. This includes improving the visibility and connections in the park by adding more noticeable activities and trail connections to the rest of the village.
The proposed facility changes include:
Disc golf course
Expanded dog park
Improved shelter, performance space and other facilities for family and community gatherings
Rowan Creek Trail extension
Potential Sportsman League land acquisition
Improved infrastructure to support these new recreational opportunities
The master plan has these upgrades added to a series of potential phases for the park. Phase 1A includes the dog park added this past summer, along with gathering space facility upgrades, disc golf course and upgrades to circulation, parking, lighting and signage.
Improvements to gathering spaces would a gravel parking lot and replacement or refurbishing of the current shelter. A second, smaller building could be added as well for seasonal portalets or pit toilet.
The disc golf course would include nine holes. The layout for the course is designed to minimize conflicts with hiking, dog park and gathering spaces. There is also room to have it be expanded to an 18-hole course sometime in the future.
Other recommended changes noted in the master include new streetlights closer to Highway CS, two new northern trail entrance signs, removal of wire fencing, Kilometer/mile markers along the trail, removal of old grills and replacing with new grills, tables and trash cans. The total cost for phase 1A is estimated at $81,000.
Phase 1B includes the possible acquisition of the Sportsman League’s 75.75 acres of land to the east of the park. This would initially be for trail and area connections but it also opens up opportunities to other uses.
Possibilities for this space would be a day camp, retreat or other educational uses. An aerial rope course could be added to the existing trees as well. This area can also become the future expansion of the disc golf course or a mountain bike pump track.
The estimated cost for this phase, which would include only the land acquisition and soil, building, well and septic system testing, is around $293,000. The potential ideas for this space would be added in a later phase.
The final official phase noted in the master plan — phase 2 — would be for major trail extensions and an expanded dog park. Additions would be a dog trail through the expansion area, a double-gated entry system and enhanced signage with a pay box, directions to well and disposal. The estimated cost for phase 2 is around $81,000.
Together, the total cost for these phases is $455,000. The master plan explores potential outside funding sources for Jamieson Park, which can help fund different goals for the park.
The Community Development Block Grant for public facilities can be used for the purpose of land acquisition that will be used for recreational facilities. The Disc Golf Foundation’s Matching Baskets program can provide donated baskets to community already purchasing a set of disc golf baskets.
PetSafe’s Bark for your Park helps communities build new or enhanced existing off-leash dog parks. There is also the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources that helps improves parks and acquire land for outdoor recreation.
The next step for this project would be adding phase 1A to the upcoming budget for 2020. The village will also need to plan discussions with Sportsman League managers about land acquisition, as well as investigating DNR grants for this.