Dane County Executive Joe Parisi joined members of the county board and the park commission to announce that Lake Farm County Park will be renamed the William G. Lunney Lake Farm County Park to honor Dane County Park Commission Chairman William G. Lunney.
The recognition comes as Lunney finishes his term on the park commission at the end of June, marking the end of a half century of service to Dane County.
“Bill has done outstanding work for Dane County’s parks throughout his 30-year tenure as Dane County Park Commission chair,” Parisi said. “Naming this park in Bill’s honor recognizes his commitment to preserve Dane County’s natural spaces and passion to provide so many great recreational opportunities for residents and visitors.”
Lunney served in Dane County government over the course of five decades, starting as a county board supervisor in 1969 and culminating as park commission chairman this summer.
He served on the Dane County Park Commission for 32 years, including 30 years as chairman.
Under Lunney’s leadership, Dane County parkland and natural resource areas have increased in size from 3,500 acres to more than 15,000 acres.
As chairman of the Dane County Park Commission, Lunney helped advance development of the park classification system to organize and define park uses and types, oversee parks and open space committees that led to the adoption of six Dane County parks and open space plans, create some of the first dog parks in the nation, advocate for the important role of volunteers, friends groups, and partner organizations in the success of Dane County parks, and preside over an estimated 750 park commission and related committee meetings.
“Throughout the years, we have been able to put together a necklace of green adorning Dane County’s beautiful and diverse landscape,” Lunney said. “We have wonderful parks and trails in Dane County, and it’s an honor to have been part of a team that nurtured and helped guide their growth into the best park system in the state.”
Lunney and his wife, Judie Pfeifer, have partnered on a number of projects to benefit Dane County parks.
Together, the two co-founded the Foundation for Dane County Parks and helped co-found the Friends of Capital Springs State Recreation Area.
Along with the renaming of Lake Farm County Park, a kiosk and seating area will be added at the park that includes panels to describe both Bill Lunney and Judie Pfeifer’s contributions.