More park planning needed
Have you ever seen a Nodding Trillium? These rare spring beauties are blooming quietly in Tyranena Park, next to a newly created mountain bike path. Many wildflowers bloom; undisturbed for a century, a foot off one of the mountain bike trails that now flow everywhere thru the wooded 13-acre park on the north end of Rock Lake. If you wish to see these beauties of the spring ephemeral forest you must go now before they are lost to the bike traffic or to the expansion of the mountain bike trails. It is disheartening to see a very valuable natural area developed into a myriad of narrow trails cutting through the trees, shrubs and native wildflowers, up and down through the glacial kettles leaving very little of the park as I observed it in the past.
I am writing to express my concern and to address the point made last week in Ms. Keurler’s letter that careful planning and public input usually guide master planning for our parklands. Public participation is not the forte of the current administration of the City of Lake Mills or of the Parks Department and/or the City Parks Committee. Far reaching projects, like the mountain bike paths being created at Tyranena Park demonstrate clearly how no real master plans exist for our parks. Development is not guided by public process with a firm plan considered and created by all park users. If you are not in attendance at all city meetings; choices are made for you by consultants. Today, two of our very valuable lakeside parks are being used as intense recreational hot spots.
In a lengthy white paper report, City manager Steve Wilke took great pains to point out the need for our parks to generate income to support upkeep. I contend that turning Sandy Beach into a “cash cow’ to support more park development is not serving the citizens of Lake Mills. Turning Tyranena Park into a cyclocross course is not serving all the citizens of Lake Mills. Total disregard for historic and natural areas in favor of food trucks, mountain bike trails and rental boat parking may generate income, but this type of development will not stand the test of time. When will we come to our senses and try to preserve and protect what we are given in this lifetime? Will there be anything left of what we once cherished as a community?