Treasures of Oz

Celebrating the Natural Gems of Ozaukee County

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Recreation

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Seven new Ozaukee County parks and 24 miles of additional recreation trails are among the recommendations in a draft Park and Open Space Plan to be unveiled Thursday at two public meetings.

The county owns five of the park sites and the preliminary plan proposes limited development of those properties with picnic tables and portable restrooms, as well as trails or other public access.

The five locations: 41-acre Bee Keeper Bog in Town of Fredonia; 213-acre Guenther Farmstead in Town of Saukville, which includes a former sand and gravel open pit mine; a 36-acre property adjacent to Ozaukee Interurban Trail in Town of Port Washington; 39-acre Pinnacle property in Town of Fredonia, which encompasses a natural area known as Waubeka low woods; 61-acre Shady Lane property in Town of Fredonia, including 53-acre natural area known as Milwaukee River mesic woods.

One park site proposed for county acquisition would include nine acres along Milwaukee River in Town of Grafton, adjacent to Edgewater subdivision. This park could provide a kayak and canoe launch, as well as fishing access to the river, according to the draft plan.

The seventh new park would go to the dogs. A proposed dog park could be located on county-owned land or a new site to be acquired by the county.

Cost of developing seven new county parks, adding facilities or acquiring additional land for nine existing county parks and outdoor recreation areas, and state purchase of six more acres at Harrington Beach State Park in the Town of Belgium, is estimated at $5.7 million.

A proposed Little Menomonee River trail would connect the Ozaukee Interurban Trail with a segment of the Milwaukee County parkway system along the Little Menomonee. The proposed Milwaukee River trail would link the Interurban Trail with the Milwaukee River corridor in Washington County.

The total of 24 new miles of trails, along with a recommendation to move 2.4 miles of the Interurban Trail off paved roads, would cost an estimated $1.5 million.

The draft plan will be discussed at two public informational meetings Thursday. The first is scheduled from 1 to 2:30 p.m. in the clubhouse at Mee-Kwon Golf Course, 6333 W. Bonniwell Road, Mequon. The second will be held from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the County Board room at the Ozaukee County Administration Center, 121 W. Main St., Port Washington.

The County Board will be asked to adopt the revised plan in early summer, said Andrew Struck, director of the county planning and parks department.   

The county accomplished several major goals of the park and open space plan adopted in 2001. Among them: acquisition of Lion's Den Gorge Nature Preserve in Town of Grafton; development of Tendick Nature Park in Town of Saukville; and completion of the 30-mile-long Ozaukee Interurban Trail.