The Foundation for Dane County Parks continues to spearhead the fundraising for the Accessible Piers Project. We want to help provide this important outdoor resource for people who have not previously been able to do so, including senior citizens, wounded veterans, and people with physical and cognitive challenges. People in these groups are often confronted with isolation and do not have access to the socialization and recreational benefits of the outdoors.
In 2020, improvements are being made at Babcock County Park and Salmo Pond. A number of Dane County’s piers already offer some of the accommodations, but stakeholders have identified several more locations where improvements can be made to better connect residents and visitors with the joys of being outdoors.
Other properties identified include Fish Camp County Park, Lussier County Park, Fish Lake Natural Resource Area, Silverwood County Park, Tenney Lock Breakwater and Mendota County Park. Improvements proposed would include vehicle parking and paths providing barrier free access to new accessible piers, kayak landings, restrooms, and seating.
Substantial funding would be provided privately to augment matching funds of $300,000 in the County Executive's budget. Present and future supporters of the project include: The Madison Fishing Expo, the Foundation for Dane County Parks, Access Ability Wisconsin, Take a Vet Fishing, Muskies, Inc., Madison Community Foundation, and the Courtier Foundation, as well as several generous donors and the broader Dane County community.
We also have invaluable advice on design issues and needs. Shore fishing areas are currently open to the public in Dane County Parks. This program would dramatically increase access for more people, including low-income and minority populations who depend on subsistence fishing.