FSLV – West Point Open Space Committee/Team
2016 Annual Report
The Merrimac Ferry Landing Park project was completed during the spring and summer of this year. A partnership was established beginning in early 2014 between the Town of West Point, WISDOT, and FSLV in order to make improvements at the wayside park. The Town of West Point received a Sport Fish Restoration Grant (SFR) from WDNR to install an accessible fishing pier and WISDOT replaced the outdated restrooms with modern facilities. The restrooms were operational in June and the accessible fishing pier was installed in July. FSLV raised more than $10,000 in donations to cover costs associated with the pier project. Town officials and the Steering Committee have received nothing but praise from the public on the improvements.
Currently the Town Board is working with the Columbia County Highway Department on making minor improvements at the pier location to allow easy removal and storage of the pier during the winter months and for installation next spring. Thanks to all who have contributed time and donations to this project. The Town of West Point now has a public access point to the lake for shore fishing especially for people with special needs.
The West Point Open Space Committee (OSC) is currently updating policy and procedures for the committee and revising the West Point Open Space Plan. The plan approved by WDNR in 2009 needs to be updated at least every five years in order to maintain eligibility for grants in the future. During 2017, the committee will be asking the public to participate in the plan revision through a focus group(s) and/or an open house event.
Safe bike routes are a critical long term goal in the existing open space plan and this goal will likely remain in the plan revision. The committee has been working with other organizations, Counties, and local units of government in support of Route 30 a segment of The National Bicycle Route System. The route may ultimately pass through a portion our area.
Merrimac Ferry Accessible Fishing Pier Project
The Town of West Point Open Space Committee (OSC) and Friends of Scenic Lodi Valley (FSLV) have developed a project with WISDOT to make significant changes to the Merrimac Ferry Landing Wayside Park. A new restroom facility with running water and flush toilets. will be completed soon (May 2016). As a part of this overall improvements, the Town of West Point secured an Outdoor Recreation Grant (through WI DNR) for the construction of an accessible fishing pier, three benches, a concrete path, and signage.. Individuals and groups are encouraged to make a donation to help cover matching funds that are necessary to receive the grant from WI DNR. Construction on the pier will begin in May or June of 2016. The attached link includes a detailed summary of the project.
If you are interested in learning more, please click here:
A donation form is attached:
West Point Open Space Team Report
- In the fall of 2015, the West Point Open Space Team purchased two warning signs to post on the highway by the Town Hall when the Ryan Park Prairie Planting is burned. The signs were delivered and the cost covered by the FSLV West Point Team Budget. Prescribed fire is the preferred management approach for this four acre prairie planting this was established several years ago.
A big thank you as this purchase seems insignificant but it will allow us to burn with several wind directions and not be as concerned about smoke on the road. This makes management much easier.
- Ferry Landing Fishing Pier Project – The Team included an appeal for donations for the accessible fishing pier (at the Merrimac Ferry Landing) in the 2015 property tax letters to West Point property owners. The request yielded a good response and the donations total close to $7,000 as of February 2016. The donations will go toward a $23,000 match required to release a Sport Fish Restoration Grant from WDNR to build, install, and maintain the pier. WISDOT is building new restroom facilities at the landing. Construction of the pier is planned for the spring of 2016 when a contract is awarded to the builder.
- The team has completed a review of the Town of West Point annual donation to the Fish Mud Crystal Rehabilitation Lake District. For several years the Town has provided financial assistance (donations) to the district to help with a project to manage water levels via a pumping and diversion system. The lake levels are now under control and the Town Board asked the team to evaluate the need to continue the donations. The team has prepared a report to the Board with a set of recommendations. The Lake District will be notified of the findings.
- The team is looking into the feasibility a short section of bike trail along the rail corridor south of the ferry landing. A trail would connect the landing with the City of Lodi via local roads. The team has initiated discussions with transportation planners.
The Ferry Courtesy of the West Point Area Historical Society
The Ferry Today
New Restroom Facility Under Construction Winter 2016