Left, the Village of Plover is planning to tackle the unappealing nature of Lake Pacawa Park. (City-Times photo)
“We get a lot of compaints right now from the veterans that there are people fishing from the Korean War Memorial despite the signage… if we give them nice alternatives, what we believe will happen is people will have the respect for the memorial it’s due and they will use these other opportunities.” -Dan Mahoney
By Brandi Makuski
Lake Pacawa Park is primed for some major upgrades.
While no timeline for the project has been scheduled, the Plover Parks Redevelopment Board this week saw two potential outcomes for Lake Pacawa Park, which is nestled between Hoover Avenue South and the interstate.
Both proposals include additional parking in various locations throughout the park, a potential permanent band shell, additional bathrooms and pavilions, and an overlook and fishing pier. Removing the through- road is also being considered.
Village of Plover Administrator Dan Mahoney said the park’s master plan has been in the works for some time, and village leaders are excited to finally see a potential end result.
“This project is really derivative of the fact that Celebrate Plover has been so successful there, and as we look at the future needs of the property we want that to continue to grow,” Mahoney said. “In addition to that, some of the building facilities are aging on the property as well. This is the perfect time to look at the village- controlled area but also the area controlled by the Lions as well as the Worzella Pines Park, as ultimately if you look at the map they’re all in the same area.”
Mahoney also said the village would look at various fundraising opportunities to pay for the remodel but did not have a cost estimate.
Stevens Point- based Rettler Corporation was pinged to create the two concepts, and Landscape Architect Jeff Bahling said the park is overdue for some upgrades.
“It’s not that the park hasn’t been maintained, it’s just old. It’s been reiterated to me over and over that the park is getting tired,” Bahling said. “An uplift is needed, and obviously when you look back at certain uses there are always pros and cons, but now we have a more defined goal with these two concepts.”
Bahling said more “passive recreation” areas were considered in both concepts and include perimeter walking trails, benches and designated areas for historical and patriotic markers.
Pony Field, a new soccer field and other green space will be maintained for team and community sports as well as general public use.
“We’ve got two very good conceptual plans to go from. These are just ideas though, so if someone likes ideas from one plan we can implement those and mix, match and combine to make the more desirable park for the community.”
Bahling said Rettler’s plans made room for specific recognition of important historical monuments.
“We’ve always thought of Plover as a patriotic place,” he said. “So we’ve included a defined space for a flag pole and monument, as well as other areas designed for a patriot markers or statues with signage explaining it to people who walk by.”
Mahoney said he was particularly interested in the potential for a new band shell, which he said would better unify residents for community events.
“Right now for Celebrate Plover we have bands and we have to rent tents. And of course, the tents are warm and that gets uncomfortable,” Mahoney said. “So having a nice permanent shelter- once you have that you can look at having band events during the course of the summer. The Lions may wish to sponsor a chicken feed and a concert. The Village Patriotic Band can play there, where currently they’re in here in the back of this building (the Plover Municipal Building). So it would provide the potential for much more use with respect to bands and music.”
Both plans include placing additional berms, landscaping and a more- defined tree line along Maple Drive, and Bahling also said refining the beach area would create a more family- friendly appeal.
“The lake is an asset to the whole community- when we first moved here 20 years ago, the beach was hopping,” Bahling said. “Now, obviously, there are problems with the water and while there’s not much we can do about that, this is a step in that direction.”
Village President Dan Schlutter said residents can’t get too excited about water improvements yet because any treatment for the lake is under the purview of the Wisconsin DNR.
“I know there have been chemical treatments in the past by someone in the village, maybe the Lions,” Schlutter said. “But that was stopped because that’s all under the DNR- we can’t do anything to that lake without their okay.”
Plans were also included for a fishing pier and overlooks, which Bahling said was intended to help curb illegal fishing off the Korean War Memorial.
“We get a lot of compaints right now from the veterans that there are people fishing from the Korean War Memorial despite the signage,” said Mahoney. “So if we give them nice alternatives, what we believe will happen is people will have th respect for the memorial it’s due and they will use these other opportunities.”