The City of Stoughton will present a plan next week to the public to redevelop its downtown riverfront into a regional tourist destination with the addition of a whitewater park.

Over the past year, city officials have been working on a plan that would modify the Fourth Street dam, where the Yahara River runs through the city, and create a series of drops and a surfing wave for paddlers to enjoy.

The city is looking for feedback to consider as the city’s parks and recreation department comes up with a final design for the park, which parks and rec director Dan Glynn said he expects to be constructed starting in 2021.

Glynn said the surfing wave will be the only one of its kind in the region and could bring up to $30 million annually to Stoughton’s economy. The amount was determined by a 2018 economic study co-authored by Glynn and University of Wisconsin-Madison students and faculty.

The meeting will take place on Jan. 29 at the Stoughton High School Performing Arts Center, 600 Lincoln Ave. Glynn and Gary Lacy of Recreation Engineering and Planning will present the plan to members of the public, including information on what the city believes it could do for Stoughton’s economy as well as the land and water along the Yahara.

Lacey and Glynn will discuss the vision for the whitewater park’s design as well as plans for surrounding trails and a pedestrian bridge.

Information booths will be set up for attendees to learn more about plans for the park and ask questions.

The booths will be staffed by members of the city’s Parks and Recreation department, Dane County Land and Water Resources department and the City of Madison School and Community Recreation department. They’ll provide information on topics such as flood mitigation, sediment sampling and events that can be held once the park is developed.

Glynn said he hopes after attendees hear about the plan they’ll communicate “what they like and don’t like about it.”

In addition to the opportunity to ask questions directly, comment boxes will be available with postcards the department will record.

For information on the plan, call Glynn at 873-6746 or email

Renee Hickman can be contacted at or follow her on Twitter at @ReneeNHickman