Stoughton Riverfront 2019

The Mandt Park riverfront is being planned to include a possible whitewater park and a pedestrian bridge across the Yahara River.

A project looking to bring the Norwegian spirit of “friluftsliv” to the banks of the Yahara River will be on public display next week.

The city’s Parks and Recreation department and consulting engineering firm MSA Professional Services are collaborating on a master plan to revamp the Mandt Park riverfront. They will present those efforts at a public meeting in the Stoughton Fire Department training room, 401 E. Main St., on Tuesday, Oct. 15.

Running from 6:30-7:30 p.m., the meeting will consist of a presentation followed by a feedback session, where attendees will have the chance to provide input and ask questions about concepts from the presentation.

The project, which looks to add a whitewater park, trail extensions and a riverwalk along the Yahara River, received partial inspiration from “friluftsliv,” a Norwegian way of life that emphasizes experiencing the outdoors. The concept was central to the Parks and Recreation department’s initial pitch for a whitewater park to the Common Council in January 2017.

A July 26 concept of the Mandt Park project has the development split into three phases. Phase 1, which is targeted for completion by the end of 2022, would feature a foot trail on the Yahara River’s north bank, a pedestrian bridge spanning the river and a restoration of the riverbank.

The second phase is slated for 2023 and would introduce the whitewater park, more trails and a restoration of the river itself. Phase 3 would take place in 2024 and include further improvements to Mandt Park along with a rental facility for the whitewater park, which would create rapids people can negotiate using inner tubes, canoes or kayaks.

At the same time, the city’s Redevelopment Authority is also working with developer Curt Vaughn Brink LLC on further development of the riverfront as well as a residential neighborhood to the north of the river between Fourth and Eighth streets.

Anyone interested in submitting written comments on the Mandt Park master plan has until Oct. 31 and can send them to City Hall, 207 S. Forrest St., or dschmitt@msa-ps.com.

For information, call Parks and Recreation director Dan Glynn at 873-6746 or email dglynn@ci.stoughton.wi.us.