Dunn Heritage Park

The Lake Waubesa shoreline of Dunn Heritage Park in 2016.

Upgrades to the Town of Dunn’s most popular park are continuing over the next few years.

The town has secured a county grant of $29,885 to add two boardwalks, plant trees and dredge a pond and channel that connects Heritage Park to Lake Waubesa.

Town planning and land conservation director Ben Kollenbroich and town supervisor Cathy Hasslinger discussed the Heritage Park projects with the Dunn Parks Commission on Tuesday, July 21. The grant, from Dane County Land and Water Resources, is one of several the town has secured over the past decade to improve the experience of boating and walking and restore vegetation and wildlife habitats.

“The boardwalks are needed to make sure people can access the area we want them to,” Kollenbroich said.

Heritage Park – located between Tower Road and Jordan Drive near the south shore of Lake Waubesa – is a restored wetland with some shoreline open for fishing. The goal of the park transformation, Kollenbroich said, is to rebuild it into a more natural state and make it reminiscent of the prairie it once was.

In 2014, residents in a town survey asked for improvements in walking trails, the lake and nature walks.

Town officials plan to wrap up the final seeding of the park before this winter, while the boardwalks will be added in the next couple of years.

Recent additions to the area have increased attendance at the park, Kollenbroich said. With $53,000 in grant money in 2016 from the state Department of Natural Resources and the county, the town has replaced footbridges, built a canoe landing, placed large “rip rap” rocks along the lakeshore, removed invasive species and planted native prairie seeds to begin a major prairie restoration project. The town has also developed trails at the park, with the goal to ensure the park is accessible and can be used for recreation and fishing.