Changes give more winter access to park

Complaints prompt county to erect signs, move barricades at popular Waubedonia venue
Ozaukee Press Staff

Reacting to calls to allow more access to county parks this mild winter, especially at Waubedonia Park, Ozaukee County officials  have taken measures to make it easier for people to walk into the Fredonia venue.

Last month, the county Natural Resources Committee heard from two Fredonia residents who wondered why county parks were closed when there had been so little snow.

Measures discussed included installing gates instead of using barricades to prevent vehicles from entering the park and increasing staffing to manage access to the park.

The committee directed Planning and Parks Director Andrew Struck to provide an estimate of what it would cost to have staff more closely manage access to the park and to install a permanent gate at Waubedonia Park. 

Last week, Struck told the committee it costs about $800 in staff time and equipment use every time the barricades have to be moved at the park.

“Once you open the park, now you have to patrol it, empty the trash, pick up the dog poop left on the roads,” Struck said. “Over six months (of winter), that’s about $15,000. That’s significant.”

Struck said installing a permanent gate that can be swung open to allow vehicles would cost about $2,000, but experience shows those gates are often damaged by vehicles and snow plows.

Other complaints have been lodged regarding cars parking on Highway H and using the north side of the park to launch canoes and kayaks, where a proper boat launch does not exist, posing a safety hazard.

Struck said it’s been county policy for 50 years or so to close the parks from the end of October until spring because staffing is drastically reduced during those months.

But with little snow until recently, there have been more complaints about limited access to county parks.

Struck said people are allowed to walk into the parks, but they are generally closed to vehicles, especially at Waubedonia Park because the road through the park is a snowmobile trail, which obligates the county to close it to traffic.

Struck, however, said he has come up with what he thinks might be a compromise by moving the barricades farther back from the road, allowing cars to park off the right of way and using a smaller barricade off to the side that’s easier for pedestrians to get around.



Click Here to Send a Letter to the Editor

Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

125 E. Main St.
Port Washington, WI 53074
(262) 284-3494


User login