The Village of Port Edwards, Wisconsin --- Two early holiday gifts for the Village of Port Edwards and the Heart of Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce Leadership team 2021. On December 1st, 2020, the Village of Port Edwards Board of Trustees voted 7 to 0 to approve a New Dog park in the Village. This 4-8 acre Dog park, located in the Villages Ripple Creek park system, will not only serve the 1800 residents of Port Edwards but also the 72,000 residents of Wood County, Wisconsin. Currently there are no major Dog Parks within a 15 mile distance from this location and this will be a great asset to the inventory of our recreational activity network. This initiative is in collaboration with a non-profit organization, SCENTRAILs Bark Community park Inc., a very enthusiastic group of citizens wanting a safe and secure place to visit with their animals. The Total project will cost close to $40,000 once complete (funded by donations from interested citizens and organizations) and it will be maintained in partnership by the Village of Port Edwards and Scentrails inc. to ensure its well-groomed, clean and operated effectively. The Village looks at this collaboration as a win-win for the partners and the region. This also will be a great marketing draw for visitors to our County, since its located along the existing trail network for Bikers, Hikers, ATVs and Snowmobiles.
The second gift came in the form of a $19,000 Grant from the Wood County Conservation, Education & Economic Development Committee. On December 15th, 2020, the County generously awarded these funds to provide Trail Head signage across the communities of The Village of Port Edwards, The City of Nekoosa, The Town of Saratoga, the Village of Biron and the Town of Grand Rapids. This cooperative was an initiative by the Recreational Trail Team as part of the Heartland Chamber of Commerce Leadership 2021 group. “Having the County support this endeavor will provide signs that will be purchased and installed locally and will be a great start to our project, this will be matched by funding to install the signs in 2021 with the five communities that have partnered to support this effort.”, stated Ray “Boz” Bossert , the Village administrator for Port Edwards and the leadership 2021 group project chair. The funds will be utilized to design and purchase signs that will be standardized, informative and durable and then placed along the network of trails in the local communities. A partnership between the five communities will meet monthly to discuss the signs and installation timeline. “I visited all the communities and participated in their monthly board meetings, they all enthusiastically supported this effort and all agreed that having a standardized sign under a HEART (Heartland, Education, Activity and Recreational Trails) network will help inform their residents as well as provide a marketing tool for the region”, stated Ray “Boz” Bossert.
The individual communities will have the ability to personalize the signs with local mottos, trail names and government logos, but they will be under the umbrella of the HEART network to help identify the collection of trails and destinations in our region. The Chamber leadership group hopes to expand the communities involved throughout the County over the next year and as well as neighboring counties and their trail networks. They also hope, working with the County, to “digitize” the trails and other destinations with a user friendly application that any smartphone or table can utilize to better inform users of the vast amount of options they have along our trail networks. “ The information is out there in various formats, in many cases it’s collected by the County, Villages and Towns. We seek to collect all this data, consolidate it, provide a platform that is user friendly and then see the gaps in the network that we can work with the communities to address. It will show trails for Hikers, Bikers, Snowmobilers, ATV’ers as well as boat ramps, parks, restrooms, libraries, playgrounds, Veterans memorials as well as other destinations along our trails in the region, with the ability to add stores, restaurants and vendors in the future. We want this to be a one stop shop for the network and the user but sustainable over time,” stated Ray “Boz” Bossert.
For more information please submit questions, comments or if you want to financially support the HEART network contact us at email@example.com . To donate to the Dog park, visit paypal.me/FriendsofSBCP, email SBCPTreasurer@gmail.com, or contact Friends of Scentrail Bark Community Park, Attn: Treasurer, PO Box 272, Wisconsin Rapids, WI, 54495, noting “Dog Park Donation.” To learn more, find “FSBCP.WIRapids” on Facebook or email firstname.lastname@example.org.