Location established for future city dog park

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From Lockwood Street looking southeast, a new gravel parking lot has been constructed between the wastewater treatment plant and Highway 18 Bypass. Between there and the railroad tracks (to the left of this photo) is the future site of a dog park. (Photo by Correne Martin)

By Correne Martin

Drivers taking the Highway 18 Bypass in Prairie du Chien have likely noticed considerable earth-moving activity, particularly at the Lockwood Street intersection near the city wastewater treatment plant and Campion Boat Landing. 

According to City Planner Garth Frable—and as the Courier Press reported months ago—the city recently acquired this piece of land, which the Wisconsin Department of Transportation had in excess from the bypass project years ago.

Frable said, the area that is raised will be parking created to serve overflow vehicles from the boat landing as well as for users of a fenced-in dog park the city plans for the future. The dog park is anticipated to sit between the parking area and the railroad tracks, where there are currently a lot of trees.

The parking area surface will be just gravel for now until funds for improvements arise. 

Frable noted that the dog park will be roughly 230 feet by 435 feet and allow people to use it as space for their dogs to play; however, the city does not yet have funding to fence it right now. 

“The city has been talking about having a dog exercise area for a while, and this opportunity was there,” parks and rec director Mike Ulrich said. “The public parking there will be two-fold down the road, for the boat landing and the dog park. Of course, the dog park’s not really developed yet and it’s going to be awhile. We still need to do some work.”

Ulrich listed three key components to a future dog park: 1) a fence, which the city needs funds for or a donated fence; 2) shade, which is feasible, though systematic cleanup of the trees there now is needed for it to become functional; and 3) access to water, for which this site is located nicely.

Though the space is established, the concept of a usable dog park in Prairie du Chien is not in the near future. 

In the meantime, Ulrich said, St. Feriole Island is heavily used by dog owners for recreation and leisure with their animals. He reminded people, however, to clean up after their pets and to keep them on a leash—a requirement by city ordinance. Also, he reminded, Lawler and Lochner parks are pet-free areas.

Anyone wishing to get their pet exercise off-leash is welcome to utilize the city’s La Riviere Park, while being mindful that there are horse trails and other users there as well.

More earth moving

Also along the Highway 18 Bypass, drivers may have noticed earth being moved near the Wells Street intersection. Because of all the construction projects within the city, administration worked with the contractors to allow a place for the fill to go when removed from Marquette Road and Michigan Street, specifically. This site is the receptacle of that fill. 

As the Courier previously reported, once those projects are complete, the location is the anticipated new home for the Prairie du Chien Eagles Club.

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