Plover Agrees on Final Plan for Lake Pacawa Overhaul
By Brandi Makuski
Officials from the Village of Plover say they’ve agreed on a final design for a major reboot of Lake Pacawa Park.
No timeline has been decided upon for the project, which comes with an estimated price tag of $4.5 million.
“Basically we had two different plans from the meeting in January, and this is them coming back with what we asked for,” said Village Administrator Dan Mahoney.
After hearing requests from the Village Board earlier this year, Stevens Point-based Rettler Corporation presented the final master plan for the park this week, which include adding a band shell and parking for more than 200 as well as LED lighting, additional bathrooms and pavilions throughout the park. The revamp also includes a new fishing dock and scenic overlook, reconstructed driving surfaces, new perimeter walking paths and improved playing fields.
“We’ll do this in phases, because this isn’t the kind of project you can just do all at once,” said Village President Dan Schlutter.
The plans also calls for reduction of the beach area, which will also become better defined with the addition of new sand. Lake water quality issues and improvements will be handled by the Dept. of Natural Resources.
Landscape architect Jeff Bahling from Rettler said “passive recreation” areas were included in the plan as a subtle method to encourage community interaction with the park’s natural setting, which include the new walking trails, signage explaining various features and flora of the park, benches and designated areas for historical and patriotic markers. Pony Field, a new soccer field and other green space will be maintained for team and organized sports as well as general public use.
Bahling said Rettler left plenty of room in the plans for specific recognition of important historical monuments.
“We’ve always thought of Plover as a patriotic place,” he said. “So we’ve included a defined space for a flag pole and monument, as well as other areas designed for a patriot markers or statues with signage explaining it to people who walk by.”
Mahoney said the park’s master plan has been in the works for some time, and village leaders are “very excited” to finally have a picture of the end result.
“This project is really derivative of the fact that Celebrate Plover has been so successful there, and as we look at the future needs of the property we want that to continue to grow,” Mahoney said. “In addition to that, some of the building facilities are aging on the property as well. This is the perfect time to look at the village- controlled area but also the area controlled by the Lions as well as the Worzella Pines Park, as ultimately if you look at the map they’re all in the same area.”
Mahoney said the cost is the obvious catalyst for the project’s start date.
“We realized in order to do this we’ll probably be looking at public-private partnerships,” Mahoney said. “For instance, with the band shell, we think it will be a good idea to find some sponsor, someone who maybe wants to sponsor not just Celebrate Plover but maybe also bands that would perform there.”
He added band shell performances would be similar to city band concerts held at Pfiffner in Stevens Point during the summer months.
One obvious draw to the new park will be the beach area, Bahling said.
“When we first moved here 20 years ago, the beach was hopping,” Bahling told the Board in January. “Now, obviously, there are problems with the water and while there’s not much we can do about that, this is a step in that direction. It’s not that the park hasn’t been maintained, it’s just old. It’s been reiterated to me over and over that the park is getting tired.”