State and local officials gather to celebrate Little Plover River watershed groundbreaking
By Joe Bachman
PLOVER — State and local officials were on hand to celebrate a groundbreaking for the Little Plover River watershed enhancement project on Thursday morning.
Village of Plover officials, the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association, Wisconsin Wetlands, the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation, and others, were on hand celebrate the groundbreaking event. The watershed will be built on land purchased in 2011 at the Little Plover River Conservancy Area on Black Oak Drive and Twin Towers Drive in Plover.
In 2018, the State of Wisconsin provided a $100,000 grant for project planning, design, and outreach efforts towards the watershed. A watershed serves to drain rain water or snow into various locations, such as streams, lakes, or wetlands. This holds many benefits, including water conservation, as well as water for manufacturing, recreation, nature and drinking.
“Without their support, we would not be here today,” said Village of Plover Administrator Dan Mahoney. “That seed money allowed us to have the time, talent, and ability to apply for the grants that actually gets this project off the ground.”
The project aims to restore flow to the Little Plover River while also working across the watershed. The Village of Plover released benefits in a press release last week, which include:
• Increase the flow and improve the aquatic health of the Little Plover River
• Implement voluntary water management projects that improve the health of the Little Plover River Watershed.
• Improve and expand fish and wildlife habitat and public recreation opportunities and access.
“This is an incredible group of people collaborating on incredible work.” Mahoney added.
Senator Patrick Testin (R-Stevens Point) spoke to what he considers a ‘landmark moment’, where so many stakeholders from various groups are working together towards one goal.
“We are all in this together — groundwater and surface water, and the Little Plover River is not a political issue. It’s a Wisconsin issue that we can all get behind,” said Testin. “To see everyone here and to see the work that’s being put in goes a long way, and I think this is a great step forward to the work that continues to be done in Madison.”
Representative Katrina Shankland (D-Stevens Point) made similar remarks, thanking groundwater experts on the project for their reach and support in the process, as well as Plover officials. Shankland understands that the work, however, is just getting started.
“Get ready to roll up your sleeves, because I think the work is just beginning here,” said Shankland. “I think it’s going to be very instructive, not only for our region, but for the rest of the state as we grapple with water issues. It’s never been more important to work together and find real solution to a very difficult issue.”