Citron Creek, La Riviere Park and ADA fishing pier project to get grant funds

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By Ted Pennekamp


The Crawford County Conservation Committee received three applications for Conservation Aids Grant funding. Dennis Kirschbaum of the Prairie Rod and Gun Club applied for grant funding for informational kiosks in LaRiviere Park, city of Prairie du Chien Parks and Recreation Director Mike Ulrich applied for funding for an ADA compliant fishing pier on St. Feriole Island and Jerry Cummings of the Rod and Gun Club applied  for a Citron Creek trout habitat restoration project. 

The committee approved of grant funding for all three projects. Land Conservation Department Administrative Assistant Becky Nagel said the grant was applied for through the Wisconsin DNR on Oct. 1, but the amount of the grant just recently became official. Nagel said the amount contributed by the DNR will be $2,902. She said the grant is a 50-50 matching grant by which the DNR pays for half and Crawford County will pay for half. With Crawford County paying $2,902, the total amount to be divided between the three projects will be $5,804.

Nagel said 50 percent of the grant will be awarded to the Prairie Rod and Gun Club for Jerry Cummings’ Citron Creek trout habitat restoration project. Twenty-five percent will go to the city of Prairie du Chien for Mike Ulrich’s ADA compliant fishing pier project and the remaining 25 percent will go to the Prairie Rod and Gun Club for Dennis Kirschbaum’s informational kiosks in LaRiviere Park.

Kirschbaum said the project at LaRiviere Park is still in the planning stages.

Regarding the fishing pier project, Ulrich said, “I have multiple donors who will be recognized in the spring when we put it in because right now with the high water would not be a good idea. The fishing pier is a very good project for the city.”

The ADA compliant fishing pier is one component of the Villa Louis Boat Landing Project. The goal of the pier is to increase opportunities for outdoor recreation for people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds.

The overall cost of the larger Villa Louis Boat Landing project is $461,404 with the fishing pier representing $64,700 of this cost. Prairie du Chien has raised all but $22,810 of the total project cost. 

The pier project involves the installation of an ADA compliant fishing pier. The pier will consist of a fishing platform (10 feet by 20 feet), a floating dock (6 feet, 8 inches wide by 30 feet long), and a ramp/gangway (5 feet wide by 30 feet long).

The Parks and Recreation Department actively promotes fishing within the community for all ages and ability levels and is one of the original members of the Take Me Fishing national program. Parks and Recreation does year-round programming including the Hook N Ladder Family Fishing Day with the fire department, summer and fall youth fishing derbies, and Fishing Fun Days with special needs individuals and senior citizens. Additionally, Parks and Recreation offers group fishing instruction and fish pole rentals at its Outdoor Recreation Center. More than 500 individuals participate in these programs annually with support and sponsorship from the Aging and Disability Resource Center, the Prairie Rod and Gun Club, the Prairie du Chien Fire Department, the Iowa Bass Federation, the Prairie du Chien Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts, and many area businesses.

The larger Villa Louis Boat Landing Project includes:

1) One additional boat launch to be located adjacent to the two existing launches. The launch will be 16 feet wide by 86 feet long.

2) Two docks to serve the new and existing boat launches. The floating docks will each be 6 feet wide by 30 feet long and have a ramp/gangway of 5 feet wide by 40 feet long.

3) One asphalt handicap parking lot immediately adjacent to and serving the boat landing. The parking lot will be 2,200 square feet and include four handicap parking stalls.

4) One asphalt parking lot of 39,500 square feet with 13 regular parking stalls, one handicap boat and trailer parking stall, and 30 boat and trailer parking stalls.

The project continues Prairie du Chien efforts: 

1) to provide recreational boaters with safe and convenient access to the Mississippi River 

2) to increase the capacity of the city’s boat landings to better serve both daily and special event demand and to attract additional boaters and boating-related events 

3) to operate and maintain the city’s boat landings to provide a safe, accessible, and attractive environment for users and to be open to the general public on a full and equal basis 

4) to carry out the objectives of the city’s Island Reuse Plan, Waterfront Plan, and Outdoor Recreation Plan to better connect residents and visitors to the city’s riverfront resources.

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