Dane Co. Executive Parisi proposes millions in funding for improvement of trails, outdoor spaces in 2021 budget

MADISON, Wis. — Dane County Executive Joe Parisi announced Tuesday several water quality improvement projects planned for next year as part of the 2021 budget.

During a press conference at the Lussier Family Heritage Center, Parisi said the 2021 budget includes $6.5 million for construction of the second phase of the Lower Yahara River Trail from Fish Camp County Park. Parisi said the coronavirus pandemic has shown the importance of expanding access to outdoor spaces.

“The day is nearing when Dane County residents and visitors will be able to hop on a bike in downtown Madison and pedal straight to Stoughton along a route of unrivaled scenic beauty,” Parisi said.

Parisi also announced $350,000 in funding to complete a trail that runs through Governor Nelson State Park.

In addition to the funding for outdoor spaces, Parisi proposed funding to prevent agriculture run-off, flooding and the effects of climate change.

“My 2021 budget prioritizes initiatives that improve the quality of our water in area lakes and streams to ensure they remain accessible for future generations to enjoy,” Parisi said. “The impacts of climate change and a growing community require us to adapt and create new solutions. Our initiatives—whether they be ‘Suck the Muck,’ the Continuous Cover Program, or our sediment removal efforts along the Yahara River—tackle these challenges head on and work to preserve our natural resources for many years to come.”

A full list of programs and projects that would receive funding in Parisi’s proposed budget is available here.