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Comments on Silverwood Park Master Plan

posted Mar 29, 2014, 9:57 AM by Ken Carpenter   [ updated Mar 29, 2014, 10:29 AM ]

Silverwood Park is located in a key location that could provide a horse trail connection between the Glacial Heritage Area and the large horse community in southern Dane County. Silverwood Park could be the crown jewel of a community based recreation trail that could support both horse and off-road bicycles providing as both a destination and trail head. Providing a park destination encourages the formation of a recreation trail to get to and from the park out into the rural community by the local residences to interested in enhancing their form of recreation. This rural area is in need of recreational trails for both off-road bikes and horse back riders because the inventory is not existent for horse back riders and in short supply for off-road bikes.

The suggested focus for the Silverwood Park has always been agricultural based. The early settlers to Dane County relied on their horses and mules to provide both transportation and power for their agricultural needs. Horses should be part of the historic importance on this property. Farming with horse power could be part of special events held at the park. There are already volunteer groups in the area working with Old World Wisconsin and providing horses at community events in Cambridge. There is at least one active farm in Oakland that uses horses for farm work. Seeing horses on a recreational trail in the park would help reinforce the historical importance of horses in agriculture.

There are many equine centered enrichment programs for at risk youth around the county. There is a program in the Milwaukee area and one in the Milton area that use horses in working with youth. This park may offer the perfect opportunity for Operation Fresh Start to explore a new dimension in their programming by offering a rural based program based on the experiences of other youth programs that are having success using horses.