The Big Plan
Dane County's park system is guided by the Dane County Parks & Open Space Plan, which is updated every five years. Most parks follow a master plan, which is created by Parks Division staff, with input from the surrounding communities, and the general public.
The Friends Group Model
Many Dane County parks have a "friends" group ( Friends of Silverwood Park, for example) which serves as a resource for park development and maintenance, and a stakeholder group for the County to consult with about the park's uses and direction.
Silverwood is Unique
The development of Silverwood Park is a unique undertaking for Dane County because the donor of the park land, Irene Silverwood, specified that the park remain a farm and be dedicated to agricultural education. Education programming and facilities for Silverwood Park require strong community backing and a grand vision with a plan for long-term support.
Laying the Groundwork
The Friends of Silverwood Park's (FOSP) Board members and other volunteers believe the development of the park must be flexible and visionary enough to allow Silverwood to achieve the potential that so many people comment about when they visit the Silverwood farm. To that end, FOSP wrote recommendations, submitted in 2014, which included the list of principles below:
Those recommendations included six points FOSP believes should be observed during the development of Silverwood Park:
NOTE: The illustrations above were provided by Dimension IV Madison Design Group
as a donation to the Friends of Silverwood Park.
Silverwood Park can also be an introduction to positive change and a place for germination of new ideas. To that end, the park may include sleeping cabins or a dormitory for students and teachers who may benefit from overnight visits.
Silverwood Park will someday have an education facility that can be used by beginning farmers, job trainees, school children and the general public. The park will be an intersection of resources and disciplines for public benefit.
What is FOSP's primary focus for Silverwood Park ?
"Agricultural education is at the heart of what will make this a unique County Park. The FOSP as well as the other participating groups are expected to promote agricultural education and related activities with the cooperation of Dane County Parks.
Potential educational programming
topics may include soil science, etymology, forestry, water quality, ornithology, history, archeology, art, writing, crafts, health and wellness."
page 28, "Programming Vision,"
Silverwood Park Master Plan, 2016
Help Us Create Silverwood Park
Wisconsin's regenerative Agriculture Classroom
The Silverwood Park Master Plan was approved by the Dane County Board in September 2016. The plan is a result of a 2.5 -year process that included public meetings, negotiations and lots of brainstorming.
Implementation of the plan rests with you, the community, and Friends of Silverwood Park.
Greenhouse facilities and other research components at Silverwood Park will serve as hands-on teaching tools for visitors and return/long-term students who plan to create sustainable livelihoods in Dane County...and elsewhere.
Silverwood Park | 771 Silver Lane | P.O. Box 304 | Edgerton, WI 53534