A donation from the proceeds of the successful Kewaunee County Farm Technology Days will help expand recreational opportunities at Winter Park and at Dana Farm, the historic homestead that neighbors the popular snow tubing, ski and snowboarding county park on Ransom Moore Lane in the town of West Kewaunee.
The County Board last week gave unanimous approval to a plan to restore the farm’s Ransom Moore cabin and make use of a pond as a skating rink, with construction of a new warming building with restrooms. An existing storage shed will be demolished to make room.
The $75,000 utilizes $28,500 that the county originally allocated to the Farm Technology Days Committee as part of a grant for an exhibit show coordinator, which could be refunded back to the county or designated for another project, depending on whether the 2017 event was profitable. Kewaunee County’s version of the state show, which rotates to a different county every year, was said to be one of the most profitable in the 60-year history of Farm Technology Days.
The board agreed earlier this year to use the money for Dana Farm, and the balance of the newly approved project will come from the FTD profits.
The cabin to undergo restoration was the childhood home of Ransom Asa Moore, who is considered Wisconsin’s father of 4-H and founder of the agronomy department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
“We wanted to make a lasting legacy in the county and have it be something that the community could enjoy,” said Aerica Bjurstrom, Extension Kewaunee County agriculture agent and a key member of the Kewaunee County FTD Executive Committee.
Ground is expected to be broken on the Dana Farm project this fall. The Kewaunee County Promotions & Recreation Department will be in charge of prepping the ice rink in winter as well as maintenance.
Staff will be closely monitoring weather reports for perfect conditions to work on forming an adequate base of ice when temperatures permit, said Dave Myers, director of the county Promotions & Recreation Department.
“We hope to have the ice rink and warming shelter up open for the 2019-2020 season at Winter Park, but we can’t make promises as Mother Nature tends to have an agenda of her own,” Myers said in a news release. “We will let the public know when they can come and enjoy this new and exciting addition at Dana Farm.”
Ice skating will be free, but as of now the public will need to bring their own skates.
Photo: The Ransom Moore Cabin, courtesy of Visit Kewaunee County