Seal of Dane County County of Dane
County Executive's Office

Dane County Announces Planned Addition to McCarthy Park

December 20, 2010
Joshua Wescott, Office of the County Executive (608) 267-8823 or cell (608) 669-5606
County Executive

County Acquisition to Improve Access to Park for Camping, Hiking


Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk and County Board Chair Scott McDonell announced today plans for an addition to McCarthy County Park that will make it easier for families to get into the park to enjoy its many features.


The county is looking to purchase nearly 25 acres adjacent to the park in the Town of Sun Prairie that will allow for easier access.


“Creating new opportunities to enjoy McCarthy County Park is the perfect way to help the park celebrate its 35th anniversary of offering outdoor fun for families,” Falk said.  She noted McCarthy Park was established in 1974 through a donation by Russell and Ella McCarthy. 


McDonell added, “This park is a rising star in our system, with an active Friends group that helps make it shine.  I’m pleased that this purchase will expand recreational possibilities for the Park, giving our residents different options for getting outside and enjoying the fresh air and beauty of the Park.”


Dane County’s McCarthy Park offers hiking and horse trails, a new group campground, and areas for picnicking.  A large wetland and prairie restoration has also been completed in the park in the past few years.


For many years following the donation that helped create it in 1974, McCarthy Park went through reclamation activities and was transformed into a natural setting.  In the recent past, a Friends group has formed and helps provide special events and activities. 


The county’s proposed purchase of 25 acres from the Guardian of the Estate of Leon Weisensel will create access to the park off County Highway N.  The county will pursue grant funds to cover half the $325,000 purchase price. 


The county board is expected to consider the resolution authorizing the addition to McCarthy Park at its January 20th meeting.  Pending approval by the County Executive, the purchase will be completed shortly after that.



Back to Press Releases