More than 100 people attended the dedication of the Helen Rohner Children’s Fishing Park on Sunday, June 3 from 11 a.m. to noon.
The park is located on Highway 67 in Williams Bay directly south of the entrance to Kishwaukétoe Nature Conservancy.
Long-time Lake Geneva summer resident Jack Rohner donated the money to purchase the 5.3 acre parcel of land for the park and also the funds to develop it into a children’s nature and fishing park. The park honors his late wife Helen Rohner, who loved children.
The park features fishing areas for children along Southwick Creek, which is a trout stream.
There is also a worm digging area, nature trail with Native American history, a story time area, natural playground, information about brown trout and a boardwalk into a wetland on the five-acre property. A handicapped fishing area is located on the south side of the property.
Fishing and nature classes, as well as story times by the Barrett Memorial Library, will be offered this summer.
“We are so grateful to the Rohner family for making this park possible for the enjoyment of many generations of children,” said Karen Yancey, GLC Executive Director. “They have allowed us to take a blighted five-acre property in the center of the village and restore its native landscape for the benefit of the children in the community.”
In addition, many local community organizations have provided funds and volunteer time to create the park.
The Williams Bay Lions Club provided funding for the boardwalk, the Lake Geneva Fishing Club has donated the worm digging area, fishing poles and other supplies, the Lake Geneva Rotary Club planted native oak trees on the site and Boy Scout Troop 235 are building benches and bird houses for the park. Thanks also go to the Kishwaukétoe Nature Conservancy board, Friends of Kishwaukétoe and the Village of Williams Bay for their support in preparing for the opening. A grant for the park was also provided by the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin.
An amphibian pond and nature center are planned for Phase II of the park, which will begin this fall.