Monona, Madison officials prepare lakefront design plans

A tale of two cities- Monona and Madison prepare to design the lake fronts.
Published: Oct. 3, 2022 at 6:59 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - A tale of two cities- Monona and Madison prepare to design the lake fronts.

Madison is hosting a kickoff for the public to learn more about its design. The Madison Parks Division Public Information Officer Ann Shea says it is important to make sure all people are able to enjoy the views.

“It is important for everyone to access the downtown area,” said Shea.

The 4.7-acre green space is three blocks from the Capitol Square.

“It is very underutilized with the exception of Monona Terrace and the bike path. There’s so much more and what that looks like is really what this design challenge is all about,” said Shea.

Shea says the design will have multiple components but to make things truly happen it has to start with funding.

“As we know with everything--there’s the budget. You can build it--but how do you build it. There is a bunch of different ways that could shake out whether it’s the capital improvement budget or its sponsors or donations,” said Shea.

On the other side of the lake, Monona’s Mayor Mary O’Connor says they are getting the community’s opinions through a survey.

“Now that a lot of people have seen the property and continue to visit the property, we want to get some input on what people want to see there. We know that people have all kinds of ideas,” O’Connor said.

San Damiano Park overlooks the lake--the mayor says there are limitations on what can be done.

“We’re kinda restricted in what we can do though because we have a conservation grant from Dane County. And were not going to bring in a big restaurant or something there,” said O’Connor.

Monona officials hope to get started in just 15 months. “We’re hoping by January of 2024 to have an actual report,” said O’Connor.

One frequent visitor, Lauren Rigby says she is excited about the open land.

“We have enjoyed the small activities they do have here--the beer gardens. Some live music on occasions would be wonderful,” said Rigby.