Dane County Parks: First solar powered park & campground receives Outstanding Park Design Award from the WPRA

MADISON February 24, 2022 – Dane County Parks received a Wisconsin Park and Recreation Association (WPRA) Outstanding Park Design Award at the WPRA Annual Conference banquet on Wednesday, February 23, 2022, for their first solar-powered park and campground at William G. Lunney Lake Farm County Park. The solar system at the park has more than 460 solar panels located on four structures: two new solar shelters, the Lussier Family Heritage Center, and the campground bath/shower house. The system provides renewable electricity for campers, day-use visitors, and the Lussier Family Heritage Center, a Dane County Parks facility. In total, the system provides about 90% of the electricity used across all site activities.

“We’re thrilled to have these new solar projects powering our park to help inspire and educate people on the importance of protecting our environment and combating climate change,” Dane County Executive Joe Parisi said. “Our first solar-powered campground brings Dane County one step closer to achieving our commitment to becoming 100% renewable at county-owned facilities. Congratulations to our staff and partners who helped make this project possible.”

Dane County Parks partnered with the Dane County Office of Energy and Climate Change to develop this project to not only meet the County’s carbon reduction goals, but to do it in a way that increased park functionalism and fit in with the aesthetics of the park.

“By building solar shelters instead of just a solar ground array, we have created two new, usable facilities in the park,” Interim Park Director Joleen Stinson said.
WPRA Park Design award projects are separated into four categories based on project budget. The award applications are ranked by innovation, functionalism, aesthetics, community benefits, environmental stewardship, and maintenance. Dane County Parks received the 2021 Outstanding Park Design Award in the $500,000 – $999,999 category.
Photo from the WPRA award ceremony. Individuals pictured from left to right: Bert Schwab (Dane County Parks), Shelly Strasser (WPRA President), Joleen Stinson (Dane County Parks), Chris James (Dane County Parks), Alex DeSmidt (Dane County Parks), Lael Pascual (Dane County Parks), Dawn Comte (WPRA Past President)