uman Powered Trails, Inc. is a non-profit organization whose mission is: “To develop and maintain first class sustainable and environmentally correct, human-powered, shared use trails for the La Crosse, WI region."
|Committee favors making bluffland a city park|
|Written by By BETSY BLOOM | email@example.com ||
|Friday, 23 March 2012 12:51|
La Crosse’s Committee of the Whole voted unanimously to endorse the park plan after scores of hiking and biking enthusiasts showed up in support of protecting the Upper Hixon Forest land from future development.
The group, more than 100 strong and filling the council chambers, presented the committee with petitions they said had been signed by 4,100 people, locally and online.
The University of Wisconsin System reportedly
sold the former Experimental Farm on Hwy. FA to the city in 1963 with the understanding it would be a park. But it never has been formally designated.
Human Powered Trails since 2001 has developed and maintained a network of public trails that advocates say now draws bikers from across the nation.
But some council members in December questioned whether the land might be better used for residential development, so it could contribute to the tax rolls.
Several speakers told the committee while they respected the council being deliberate in considering all options, the land generates more in tourism and as a way to lure new residents to La Crosse than it would as residential property.
“You’ve got a real resource here,” said Richard Gosen of Decorah, Iowa, who said he got his first taste of mountain biking in the La Crosse area almost 30 years ago. “It’s a wonderful asset to the community.”
Others said they had settled in La Crosse because it offered the trails within minutes of their home, rather than being miles away.
Council member Andrea Richmond, who in December had advocated considering the area for development, said Tuesday she had toured the area with a HPT representative and came away a convert.
“It is a true gem to the community,” she said.
The full council will have final consideration of the measure Thursday.