Wisconsin Campground Plans Stir Local Debate
City plans for a campground in picturesque Bradley Park in Tomahawk, Wis., have some residents in uproar, and some on the defensive.
Talk of a campground in part of Bradley Park began in the last few years. Today, it has some residents of Tomahawk divided, WJFW-TV, Rhinelander, reported.
“It’s come to our attention that this parks committee is proposing a seven-acre, KOA-style campground,” says Bill Paulson, from Tomahawk.
“None of that’s been passed, approved. It’s just an idea,” says Don Nelson, chairman of the Tomahawk Parks and Recreation Department.
The idea upsets those who think the park’s majestic white and red pine trees are too valuable to the park to part with.
“When you start destroying part of the park, these campers are going to start scavenging firewood, cutting trees down; there’s going to be garbage,” says Paulson.
Nelson says they don’t intend to make it a clear cut campground and would minimize tree removal. He also says they won’t force the idea on the city.
“We’re not going to move ahead on something the majority of the townspeople don’t want,” says Nelson.
There’s also differing opinion, as to what exactly the city wants.
“The people of this city tell me one thing, and only one thing: leave this park alone,” says Ray Zindrick, from Tomahawk.
“We had lots of interest in creating a campground in Bradley Park,” says Nelson.
But there is one thing they agree on.
“It’s a cathedral, it’s a chapel, it’s an experience that’s humbling because you know you’re walking through something…. this is what Tomahawk used to be like,” says Zindrick.
“Yeah, this is a crown jewel for Tomahawk. How many communities would die to have a park like this?” sasy Nelson.
It’s clear everyone involved, regardless of how they feel about a campground, is passionate about the park. They just have different aspects of it they’re committed to.