De Pere looking to combat aquatic invasive species
By Lee Reinsch
DE PERE – Invasive species, tennis courts and signage were part of the discussion at the June 17 meeting of the De Pere Board of Parks Commissioners.
The Fox-Wolf Watershed Alliance’s Adopt-a-Launch Program works to get communities involved with their lakes and rivers by helping look for aquatic invasive species and cleaning up boat launches in their areas, said Chris Acy, the Fox-Wolf Watershed Alliance’s Brown County aquatic invasive species coordinator.
Through the program, Acy said volunteers look for invasive aquatic species, remove weeds and debris from the boat launch area, pick up litter around the boat launches and report maintenance issues.
“They were very interested in helping keep our boat launch clean and free of aquatic invasive species,” Marty Kosobucki, director of the Department of Parks, Recreation and Forestry said. “They will take it under their wing and help us with that.”
Volunteers or groups adopt boat landings and agree to work at the site a minimum of three times a year between April 1 and Nov. 1.
They’re provided with trash bags, safety vests and materials to help identify invasive species.
If approved by the city council, the program won’t cost De Pere anything.
The Fox-Wolf Watershed Alliance will provide a sign to recognize the group that adopts each launch.
The board also saw designs and bids for two signs for the VFW Aquatic Facility.
One of the signs is for the cabana area, and the other indicates to swimmers how tall they must be to swim in a certain area of the pool.
The board voted in favor of Creative Sign’s designs and price quote of $499 for both signs.
The board was supposed to hear an update on the progress of the VFW tennis court refurbishment project but didn’t.
Kosobucki reported no bids had been returned, and that he’d been told many companies were too busy or booked for the year.
“The option is we could send out RFPs for work to be done in 2022 and sort of limp along as best we can,” Kosobucki said.
But even if work were started in early spring, it could mean tennis lessons would have to be canceled.
He updated the board on the newly opened VFW Aquatic Center, which opened June 12.
It’s been very busy, filling to capacity every day, with lines of people waiting for others to leave, Kosobucki said.
He also apprised the board of the city’s search for a new arborist to take the place of Jerry Hasenberg, who died while on the job April 1, as well as a new recreation supervisor to take the place of John McDonald, who left earlier this month for a job as park director in Little Chute.
Kosobucki said the department is close to finalizing the deal with an arborist but still has a ways to go with the recreation supervisor position.
Finally, the park commissioners re-elected Randy Soquet as chair of the board for a second term, and Ryan Jennings as vice-chair.