A sustainability themed tour that will conclude with locally sourced food and beverages will be held the evening of Thursday, Sept. 5, at Kenosha County’s KD Park.
The Twilight Tour will begin at KD Park, where Kenosha County Parks Director Matthew Collins will highlight the park’s master plan, which includes invasive species control, prairie restorations and stormwater management.
It will then continue next door to Starry Nights Farm, where the Maggio family is raising organic, grass-fed beef, rotationally grazed on 140 acres of pasture. The Red Oak Restaurant will be onsite, serving wood-fired pizza made with local ingredients. Locally made beer and wine will also be available.
The event will run from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The cost is $15 per person, and includes food and beverages. Registration is required at http://kenosha.extension.wisc.edu/twilight-tour.
“Kenosha County has made it a priority to promote environmental sustainability in our parks and our other government operations,” said County Executive Jim Kreuser. “This tour on Sept. 5 will be a great – and delicious – way to experience some of the fruits of our labor, and that of our neighbors in the agricultural community.”
Supervisor Dennis Elverman, chairman of the County Board’s Public Works and Facilities Committee, said the tour will be a good opportunity for the community to discover Kenosha County’s newest park.
“Any time that we can showcase one of our parks, naturally I’m very happy,” Elverman said. “KD Park is something I’ve been working on since its inception almost 20 years ago. And I think it’s also great to highlight the work being done on a neighbor’s farm.”
The Twilight Tour is being organized by Extension Kenosha County, Kenosha County Parks, Sustainable Kenosha County, Starry Nights Farm and The Red Oak Restaurant.
Sustainable Kenosha County is a team of Kenosha County employees from various departments and divisions who work to incorporate elements of sustainability in county government operations to improve efficiency, the environment and quality of life. Sustainability is defined as meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.
Leigh Presley, agriculture educator with Extension Kenosha County, noted that the tour aims to educate people on a variety of levels.
“We’ve been talking about a joint event between KD Park and Starry Nights Farm for quite a while as a way to highlight new developments in how local public and private lands are being managed to support the environment, the community, animals, and local farmers,” Presley said. “I’m also excited to involve partners in our local food system, like The Red Oak Restaurant, to demonstrate how food gets from farm to plate.”
Collins, the county’s parks director and a member of the Sustainable Kenosha County team, noted that the master plan for KD Park highlights the importance of creating a sustainable living park, emphasizing environmentally conscious planning, development and maintenance.
“The park is still a work in progress, but many of the elements are already there,” Collins said. “We’re in the process of restoring prairies with native plants. We’ve made a 39-acre lake accessible to the public, but with no motorboats allowed. We’ve laid trails to bring hikers and bikers into these natural areas. There is a lot to see, and I hope you’ll join us on Sept. 5.”
KD Park is located on Highway KD just north of Highway F, at 8530 352nd Ave., in the towns of Randall and Wheatland.
Participants in the tour are encouraged to come prepared with a water bottle and lawn chairs or picnic blankets. This will be a rain-or-shine event.
As a sustainability challenge, those who bring their own utensils, cups and plates will be entered into a drawing to win a gift certificate to The Red Oak Restaurant in the Town of Paris.
For more information, please contact Extension Kenosha County at 262-857-1945. View the event flyer here.