GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) Another step forward was taken Tuesday to make a swimming beach at Bay Beach a reality.
Wisconsin’s governor came to Green Bay with a gift to help the proposed beach open by next year.
Each year thousands of people come to Bay Beach Amusement Park to enjoy the many rides.
But very soon they’ll also come to enjoy a new swimming beach here on the Bay of Green Bay.
“Our game plan is this fall we hope to start construction on this amenity and this attraction,” said Green Bay Parks Director Dan Ditscheit.
“The DNR has done their testing, water quality from their perspective, their point of view, is very much in line with other beaches that are swimmable here in Wisconsin,” said Green Bay Mayor Eric Genrich.
Tuesday Governor Tony Evers came to Bay Beach to help the project with a $100,000 coastal management grant – money that brings the city closer to reaching its total construction budget of $7 million.
“Reopening a swimming beach here is a real possibility. This program is all about protecting and enhancing opportunities around the Great Lakes and this is a great project,” Evers said.
In development since 2009 and given final approval by Green Bay City Council last year, the project calls for the construction of a sand beach, a 450-foot pier, a shoreline walkway, bathhouse and concessions building, bringing swimming back to the park for the first time since 1936.
“The shoreline was an active, vibrant amenity for the city back in the 20s and 30s,” said Ditscheit.
Ditscheit says while $800,000 is still needed to reach the final goal, all funding should be secured by the fall and soon afterwards the start of construction.
“We hope to open it up to the public in the summer of 2020. With the help of the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program and other partners similar to that, we can see that vision become reality,” Ditscheit said.
The park director says the project came about after public input to the parks master plan in 2009, which showed people liked the idea of reopening the swimming beach.