Preliminary plans for campsite near NEW Zoo underway, some neighbors concerned

Local News

The Brown County Parks Department has some big plans for a plot of land adjacent to the Northeast Wisconsin Zoo.

Plans for a campground at the Reforestation Camp are in the works in hopes of attracting people to the area.

Brown County Parks is planning to set up 18 campsites at the Reforestation Camp and possibly expand to 88 sites once the first phase of planning is complete.

Campers could bring in RVs, trucks or tents.

“There’s a lot of different ideas with campgrounds, sometimes there’s electric’s, there’s water hook ups there’s sanitary hook ups as well as primitive sites,” says Matt Kriese, assistant director for Brown County Parks. “So this is phase one design that we’re looking at here.”

But some are wondering if the campgrounds will come at a cost and have concerns.

“How the noise would make an impact on the local area, those who have lived here and enjoy the quietness,” says MaryAnn Doyle who has lived near the Reforestation Camp for 46 years. “Because when you get off the highway and you drive to Suamico and you drive to the zoo, it’s like you’re in a little bit of heaven. And frankly, I don’t like that to be changed.”

Brown County Parks says the campgrounds would be run similarly to the Bayshore campgrounds which is a much larger operation.

Like the Bayshore site, campers would be allowed to make campfires, another red flag for neighbors.

“This area is a very volatile area for fires with all the pine needles and the dry brush it doesn’t take long,” says Doyle. “A slight wind and spark, there’s a big problem.”

All variables are being taken into consideration and the county wants to give avid campers more local options.

“Brown county really has limited camping opportunities for people to travel, but most people do travel out of the county,” says Kriese. “So we can put the campgrounds here in our community and ultimately have an economic impact for our entire community right here.”

While the official plans for phase one of the campgrounds have not been set in stone, Brown County Parks estimates the project would cost about $300,000.

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