A trail bridge crossing over a creek in a snow-dusted field with trees.

City of Lake Geneva Revisits Discussion on Hillmoor Golf Course Property

Knowles-Nelson funding may still be on the table for a nature trail in Lake Geneva after the City Council announced the allocation of the necessary matching funds.

Last year, Geneva Lake Conservancy (GLC) helped the City of Lake Geneva pursue funding from the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program to help build a nature trail along the former Hillmoor Golf Course property. The trail project didn’t move forward because the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources declined to review the grant application since the city, at that time, had not allocated the necessary matching funds. The city was told they would have to reapply in 2024.

Lake Geneva Regional News reports that the City Council has now allocated the necessary matching funds and the alders are again discussing applying for Knowles-Nelson Stewardship funding for the trail project. While GLC is still willing to assist the community with exploring potential uses for Hillmoor and to serve as a resource to the city, they’re stepping back from their direct advocacy and work on the trail project.

Kristen Freytag, GLC Board member, said “The GLC may have presumed too much about the readiness of the community to support the development of a trail system before all the potential uses of Hillmoor have been fully explored and evaluated.”

The Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program is up for reauthorization in 2025 which is part of the reason that GLC submitted the grant in 2023. The deadline to apply for a Knowles-Nelson grant in this grant cycle is May 1, 2024.

GLC Executive Director Karen Yancey noted that funding from Knowles-Nelson may not be available after 2025 or 2026 and said, “as a result, every year, municipalities know there is less funding remaining and the grants will become more competitive.”

Featured image by Ken Mattison, 2022.

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