Federal grant fuels Bay Beach expansion project

Bay Beach Amusement Park receives federal green initiative grant.
Bay Beach Amusement Park receives federal green initiative grant.

GREEN BAY - Bay Beach Amusement Park in Green Bay will be getting a new look.

It's all thanks to a new million-dollar project to improve water quality in the Great Lakes.

Green stakes mark the spot of the latest green project for the City of Green Bay.

A bio-walkway, shelter, and a 400-spot environmentally friendly parking lot will be built just west of the Zippin' Pippin.

"We wanted to be good for the environment, and when they said  look, do you have a need for the community that requires something that is environmentally friendly, Bay Beach is the best example," said Jim Schmitt, Green Bay Mayor.

"Green infrastructure projects use vegetation, soil and natural processes, to hold and filter storm water and melting snow, to prevent flooding and to prevent contamination from reaching surface water and groundwater resources," said Susan Hedman, EPA Regional Administrator.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency put $500,000 toward the project, which the city matched.

"All of these little projects are what's needed to detain water, to prevent it from having to go to those large systems. And so in a perfect world, the best way to manage storm water is to have a lot of dispersed small projects like this," said Hedman.

Mayor Schmitt says the project adds to the master plan for Bay Beach.

"Because of the grant, it really assures that it's going to be done in the best, environmentally friendly way," said Schmitt.

Construction is scheduled to start this fall and be completed next year.

EPA officials say two more Wisconsin cities will receive similar grants. That announcement is expected in about a week.