Fox Wisconsin Heritage Parkway

A non-profit organization dedicated to the improvement and preservation of the Fox and Wisconsin Rivers.

Interpretive Master Plan

About the Plan

This 280-mile Parkway incorporates over forty communities, fifteen counties, hundreds of organizations, and thousands of citizens. With a diverse array of stakeholders and resources, we must carefully examine each community’s unique contributions to the Parkway. This will be accomplished through development of the FWHP Interpretive Master Plan.

This plan will evaluate the current status of resources, stories, landscapes, and stakeholders throughout the Parkway, and provide a series of strategies to unify them, and recommend appropriate actions to better interpret these resources. It will expand upon the existing efforts of area municipalities and other local tourist and historical entities, to increase cooperation and streamline current interpretive and promotional activities. The program will then move to a two-year implementation phase, with current funding covering the first year’s interpretation goals.

Studies have shown communities that invested in their cultural, environmental, and scenic resources saw numerous benefits, including growth in community pride, job creation, and an increase in tourism.* The FWHP Interpretive Master Plan will significantly improve local organizations’ access to resources and shared knowledge among historical societies, museums, environmental groups, and tourism agencies. This will enable organizations to better carry out their mission, providing a better visitor experience by improving programs and facilities. Directly and indirectly, our program has the potential to affect a large population of visitors, citizens, and organizations throughout the Parkway.

The Parkway board and all three river segment committees are currently working toward establishing an innovative system of partnerships and sponsors which will help to ensure the stability of our organization. This partnership model has been adopted by similar programs in other states, and has been proven successful. Working in tandem with cooperating partners, we will ensure success through the implementation of regular assessments and surveys.

The total cost of the Interpretive Master Plan is $150,000. Local organizations, foundations, businesses and individual donors have already pledged over $100,000 toward the development of this plan. We are currently seeking support through grants, public donations, and community organizations. To learn how you can help, please visit our Support Us page.

* http://www.culturalheritagetourism.org/howToGetStarted.htm

Final Draft of the Interpretive Master Plan

After 18 months of work on the plan with the interpretive planning firm, Interpretive Solutions, we are excited to present our final draft of the Interpretive Master Plan.

This plan remains in draft form because it still needs to be formally presented to the public to gather stakeholder feedback. A series of public meetings will be held in late February to provide the public with opportunity for comment.

View the Plan
Provide Feedback:

Read the plan and provide feedback online, now.

Fill out the online comment form here.

This feedback will be taken into consideration for implementation in the final draft of this plan. Feedback will assist us in ensuring the plan accurately reflects the needs of the communities and citizens we serve.

Community Input Sessions

The Parkway held a series of public input sessions throughout the Parkway, February 23-28, 2013, to unveil key initiatives developed as a result of the input gathered over the last year and a half of the interpretive planning process and gather feedback on the final draft of the Interpretive Master Plan. We have distilled the highlights of each session into notes, available here.

Interpretive Solutions

The Board of Directors selected Interpretive Solutions, Inc. to work on the Interpretive Master Plan (IMP). Interpretive Solutions is based out of West Chester, Pennsylvania and brings over fifteen years of dedicated interpretive master planning experience to this project. Interpretive Solutions is also one of only four firms nationwide that has been pre-qualified to provide interpretive planning services for national parks, historic sites, memorials and national heritage regions under a special agreement with the National Park Service.

The Interpretive Master Plan will provide direction for development of interpretive facilities, media, and programs along the Parkway. Additionally, they will gather extensive public input and work to make the plan a product of all of our partners so that it reflects our collective goals, giving each partner a stake and reason to help in turning it into reality. They will document the entire planning process for future stakeholders, including information on resources, themes, site and facilities design, as well as program and media concepts, so that any part may be revisited in the future without having to go back to the drawing board.

The start of the IMP represents a great milestone, but the work is just beginning. This planning process will take roughly eighteen months to complete. Much information and idea generation will be needed from our partners. If you would like to be involved in the planning process and are not yet a partner, please contact Candice Mortara at  info@heritageparkway.org.

A great many thanks are due to everyone who has made this development possible. We look forward to fulfilling our promise of becoming a nationally recognized Parkway that is locally driven and a great boon to the communities is which it is located.