Landmark Conservancy has met their $75,000 fundraising goal to support transformation of the lower stairway to a modern, safer structure that will improve recreational experiences, while also safeguarding ecological resources through better management of off-trail traffic.
The Devil’s Punchbowl Preserve is a 3-acre natural area located along a scenic state rustic road three miles from Menomonie. Although small in size, the Punchbowl remains an iconic Menomonie landmark, cherished by generations of residents and visited by regional tourists. The Punchbowl consists of a 45-foot-tall natural amphitheater and waterfall created by a small unnamed tributary to the Red Cedar River.
Formerly the Devil’s Punchbowl County Park, the property was conveyed to the UW-Stout Foundation as a research site, and ultimately given to Landmark Conservancy, who has owned and managed the property for the last 20 years. Historically, access has existed to the top of the waterfall and into the bottom of the Punchbowl.
“We are working to secure a contractor to rebuild the lower stairway and exploring a way to collaborate with the UW-Stout Construction program,” said Landmark’s Conservation Director Rick Remington. “Our hope is that construction will take place in the fall before the snow flies.”
In addition to supporting the capital expense of the stairway, the conservation organization has satisfied a $5,000 challenge grant from the Community Foundation of Dunn County to create an endowed fund focused on protected land in Dunn County and specifically, the future needs of the Punchbowl.
“From business donations and brewery fundraisers to support from individuals and an online auction, we are so grateful for the strong community that surrounds us. This financial support will allow us to be good stewards of the Devil’s Punchbowl long-term through both needed investment in visitor infrastructure as well as the establishment of the endowment,” said Landmark’s Advancement Director Kristin Thompson.
The Community Foundation of Dunn County will continue to accept donations to the Landmark Conservancy Endowment Fund into the future as the organization continues to build this forever stream of income. Gifts can be made online at http://www.cfdunncounty.org/give/donate
To learn more, visit www.landmarkwi.org.