County moves ahead with park acquisition
LYONS TOWNSHIP — It took a journey of more than 3,900 miles for Duane Clark to reaffirm what he knew in his heart to be true.
The problem, and his quest, was to convince others that his nearly 200 acres in the town of Lyons should be preserved for the masses to enjoy.
“I could have done a lot of things to it, and I could have sold it to 100 to 150 different people,” Clark said. “But they all wanted to develop it or break it into pieces for this or that.”
The Wisconsin Rapids area native said a trip to London cemented in his mind what he wanted to see happen.
“I visited the royal Kew Gardens about five or six years ago, and when I came back it seemed like keeping everything natural was the right thing to do,” said Clark, who spent most of his life in Illinois before moving full time to his picturesque Walworth County locale about 15 years ago. “This is one of the few large pieces of land around here. Jim Jackley of the DNR had been bugging me for years, and he brought the county into the discussion.”
So, Clark tentatively has negotiated a $1.91 million deal to sell the property to Walworth County, which intends to use the pristine real estate as a county park, almost doubling its current acreage of such land.
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