Planning & Parks
Grand Opening of Virmond County Park Public Access Stairway
The new public access stairway to Lake Michigan at Virmond County Park is now open! The grand opening celebration was on Friday, August 18th.
Watch a video about the project here.
More information can be found here.
On August 9th, Lieutenant Governor, Sara Rodriguez, and State Representative Deb Andraca, visited with Ozaukee County Planning and Parks Department staff, Andrew Struck - Director, Tom Sheppard - Park Superintendent, and Brian Morrison - Park Caretaker, at Virmond County Park in Ozaukee County on Lake Michigan. The visit included a preview of the new unique, public access stairway to Lake Michigan down the 130 foot clay seepage bluff to the beach, a walking tour of the 30 acre native restored prairie and a stop at the one of a kind functional public art chimney swift tower designed by artist Sally Duback, a 2001 Wisconsin Governor Artist Award recipient.
National Association of County Park and Recreation Officials Award 2023
The Ozaukee County Planning and Parks Department was awarded a 2023 National Association of County Park and Recreation Officials (NACPRO) award for the Lake Michigan Public Access Stairway Construction at Virmond County Park (Park & Recreation Facility ‐ Class I category)! An awards ceremony and conference was held at Lake County Forest Preserves in Illinois.
View a video of the NACPRO presentation (Go to 9:40 to view the portion on the Virmond County Park staircase)
Ozaukee Interurban Trail Re-Paving
The Ozaukee County Planning and Parks Department has been awarded close to $1,000,000 from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation's Transportation Alternative Program to re-pave and re-shoulder approximately 13 miles of the Ozaukee Interurban Trail. The re-paving will occur in 2024 on county-managed portions of off-road trail from County Highway O, north to County Road K.
The trail sections that will be re-paved and re-shouldered can be seen in red on this map:
Donate to Our Causes
The New Clay Bluff Cedar Gorge Nature Preserve County Park
Donate to help restore the 132-acre Clay Bluffs Cedar Gorge Nature Preserve in Port Washington, Wisconsin!
Ozaukee Interurban Trail Improvement Projects
Donate to help make improvements to the Ozaukee Interurban Trail, a paved 30-mile multi-use trail that runs through Ozaukee County.
As we celebrate 20 years of the Ozaukee Interurban Trail, please consider donating $20 to help us maintain the trail for current and future users!
Virmond County Park Staircase Construction
Donate to help complete the construction of a unique, ecologically sensitive, low impact public access staircase to Lake Michigan at Virmond County Park in Mequon, Wisconsin. This is a critical project that will create and conserve public access to Lake Michigan!
The Department is continuing to raise funds for the stairway. The initial fundraising goal, $30,000, has been reached; however, significant additional funding is needed due to necessary changes in the stairway design throughout the construction process. Thank you for your support and interest in helping with this incredible project!
If you would prefer to donate by check, please make the check payable to "Ozaukee County Planning and Parks Department" with "Donation - Virmond County Park Stairway Project" in the note line.
Mail checks to:
Ozaukee County Planning and Parks Department
Attn: Andrew Struck
121 W. Main Street, P.O. Box 994
Port Washington, WI 53074
Donors who give $100 or more may choose to have a brick engraved with a message of their choice as a permanent part of the path leading to the stairway. Visit our Donations & Gifts Page for more details!
Temporary Road Closure at Hawthorne Hills County Park
Hiking Trail Reports
Visit the Wisconsin Trail Report website to see updated trail reports for some of our popular parks, as well as other trails across the state! This Trail Report is created through a collaborative effort between Travel Wisconsin and the Office of Outdoor Recreation.
Construction Update: Hawthorne Hills Building
Public hearing scheduled during the Ozaukee County Natural Resources Committee meeting Thursday, December 2nd, 8:00AM in the Auditorium of the Ozaukee County Administration Center, 121 W. Main Street, Port Washington, WI 53074.
Important COVID-19 Update:
At this time, all Ozaukee County Parks and facilities remain open. If you chose to visit one of the parks, please remember CDC guidelines.
Information about Department staff availability: To mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus and to protect the health and safety of our communities, a majority of Ozaukee County Planning and Parks Department staff are transitioning to telecommuting and will not be available in person. This move is consistent with public health guidance to limit exposure. Our staff who are able to work remotely will do so and will be able to respond to inquiries through email and Facebook. We are working with staff who cannot work remotely to accommodate their situations. Social distancing and preventing potential infections are key areas we can help with to hopefully curtail the impacts of this outbreak.
To contact Department Staff please reference the following list:
- Andrew Struck, Director – Email
- Matt Aho, Program Manager - Email
- Jon Stahl, Golf Course Superintendent - Email
- Tom Sheppard, Parks Superintendent - Email
- Natalie Cotter, Senior Planner - Email
- Kristina (Tina) Kroening, Conservation Biologist - Email
- Ryan Miller, FP/Ecological Program Assistant II - Email
- Brittany Whyte, Natural Resources and GIS Technician - Email
- Evan Hewes, Golf Courses Pro Shop Supervisor - Email
- Ryan Mueller, Park Caretaker Waubedonia - Email
- Troy Curd, Park Caretaker Mee-Kwon - Email
The Department phone number is still active and being monitored for calls: 262-284-8257
With an increase in the prevalence of COVID-19 in and around Ozaukee County, we are using the best information we have to take proactive steps to protect the health of our community. We know that outdoor spaces are critical to the mental and physical health of our community, now more than ever. We are doing our best to maintain the current level of services. Park visitors may want to bring hand sanitizer with them as they go out to our parks, just to be safe. At this time we are not able to wipe down playground equipment, tables, or other surfaces at the parks.
For more information on COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin, please visit the Wisconsin Department of Health page: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/outbreaks/index.htm
"To provide opportunities for Ozaukee County residents and visitors of Ozaukee County to appreciate and enjoy the natural and cultural resources, local ecology, recreational experiences, well planned sustainable growth and improved quality of life in Ozaukee County through the preservation, restoration and management of natural resources, increased awareness and education, stewardship, promotion of tourism, comprehensive planning, and the acquisition, development, enhancement and operation of large scale, intergovernmental recreational opportunities including exceptionally well-maintained golf courses, multi-use trails and parks."