Kreuser named Elected Official of the Year by Wisconsin Park and Recreation Association


County Executive Jim Kreuser speaks at a dedication for a bridge at Petrifying Springs County Park. /Earlene Frederick photo

Kenosha County Executive Jim Kreuser, will be the recipient of the Wisconsin Park and Recreation Association’s Elected Official of the Year award for 2015, the highest award given by the Wisconsin Park & Recreation Association to an elected official in the state.

From a Wisconsin Park and Recreation Association release about the award:

County Executive Kreuser has distinguished the park and leisure service field with his active leadership and support of parkland acquisition, programs and capital improvements/development projects. Since 2008, County Executive Kreuser has supported and recommended improvement projects to park areas and infrastructures that directly enhance the recreational opportunities available to the citizens of Kenosha County and beyond. Specific support and improvements that have resulted through his support and initiative have included:

  • Added a total of seven miles of multi-use trails in Kenosha County.
  • Established the project design standard for adding paved-shoulders/bike lanes to all
  • Implemented a complete restoration of the County’s flagship park – Petrifying Springs Park
  • Lead negotiations with the County Board, WIDNR and a local financial institution to purchase 90  acres of a former construction operation (victim of the 2008 recession) adjacent to an existing County Park. Initiated the clean-up and conversion to park land.
  • Worked to secure a number of grants and local funding to remove an environmentally detrimental WPA era dam, reducing Park flooding and removing the last impediment for spawning Lake Michigan fish to reach the headwaters of the Pike Creek.
  • Constructed a new playground and installed new equipment in 5 existing County Parks.
  • Purchased a historic property adjoining a park for public recreation and historical preservation.
  • Partnered with a professional disc golf designer and built 36 holes of disc golf in two County Parks.
  • Lead the construction of the first Dog Park in Kenosha County, built two additional County Dog Parks and created the “Friends of the Dog Park” Committee. All three parks were largely constructed with private donations and are maintained/ sustained with virtually no local tax funds.
  • Was instrumental in implementing the Adopt-A-Trail, Memorial tree/bench programs.
  • Recognized the projected inevitable Emerald Ash Borer damage to County Parks and  proactively established a Parks Reforestation Plan.
  • Initiated the design/ development of Wi-Fi hotspots and recharge/work stations in 3 County Parks.
  • Is working to develop and identify the first water trail in western Kenosha County on the Fox River.
  • Worked to secure funding to design, engineer, and construct the modifications to an existing County highway -necessary to provide safe access to the County’s newest Park.
  • Lead an initiative to develop a plan for restoration of over a mile of a degraded river/ eroded stream of the Pike Creek in Petrifying Springs Park.
  • Currently involved in renovation of the parking lot, historic lighting and related infrastructure of the only County Park on the shores of Lake Michigan.

WPRA is a statewide, non-profit service organization dedicated to extending the social, health, cultural and economic benefits of parks and recreation through its network of recreation/park professionals and civic leaders. There are approximately 2,000 WPRA members who include state and local experts on recreation, urban planning, aquatics, at-risk-youth, therapeutic recreation services, and parkland development and services.


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