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Carver crafts ice sculpture in Peace Park

Carver crafts ice sculpture in Peace Park

A professional ice sculptor demonstrated his skill for onlookers on State Street Friday morning.

Maurie Pearson of Black River Ice Sculptures in La Crosse said he's not very good with a pencil and paper, but when he's carving a 300-pound block of ice, it just seems to come easily from his brain to his hands.

Pearson sculpted a sleigh our of ice in front of a crowd outside 452 State St. His demo was planned from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

A local business group, Madison’s Central Business Improvement District, sponsored the event as part of a series of holiday events Friday and Saturday.

Emerald ash borer found near Warner Park

Emerald ash borer found near Warner Park

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City officials confirmed Tuesday the emerald ash borer, a bug that destroys ash trees, has been found in Madison.

Dane County will now be under quarantine, meaning residents can't take ash wood products or firewood out of the county.

City of Madison officials said they plan to ramp up the sampling of ash trees and begin removing thousands of trees throughout the city this winter. That includes trees that are in poor condition, those under power lines and those under 10 inches in diameter.

News 3 was with a city crew in Berkley Park Tuesday morning where they found ash borer larvae in trees they were sampling in the park.

County, city discuss possible day shelter for homeless

County, city discuss possible day shelter for homeless

Dane County could make a deal on a new permanent day shelter for the homeless in the next couple of weeks.

Officials said the push for finding a place for the homeless is because there are so many people still trying to get on their feet after the recession.

The ideal location would be in the immediate downtown area so the homeless can have quick access to services to help them get jobs and get back on their feet. But as the real estate market bounces back, properties that fit the county's needs and fit into the $600,000 budget have been scarce.

As a result, their focus has turned to properties some distance from the city center, like the MARC East building on Lien Road.

"Part of the answer is that the homeless are everywhere in Dane County and everywhere in the city of Madison. But there are many services that are centralized in the central part of Madison, and a building like MARC would require a substantial transportation plan," Hendrick said.

$24M pavilions to replace Alliant Energy Center's barns

$24M pavilions to replace Alliant Energy Center's barns

Dane County will replace the Alliant Energy Center’s barns with multi-use pavilions in a $24 million project set to begin early next year.

Dane County Executive Joe Parisi said Tuesday that the county will award a Middleton construction company a nearly $20.7 million contract to build the pavilions. 

The project is pending funding approval from the Wisconsin State Building Commission and the Dane County Board of Supervisors.

Middleton-based Miron Construction will build the pavilions that will create 290,000 square feet of multi-use space on the footprint of the Alliant Energy Center’s existing barns, according to a news release from Parisi’s office.

Demolition of the barns is expected to begin next year, with the project’s estimated completion in time for the 2014 World Dairy Expo.

Volunteers join city staff in inventory of city's natural spaces

Volunteers join city staff in inventory of city's natural spaces

In an effort to manage and maintain the undeveloped land areas of the Madison park system, the city’s Parks and Engineering divisions recently initiated a citywide inventory.

Simon Widstrand, a retired conservation supervisor and planner for the City of Madison Parks Division, is working with other volunteers and city staff to inventory Madison's 4,000 acres of natural land to apply standard maintenance practices and prevent these areas from deteriorating or being overrun by invasive species.

"Most people embrace a land ethic that requires us to care for our land," Widstrand said. "To leave something for future generations, and to protect our investment, we should provide good stewardship of our natural lands. The inventory is the first step of developing a  plan for the city and volunteers to manage and restore more city natural areas."

City gears up for leaf collection

The City of Madison Streets Division announced it will be prepping crews for clean-up now that leaves are starting to fall in Madison.

According to a release from the division, street crews will be working 10 hours a day starting Nov. 11 and are expected to work weekends if needed. There will be at least 20 crews cleaning streets all over town.

Residents are being asked to rake leaves to the curb as soon as possible so crews can pick them up.

In addition to fall leaves, crews will also be picking up garden waste and pumpkins as a part of the collection service. Mixed piles of brush and leaves will not be collected.

Residents can also bring leaves, brush and garden waste to the city's drop off sites at:

  • 1501 W. Badger Road
  • 4602 Sycamore Ave.
  • 402 South Point Road

Sites are open every day of the week until 4:30 p.m. and until 8 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Sites will be open until Dec. 8.

Madison park project goes back to drawing board

Madison park project goes back to drawing board

It's back to the drawing board for those creating a vision for Madison's Public Market.

Mayor Paul Soglin said the project may not be downtown and everything is back on the table. Soglin introduced a new consultant Tuesday who's beginning a new business plan for the proposed park.

Developing a new business plan could take six to eight months.

"We want to find a place for this that fits the vision and the program of uses and activities, and actual elements that will be in the market. We want a place that supports that," said Steve Davies, senior vice president of Project for Public Spaces.

The public will be invited to weigh in on the consultant's review, which is expected to cost $250,000.