The Snell Road Landfill in Oshkosh, Wisconsin stopped taking waste in the late 80s, and a final cover was installed in 1991. The landfill sat idle for years until the Foth team worked with Department staff and the Winnebago County Solid Waste Management Board (WCSWMB) to develop an end use plan for the site. The team assessed existing conditions, identified post-closure opportunities, researched uses matching the needs of the community and developed an end use master plan. The plan included the creation of a park dedicated to long-term solid waste and county board member Ken Robl and his commitment to conservation.
The Foth team designed the Ken Robl Conservation Park to be located on sections of the landfill property outside the limits of waste to avoid exposure risks. We evaluated onsite landscape flora and fauna and performed research on regional park amenities. Various field surveys and tests were conducted to verify that there were fish in the pond, that the depth of the pond was adequate to support fishing, and that the pond was safe for the public to access based on completed soil and water sampling. The design of the park balanced public access to the landfill site without interaction with the landfill gas and leachate systems or exposure to potential site hazards.
The team prepared a general design and layout to the park that included northern and southern park sections and provided an “a la carte” list of park features to the WCSWMB to help control costs and stay within the required budget. Construction of the park included a walking trail around the on-site pond, a fishing pier and other pond access points, a parking lot and restroom facilities, and a bike trail connecting to regional bike trails. A ribbon cutting ceremony and park dedication celebrated the park’s completion.
Since its opening, the Ken Robl Conservation Park has become a hidden gem in the Winnebago County Park system allowing public access to fish in the pond, explore the wetland birding habitat, and ride bikes through what once was an unused landfill property. This site has become a natural refuge for wildlife that the public can access and enjoy as a community asset. The success of this park has generated additional master planning for the WCSWMB Sunnyview Landfill property for use in solid waste and recycling operations, and additional public recreation areas.