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Parks department seeks solution for broken glass in La Crosse dog park



A dog park in La Crosse has been extremely well-used in the few years it’s been open at Houska Park on Isle la Plume.

That is partly why broken glass from the old dump below the park is starting to rise to the surface. Dogs wear down the grass and other vegetation, which leads to erosion and suddenly glass is everywhere.

Only a few real good solutions to stop it, says parks superintendent Jay Odegaard.

“You know, really the only way to stop the glass from leaching upwards is to get a good solid cap on there,” Odegaard said. “That’s what we’re in the process of doing.”

So far, $150,000 has been earmarked for the park next year in the city’s capital improvement budget, largely for lighting. A cap and fill project could be a ways off.

Odegaard says, because of Wisconsin DNR tight regulations involving old dumps, the process to cap that site is complicated and includes soil borings for testing.

For now Odegaard suggests picking up the glass in the park and throwing it away.

“We’ve gone down there,” he said. “We’ve tried picking glass. We’ve tried putting gravel on top of it, which only makes things worse. At one point years ago we tried wood chips. That was a big fiasco.

“We still encourage people to pick up some glass if they happen to come across it and leave it in the bins and we’ll do our diligence to empty them.”

The city also hopes efforts to increase vegetation at the park could limit erosion and the constant unearthing of new glass bits.

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