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By LeAnn R. Ralph
MENOMONIE — The Dunn County Board has authorized an application for a Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Grant from the state Department of Natural Resources to build a new stairway at the Devil’s Punchbowl.
Dunn County will be the official grant applicant on behalf of the Landmark Conservancy, which has owned and managed the Devil’s Punchbowl Nature Preserve since 1998, according to the resolution approved by the county board at the June 17 meeting.
Landmark Conservancy is a private non-profit organization and is not eligible to apply for the DNR’s Local Assistance Grants.
The purpose of the grant would be for building a stairway to provide accessible visitor access to the bottom of the Devil’s Punchbowl. The nature preserve is eligible for cost-share funding because it is open to the public for nature-based outdoor recreation.
The grant application would be for $30,000 and would require $30,000 in matching funds, which will be provided by Landmark Conservancy.
Landmark Conservancy also will be responsible for all aspects of the project.
The resolution authorizes the county conservationist to submit the application on behalf of Dunn County, to sign documents, to take necessary action to complete approved grant activities, to submit reimbursement claims and to generate supporting documentation within six months of project completion.
The Devil’s Punchbowl is located four miles southwest of Menomonie in the Town of Menomonie, and the site is just shy of three acres in size.
Visitors come to see the rock amphitheater, the waterfall and seeping cliffs and to go bird watching.
The Devil’s Punchbowl also is said to be the site of unusual phenomena, such as sightings of orbs and ghosts as well as fairies, gnomes and trolls.