The organization running the Lakeshore Nature Preserve held its first public meeting for its master plan Nov. 30 at the Memorial Union.

The Lake Shore Preserve is 300 acres of University of Wisconsin property, running from the lakeshore path to the Eagle Heights woods, UW Department of Planning and Landscape Architecture President Gary Brown said.

During the meeting, Brown and SmithGroup consultant Jacob Blue gave an overview of the master plan process and solicited the public for input on the plan.

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“A master plan is really a vision for what can happen on a piece of property,” Blue said. “It’s not a construction document … A master plan creates a vision which may outline projects to follow.”

The Lakeshore Nature Preserve created its first master plan in 2006, Brown said. In addition to helping guide the preserve’s future, the master plan helps deter possibilities of selling off preserve land.

SmithGroup — an architecture firm specializing in waterfront, urban design and campus projects — began the Lakeshore Nature Preserve’s master plan process in September, Blue said. SmithGroup sent ecologists and engineers to conduct a qualitative evaluation of the Lakeshore nature preserve ecology and infrastructure.

In September and October, SmithGroup consulted with stakeholders in the Lakeshore Nature Preserve, Blue said. SmithGroup is now collecting public input on the masterplan.

In addition to holding two more public meetings to solicit input, the Lakeshore Nature Preserve has an online map that the public can annotate as well as a survey, Blue said.

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After the presentation, Brown answered some questions about the possibility of putting lights on the lakeshore path, improving the preserve’s website and more clearly marking the preserve’s boundaries.

Because the lakeshore path is hard for emergency responders to access, Brown said he’s against installing lights on the path. But UW Vice Chancellor for Finance Administration Robert Cramer has asked Brown to reconsider, Brown said.

“It’s better to make [the lakeshore path] feel like it’s unsafe than it is to encourage you to go down there and use it and then something happens and we can’t get to you to help you,” Brown said. “Because it’s not an easily accessible site for the police to get out here and help you.”