DNR South Central Region - BELLEVILLE - Over $441,000 in Department of Natural Resources matching grant monies have been awarded to the Village of Belleville to help fund the Lake Belle View/Sugar River Restoration project, ... More... BELLEVILLE – Over $441,000 in Department of Natural Resources matching grant monies have been awarded to the Village of Belleville to help fund the Lake Belle View/Sugar River Restoration project, Secretary Matt Frank announced today. “This effort is a model of can-do attitudes among people in state, county and local governments, and fund raising by the community,” said Frank. “The reward is a reinvigorated lake and river system, and an enhanced quality of life for Belleville.” Originally focused on rehabilitating seven-acre Lake Belleview (the former Belleville Millpond), the project evolved during the 20-year planning process into separating the nutrient rich Sugar River from the lake. Plans call for constructing a berm to separate the two waterbodies with the earthen berm also serving as a recreational trail, connecting this Dane County village of over 1900 residents to lake and river. The dam which created Lake Belle View will remain in place, but groundwater seepage will be the method of refilling and maintaining the ‘new’ lake. Right now, the lake is drained prior to dredging and removing accumulated sediment from the lake bottom. After refilling, the lake will be stocked with fish. "The people of Belleville have rallied to save the lake, with substantial DNR financial support, 30 or more years of work to save it will finally come to fruition," shared State Senator Jon Erpenbach (D-Waunakee.) "It's been a pleasure to help foster the cooperation at many levels to see it through so many more generations can enjoy Lake Belle View." Several acres of wetland will be enhanced and more will be recreated by re-distributing the lake sediment and creating conditions conducive to wetland plants. Trees, grasses and other plants will be established by planting and seeding. “Vegetative response will be monitored closely during and after the project to make sure the right plants get established and invasive, aquatic nuisance plants are prevented from being established,” noted DNR Sugar River basin supervisor Bob Hansis, Fitchburg. “It’s going to be fun to be part of it. We can’t wait to see the final product.” DNR funding includes a $200,100 Stewardship Development Grant, a $200,000 Lake Management Grant, a $27,000 River Management Grant and a $13,987 Lake Protection Wetland/Shoreland Restoration Grant.