Neighborhood leaders: New garden pavilion will revitalize north downtown area

By: Aaron Dimick Email
By: Aaron Dimick Email

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- The Eau Claire City Council will vote on a new pavilion at the community garden north of downtown on Tuesday.

WEAU 13 News spoke with neighborhood leaders who hope the pavilion will help in the revitalization of the area.

Tami Schraufnagel, the Vice Chair of the North River Fronts Neighborhood Association, said the Phoenix Community Garden has been a big part of Eau Claire for the past three years.

“We have been able to outfit both Feed My People and Community Table with hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of pounds of fresh vegetables,” Schraufnagel said.

Now they’re looking to grow more than just fruits and vegetables, proposing a pavilion at the site.

“Joe Mauer came up with some designs and showed them to the neighborhood,” Schraufnagel said.

Mauer is a designer with Next Step Energy.

The shelter will be 1,680 square feet.

While it would be used for cleaning produce, storing equipment and irrigation, the pavilion would also be open to the public.

“If they're going to have a family reunion or a baptism or a wedding even, that's going to be a nice casual setting where people could come and rent it,” Schraufnagel said.

Neighborhood leaders said they hope the new pavilion will help change the image of the North River Fronts Neighborhood.

“I think everything that is happening on Madison Street, Galloway Street, Wisconsin Street is moving north. We're hoping young professionals and entrepreneurs and families invest in the neighborhood,” Schraufnagel said.

The project is priced at $17,000.

Schraufnagel said it will be funded by donations from local companies and organizations.

“We hope the approval of council will jump start the last of the yeses from the companies we've been talking with to get the final $7,000,” Schraufnagel said.

But the project does have some opponents.

Bernie Trettin said the neighborhood association didn’t give neighbors enough notice about the pavilion, and the structure is not appropriate for the area, which is in a flood plain.

City Council Member Andrew Werthmann told WEAU that he expects the pavilion plan to be approved at Tuesday’s council meeting, unless there’s vocal opposition from the community.

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  • by Bob Location: Eau Claire on Apr 9, 2012 at 01:02 PM
    Read the story, construction won't start until all money is raised. It's real easy to criticize while remaining anonymous. Downtown is not a ghetto, ignorance of the facts must be bliss.
  • by J Location: ec on Apr 9, 2012 at 06:05 AM
    EC is a joke
    • reply
      by Anon. on Apr 9, 2012 at 09:57 AM in reply to J
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Apr 9, 2012 at 02:25 PM in reply to J
      isn't that the truth. it's a big city wannabe that is never going to be.
  • by Anonymous Location: Eau Claire on Apr 8, 2012 at 11:41 PM
    Another way to waste money. With all the "fixing" up it's still the ghetto and the people in that area are living on nothing. If you want to spend money put a store there so the people without cars can get groceries with their food share.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Apr 9, 2012 at 06:20 AM in reply to
      right... instead let's let this area continue to fall apart even further. give me a break. this project is being funded without the use of your tax money. a lot of progress has been made in the area. how about you stand behind projects to improve areas in your town and make our overall community a better place?
      • reply
        by Ken on Apr 9, 2012 at 09:54 AM in reply to
        READ - $7000 short, funding to be considered by city of EC
        • reply
          by Bob on Apr 9, 2012 at 12:29 PM in reply to Ken
          Read the story, construction will not start until money is raised. ... and downtown is not a ghetto - that comment just shows your ignorance and lack of observation. BTW, Anonymous? It's sure easy to criticize when you don't give your name.
        • reply
          by Cheryl on Apr 9, 2012 at 12:45 PM in reply to Ken
          I read the article and it says they are $7,000 short but no where does it say funding to be considered by EC. It says they are hoping that approval will spark the remaining businesses considering support to say yes.
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