Local sledding hill comes back to life thanks to donations, volunteers

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU)- A local sledding hill has a new life thanks to the donations of the community and the help of volunteers.

The Pinehurst Park on Eau Claire's north side has been a popular spot for families to sled and ice skate, but now after months of hard work there's more to do than ever before at the hill.

On the warmest day so far in 2014, dozens of families jumped at the chance to get back outdoors Sunday at Pinehurst Park.

“We thought we would try Pinehurst for her first time,” Greg Determan said as he taught his daughter Morgan to snowboard.

There are a few new additions at the age old hill that attracted winter sports enthusiasts like the Determan’s to try snowboarding Sunday.

“It’s nice to see they cleared out some trees and before it was just one chute and now it’s nice and wide,”Determan said.

It’s been several years in the making, but thanks to the Pinehurst Project Group and generous donations from the community the hill has gotten a new life.

“A lot of this park was utilized for the minimal sledding that was going on and the ice skating. Now we are seeing people from all over Eau Claire that are coming to snow shoe or cross country ski,” Pinehurst Project volunteer Ryan Grilley said.

Grilley says the new changes have already attracted more people to the hill and he expects more skiers and snowboarders will enjoy Pinehurst in the future.

“Next season’s goal is to have a couple tow ropes, lighting system and snowmaking capabilities,” Grilley said.

Sunday volunteers worked to add a new shed to house terrain park equipment and with more additions on the way skiers and snowboarders are literally jumping for joy.

“I would be stoked, it would be so nice if they had a tow rope and other stuff,” snowboarder Landen Parish said.

“Hopefully they can get something good going out here because I don't like having to drive an hour and a half to go somewhere that's fun,” skier Sean Whitney said.

In order to make the changes to the hill, volunteers say they need to keep fundraising efforts up. So far they've raised $30 thousand but ultimately need to raise $250 thousand dollars to make all of the changes they have planned.

“We really wanted to keep this hill alive. It's a really great resource in the community that was being very underutilized for many decades. Bringing it back to its former glory days if not better is going to revitalize the area,” Grilley added.

The Pinehurst Park Project Group says in the next couple of weeks they will be adding more rail features to the terrain park area. If you'd like to donate to the park we have all of the information under Related Links.

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