EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- The Parks and Recreation Department is working on making improvements to Pinehurst Park on the North side of Eau Claire.
The idea to add renovations to the park first came up after a survey in 2006, when residents of Eau Claire placed “improving winter recreational activities” in town as one of the top priorities; the topic came up again in 2011. Now Parks and Rec is looking into making Pinehurst Park a more fun and safe place for winter activities.
Ryan Johnson grew up in the Pinehurst neighborhood, and has lived there with his family now for almost six years.
"I love the park. I love it in the winter time; I love it in the summer time. I have four kids and we use it all the time,” said Johnson.
"What we are trying to do is to come up with safe sledding and winter recreational areas for snowboarders, just general skating facilities; those kinds of things,” said Director of Parks and Recreations Phil Fieber.
In the past years there was a problem with kids sledding down the hill and directly into the parking lot, so one of the improvements Parks and Rec is looking at is relocating the parking lot, making it safer for the kids.
"We don’t want kids sledding anywhere near cars,” said Fieber.
"There is talk of them going to have tube-runs to hold kids up, which will eliminate them getting hit on their way up the hill, and other people getting hit on their way down the hill,” said Johnson.
Fieber says all of the changes that are included into the proposal right now are going to be paid for out of the city budget, and some winter activities clubs even expressed interest in helping fundraise for additional changes.
“It's really exciting to see how the people came together and said that having some improved winter recreational facilities in Eau Claire would be a good thing,” said Fieber.
"I am very excited about the improvement that they are planning on I just hope that it remains free for your average middle class family, so that everybody can use it, because it is park and I'd like to see it remain free,” said Johnson.
Fieber says there are no talks right now about charging people to use the improved Pinehurst Park.
The meeting to discuss the renovations is this Wednesday, January 16, at 5:30 PM at L.E. Phillips Library in Eau Claire. If you cannot attend the meeting Parks and Rec is still interested in your input, that you can submit via phone or e-mail.