Students showcase their plans for downtown Eau Claire

Published: Jun. 2, 2023 at 11:57 AM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - Friday morning, some high school students showcased their plans for the future of the City of Eau Claire.

25 Memorial High School juniors and seniors in an environmental science class presented their redevelopment plans for downtown Eau Claire at the Memorial Library. Community partners, including the city manager, city council members and many more were at the event.

The aim of the project was for students to envision ways in which they could make downtown Eau Claire a more appealing place to live, while also reducing the city’s environmental impact.

“Our neighborhoods are sprawling so far away from the city center. It eats up farmland, takes up valuable habitat, and makes people have only one choice for getting to work. If we can make a downtown, which we’ve already started that is more appealing for people to live, then more people might choose that. And then that would reduce some of those negative impacts of sprawl,” Erin Layde, Science Teacher, said.

Another facet of the project is examining the social problems of city sprawl.

Layde says as people move out of the city center, people become more socially isolated. By creating more community opportunities downtown, they hope to address that issue.