Chippewa Falls park developments move forward

CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (WEAU) -- As one area park is looking at making improvements another is just getting off the ground.

With the recent building of the new Welcome Center at Irvine Park, Chippewa Falls hopes to complete the remodel by improving the parking lots and duck pond.

The city is looking to spend part of the estimated $220,000 to repave the lot outside the center.

“It's actually a safety hazard for the staff and the public because the parking lot is most of the time icy so we want to eliminate that problem,” explained Parks, Recreation and Forestry Director Dick Hebert.

The second project would be to build a new swale between the duck pond and duck house. That would also help to eliminate some of the water that falls into the parking lot as well as better the duck’s environment.

“During the summer the water is stagnant and the ducks will have a better environment if we eliminate that stagnant water,” Hebert added.

The final improvement at Irvine Park would be to create a new parking lot near the site of Erickson Park.

The improvements come as the city is also looking to fund Erickson Park near Glen Loch which would be a handicap accessible fishing, canoeing and kayaking landing.

The park has reached $170,000 out of its $250,000 funding goal and will be built with the help of grant money.

Hebert said the grant money is partly due to the city connecting Erickson Park with bike trails and to Irvine Park.

He explained, “We have connected it to Irvine Park with a pedestrian bridge and thankfully because of that we were the recipient of four federal grants which amounted to $1.1 million.”

The city plans to complete Erickson Park by this fall or the summer of 2019 and Hebert says each park will provide unique features to the community

Hebert added, “People in our community have been asking for a place for people who are handicap to fish in our city. People who like to fish and have a handicap go to Eau Claire or Lake Holcombe so this project started with providing fishing at Erickson Park and also as a place for people who are handicap that wanted to canoe or kayak.”

The funding campaign for Erickson Park is still on-going with the hope to raise $80,000 more.

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