The Chippewa Falls Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department is very thankful to our community for the outpouring of support for the recent improvements and additions to our city’s leisure service facilities. A lot has been completed in a short period of time. The list includes the Irvine Park Welcome Center/Small Animal/Aviary Building, Riverfront Park, Flats Neighborhood Park and this spring, the construction of the Erickson Park Project.
Currently, there is a final fundraising push for the Erickson Park Project. There are only a few individuals actively reaching out to potential donors, so there no way we can reach all the individuals, businesses and organizations who are interested and/or willing to make a contribution to this amazing project. Therefore, I have included (links above) a donor packet and financial statement with detailed information.
Thank You again for your past support to improve and expand the park facilities for the citizens of our fine community.
Below is more information about the Erickson Park Project.
Erickson Park is a 15 acre parcel of land with 400 feet of frontage on the southeast shore of Glen Loch in the City limits of Chippewa Falls. The land was donated to the City in 1990 by the Erickson Family for “park purposes”.
HOW IT ALL STARTED
In 2013 a group of community volunteers consisting of a DNR Warden, a Rod and Gun Club member, and a YMCA instructor were brought together to help put on a Learn To Fish event in Chippewa Falls. Following the success of that event, two of the organizers began discussing how there were very few good off shore fishing areas in Chippewa Falls. That winter the group began to look for local areas that could be improved to allow more access to all members of the community. In the spring of 2014 Fish Chippewa! met for the first time to begin plans for improving the site known as Erickson Park.
Several years ago Fish Chippewa! also partnered with a nonprofit in Chippewa County called Special Friends, Inc. You would probably never know of this organization unless you had a child with disabilities. They have around 200 members they plan activities for, advocate politically for and basically watch out for their best interest. They have 20-30 members who love, love, love to fish together. Their President, Donna Loew, told me “there is nowhere in the area to take their members fishing” and they drive a long distance to go fishing. She said they need:
- Adequate Parking
- Easy passage from the parking to fishing area
- A fishing pier large enough for their group
- A spot they can catch a fish once in a while
We also discovered the Veterans Home at Chippewa Falls has a group of members who love to fish and they also drive a long distance to fish. The YMCA and Parks and Recreation Dept. will use this Park to take kids fishing and teach canoe/kayak safety. What started as a project to build a large fishing from shore facility which was accessible to those with disabilities has expanded into a new park with pavilions/picnic area, bicycle trail, walking/hiking trail, scenic views and a bridge connecting to Irvine Park. Even though Erickson Park is technically its own park, it will be viewed and used as an extension of Irvine Park.
With the help of Special Friends, Inc. funds were donated to hire Ayres Associates to draft the first sketch of what would eventually become the Erickson Park All Access Fishing Pier and Park.
This is an approximate $2.1 million project of which we have already secured $1.8 million, so, we are “Fishing” for $290k more to start construction in the Spring of 2018. Construction should be completed by Spring of 2019.