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Community Update On Recreation, Park Developments

February 12, 2019

Author:  
Sarah Repp, Park - Recreation and Cemetery Director

Source:  
Antigo Daily Journal Health and Fitness January 21, 2019 Edition

Parks, green spaces and trails are wonderful areas to feel inspired. They are areas to relax, run, ski, skate, sled, play, bike and be healthy any time of the year. We are fortunate as a community to have an abundance of neighborhood parks, community facilities and recreational opportunities promoting active lifestyles, and with over 100 acres of park space and 21 parks within city limits, there’s no excuse not to get outside. The continued development of these parks and green spaces is a shared community effort. Development occurs through organizational partnerships, public feedback, observation of usage, and generous donations and contributions toward park projects. 2019 is no exception, as the City of Antigo partners with various groups and organizations for park, trail, and facility improvements as well as development of new recreational programming and activities. 

Trails and Connecting
Pathways
Single Track Trail: An additional 175 acres of beautiful rolling terrain and hardwood forest is located just south of town; at the site of an old capped landfill, which is home to the Single Track Trail (address: N1985 Dump Road). Continued trail development at this location has been made possible through collaboration with Antigo Bike & Ski Club members, LAMBA (Mike Heiny and Paul Wagner are consistent volunteers), City Gas, and the City of Antigo. An additional one-mile loop is planned for 2019, which means there will be a total of approximately four miles of trail in this location. The trails were designed for single-track bike riding, but are also open to runners, hikers, and walkers. The trail is available for use year-round, but at this time, it’s not groomed, packed or tracked in the winter, so prepare accordingly if you plan to utilize the trail in the snowy months. 

Springbrook Trail: The established Springbrook Trail, which includes a combination of paved trail, rough trail and 1,800 feet of boardwalk (within city limits), is utilized by both our community and visitors to the area. Healthy opportunities abound on, or just off, the Springbrook Trail. An 18-hole disc golf course sponsored and funded by local businesses and Rotary (Rotary also funded the two bridges that provide critical connections for trail expansion) is a great way to involve the entire family in a fun and healthy outdoor pursuit. You can also stop at Duffek Island (located just off of the boardwalk) and enjoy a packed lunch with your family while young children play on a small play structure. Both the play structure and gazebo were made possible through donated funds. The winter months provide expanded recreational opportunities as you can cross-country ski, snowshoe or walk various sections of the Springbrook Trail. 

We are continuing to apply for grant funding to expand the Springbrook Trail, and we are hoping to construct low-level boardwalks in-house which provide a necessary connection over wet ground in the northern natural area of our trail system this winter. 

If we are successful with our grant funding requests, we will be able to connect the West Rotary Bridge to Charlotte Street, which will allow for a paved corridor from the existing trail to the north side shopping centers and apartments. 

Signed and Designated Bike Route: The signed and designated bike route connects people to places through the use of existing roads and trails. The Antigo Optimists funded the sign posts and each sign was donated by an individual, group, organization or business. The bike route promotes our local amenities providing safe connections to shopping, schools, facilities, trails, parks, restaurant and businesses while additionally generating tourism and stimulating economic development.

Peaceful Valley and Remington Lake Connection Pathways: Connecting pathways to the Warming House from the Heinzen Pavilion were completed at the end of the 2018 summer season. The pathways provide a paved direct route from the Heinzen Pavilion to the Warming House. A similar pathway (projected completed construction by fall 2019) will provide a pathway from Hogan Street to the ADA fishing dock at Remington Lake. Antigo Trout Unlimited, Two Angels and the Remington Foundation also provided funding for this project. 

Community Support Creating Community Improvements
Ball Diamond Improvements: Antigo Dugout Club and Youth Softball have installed batting cages, so our community now has four batting cages for public use. Another large ball field improvement will occur at Al Remington Little League Field. Plans to construct a seating deck will hopefully become a reality in 2019.
 
Updated Community Signage: The City of Antigo has been working with the Antigo Unified School District to update the signage on the west end of Fifth Avenue (just before Western). The sign will be double sided and also recognize service organizations.

We have had an overwhelming interest from various service organizations within our community, and are hoping to place the sign in the spring/summer of 2019. We are also looking to secure additional locations for placement on the north, south, and east edges of the city. 

Sled Hill Improvements: Rotary volunteered their time and provided the City of Antigo with a $5,000 donation to enhance the sled hill located off of First Avenue (1011 First Avenue). We'll finish the project in 2019, and place signage recognizing Rotary's support and assistance.

Youth X-Country Ski Program: With the facilitation of invested individuals, programs such as pickleball have seen great success. I am hopeful that the youth x-country ski program facilitated by Ryan and Andrea Medo will have the same success. A series of meetings are being held to gauge interest and develop the program. Information and registration will be available on our Website once details are finalized. 

2019 Recreation Programming and Activities: The majority of our established or annual programs have been scheduled for the upcoming summer and spring. Registration has opened as of January 1, and if we are fortunate to add additional programming, we will post that information and registration as well. 

We are still waiting on a finalized Brewer trip date, but you can register now if you're committed to Brew Crew fun, no matter the date. This year’s egg hunt will have a variety of prizes due to donations from Walgreens, Walmart, Rusty Bucket Auction and Shabby Shack. We had a successful first year of Coach Pitch Baseball, so we are looking forward to a successful second year for the program. We will show our annual summer outdoor movie series on Senior League Ball Field the Friday nights of the June and July baseball tournaments, which will provide visitors and community members an enjoyable family evening event. 

In addition to the Park and Recreation Department, there are an abundance of organizations and groups that offer programming, events, and opportunities for our community. Check for information on the Community Website: www.alcinfo.com, the Community Calendar and Facebook for additional information. If you are involved in a league, program, or event and would like help promoting your passion, please let us know and we'll post the information for you as well.  We believe in providing our community with inspiration to live a healthy lifestyle, providing resources to facilitate the pursuit of activities and wellness, and fostering relationships that parlay our local resources and promote our local amenities. We also believe in sharing-sharing our goals and vision with the community about healthy opportunities and activities that create a desirable place to live and a desirable place to visit. 

Fostering positive relationships helps our programs, our parks, and community grow in a unified direction, which leverages our resources and subsequently accomplishes great things. 

Community support keeps our parks full of play opportunities and our green spaces green. Community support has created beautiful facilities, necessary park improvements, and well utilized and relevant programs providing healthy opportunities year round. In summary, our parks would not be possible without the community support, volunteer efforts, and organizational partnerships and continued individual participation and involvement.