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Sandy’s Bark Park gets grant for expansion

Published: Mar. 27, 2021 at 5:30 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - The Town of Rib Mountain got a bump in its fundraising efforts to expand Sandy’s Bark Park this week.

“We are very happy to receive a grant from the Community Foundation of North Central Wisconsin. It is from the Marvin and Ruth Schuette Foundation,” said Rib Mountain Town Administrator Gaylene Rhoden.

Phase one of Sandy’s Bark Park opened in 2018. The following year the town was gifted 19 acres next to the park for the expansion.

“Phase two will be an extension of the existing park, with a fenced-in area, and with the walking paths that we already have, we will also do walking paths within that area as well,” Rhoden said.

Some of the trees are already cleared in the new area, but there is still a lot of landscaping to do.

People who use the park say they’re excited to see it grow.

“I think it’ll be great. Right now it’s just kind of a circle, you’re kind of doing laps whereas now with the expansion you’re going to have more variety in the walk and longer laps,” said park patron Eric Schultz. His friend Samantha Smith added that it would help the park feel less crowded as well.

The grant brings them almost halfway to their phase two goal of about $80 thousand, the majority of which will go to fencing. Rhoden says it is a great use for land that is not suitable for home development.

“Who would have thought a few years ago, you’d drive by this and it was just an unused hole in the ground and now it’s turned into a beautiful park that’s heavily utilized, so it’s a great thing,” she said.

There are two more phases planned after this one. They will include more parking, utilities and a shelter, as well as boardwalks and nature trails.

“It’s a park that is not just for Rib Mountain. It’s a park that is for everybody. It’s a wonderful park that’s centrally located, it’s right off the highway so anybody travelling north who wants to decide or south who wants to take an exit off they can use the park,” Rhoden said.

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