Creating a community gathering space in Rhinelander

The city of Rhinelander is breaking ground on a project that improves one of its popular parks.
Published: May. 18, 2022 at 11:20 PM CDT
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RHINELANDER, Wis. (WSAW) - The city of Rhinelander is breaking ground on a project that improves one of its popular parks. Upgrades to Hodag Park are creating more community gathering spaces. Construction has begun in Rhinelander’s largest park, Hodag Park.

“Having come off a really long winter, it’s really exciting to have something to look forward to as we get into the summer months and then hopefully before the end of the calendar year,” Rhinelander City Administrator Zach Vruwink said.

Vruwink said the community wanted something to enhance Rhinelander, with more community spaces. Phase one of the improvements includes an amphitheater with an entertainment area. The new amphitheater will bring a unique opportunity to Rhinelander and can be reserved for individual use.

“Outdoor weddings, certainly concerts, performances, poetry readings, open mic nights, the opportunities really are endless,” Vruwink said.

It’s part of the plan to have a concert series at the park during the summer. Other phases of the project include adding new fishing docks, repaving the park’s trail, enhancing the ballfields, and creating more opportunities for swimmers.

“In the Northwoods, you may have to travel a distance to have some activity and access to such an outdoor facility so we’re really excited to create somewhat of a destination for the greater Rhinelander area,” Vruwink said.

Donations have been a big part of the project’s success. It’s $400,000 to complete phase one. One donor gave a $100,000 match grant to get the project off the ground.

“The community really stepped up to help,” Vruwink said.

Phase one will be complete by summer 2022.

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