Located just east of Irvine Park in Chippewa Falls, Erickson Park has long been an underused public amenity. Limited access, overgrown invasive species, and dilapidated buildings were just a few of the reasons residents of this Wisconsin community stayed away from the park. As part of our regional design process, the Ayres design team worked with the City of Chippewa Falls and a local nonprofit to envision a new identity for Erickson Park. Working together, the team developed a plan that had both community and municipal support.
By expanding the project beyond the initial goal of providing a state-of-the-art fishing facility for people with disabilities to include making connections to the greater community, the city received a $851,000 local stewardship grant funded by the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund. Ayres prepared several key portions of the grant application, including the project description and extensive site maps.
The design uses the natural and engaging topography of the site to make a dynamic lakefront park that’s accessible to all. Pavilions, natural vegetation, and an activity lawn provide a nature-themed setting to overlook the lake on the upper portion of the park. Along the edge of the lake is a fully accessible boardwalk, floating docks, and a canoe/kayak launch where people can engage with the water through multiple activities.
As visitors move downstream, several overlooks provide the opportunity to observe the unique natural beauty of this site. A bike path connecting to an elevated boardwalk and bridge provides a much-needed trail connection to Irvine Park and for the first time connects the east side of Duncan Creek with the west side.
Construction was completed in 2019, enabling residents in and around Chippewa Falls to observe and interact with Duncan Creek and Glen Loch Lake from new perspectives.