More improvements planned for Janesville's Optimist Park
Improvements are planned for a park on Janesville's east side. New park pavilions may follow the installation of electrical service at Optimist Community Park. Kyle Geissler reports. You can read more in Wednesday's Janesville Gazette.
IF YOU GO
What: Fantastalistic Funday for families with children ages 2 to 12.
When: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 14.
Where: Optimist Community Park, corner of Ruger Avenue and Wuthering Hills Drive.
Cost: Free activities. $1 each for food.
Activities: Games and prizes for all ages, hayrides, nature hunt, dunk tank, bounce house, food and entertainment.
Send donations for Optimist Community Park improvements to The Community Foundation of Southern Wisconsin, 26 S. Jackson St., Janesville, WI 53548. Include a note that the money is for Optimist Park.
JANESVILLE Electricity for your slow cookers, roaster ovens and coffee pots.
It doesn’t sound like much, but it’s a big deal if you’re hosting a birthday gathering or family reunion at a city park.
As early as this week, Optimist Community Park at the corner of Wuthering Hills Drive and Ruger Avenue will have power for the first time.
It’s the first of several improvements at the park thanks to the efforts of Janesville’s three Optimist clubs, who have been working closely with city park officials. The park turns 17 years old in September.
The Optimists clubs—Tuesday Morning, Wednesday Morning and Thursday Noon—already have raised $2,200 for the electrical installation, said Al Draeger, project and club spokesman.
“We need electricity to host our (the Optimists) annual fun day each August,’’ he said.
But it also was important for the Optimists to give city residents a park with amenities.
“This is great, now, for somebody who wants to use it,’’ Draeger said.
More improvements are planned. The first of two pavilions will be built at the park as early as next year if the Optimists can raise the $18,000 needed to build the 16-by-30-foot structure.
“Money will be raised through cheese curds sales at the (Rock River) Thresheree,’’ Draeger said.
Six years after the first shelter is built, the Optimists hope to have enough money to build a second pavilion, he said.
“It’s to have another place for a family picnic out of the sun,’’ Draeger said.
The park improvements are a plus for the community, said Tom Presny, city parks director.
“It’s a wonderful enhancement to the community. We’re so fortunate to have Optimists clubs providing this park to Janesville,’’ he said.
The Optimists have invested more than $50,000 and 18,000 volunteer hours to plant trees, build a concrete bridge over Spring Brook Creek and create two walking nature trails and seven acres of playing fields. The clubs also do an annual park cleanup.
“In the beginning, we sold candy bars for $1, of which 50 cents went to the park fund,’’ Draeger said.
The 37-acre park, Presny said, is one of eight community parks in the city. Janesville has 64 developed parks.