City parks looking ahead to city-wide clean-up

Locals are able to take advantage of the park in their own ways


Photo by Raina Beutel

Elena Schlenz, 11, Eau Claire, takes her turn flying the kite while her older brother, Connor, 15, followed it along.

Story by Raina Beutel, Staff Writer

As seasons change, the debris and damage from the winter months starts to show.

Dave Bohlinger, community services supervisor for the Eau Claire Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department, said repair and maintenance is underway before ball diamonds, courts and city shoreline can open for full use.

Between the more “obvious” tasks like playground inspections, installing nets, opening docks and deadheading plants, Bohlinger said it takes about a month to get 1,000 acres of Eau Claire parkland fully up and running.

“But it’s not a constant process of getting ready,” he said. “For example, as a water system gets turned on, then you have a facility to get ready for use.”

This year, the city will have some extra help during the Amazing Eau Claire Clean-Up, a 2-hour city-wide event April 25. Flocks of volunteers scrub parks, plant trees and tend flowerbeds.

After that event, Bohlinger said parks should be “good to go” for the season.

“I’m just excited to see people getting out and using the park,” he said. “The best part is that they can be used in so many ways.”

And for the Schlenz family, who has made a tradition out of flying kites at Carson Park, the open space provides more for them than any jungle gym.

Parents George and Molly Schlenz, with their children, Connor, 15, and Elena, 11, said they have been bringing their kids to the same parking lot every Easter afternoon for the last ten years.

“We’ve been doing this since Elena was a baby,” George Schlenz said, “It’s open, no lines, and there’s usually no one else to interfere.”