An important centerpiece for Cedarburg recreation and culture has always been Cedar Creek Park. Originally created in 1931, and located in the heart of the city, Cedar Creek Park sits on a 5 acre plot directly on Cedar Creek and overlooked by Cedarburg’s historic grist mill. The park has long served as a meeting place, concert venue, picnic area, and playground. More than 50 years ago, a band shell was added to bring the musical arts into the park and community. The band shell is currently used every Friday night throughout the summer for concerts, at Cedarburg’s 4th of July celebration, and during Cedarburg’s festivals.
The Cedarburg-Grafton Rotary Club, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, has combined efforts with the Cedarburg Parks and Recreation Department, the City of Cedarburg, and the Greater Cedarburg Foundation in an effort to enhance Cedar Creek Park with a new band shell and upgraded landscaping.
These enhancements have been designed by the award winning Cedarburg architectural firm of Groth Design Group and will replace the existing utilitarian looking structure with one that uses natural timbers and limestone. The multi-functional rebuild will also allow for the addition of a Drama in the Park series to further bolster Cedarburg’s artistic base and provide a sheltered area for children participating in the Parks and Recreation Department’s supervised playground programs.
Two local businesses, Groth Design Group and M Squared Engineering were retained to study and satisfy DNR concerns relating to the fact that the park is partially located in a flood plain. These cooperative efforts have already yielded full DNR approval of the project. Attention was next directed to receiving City of Cedarburg approvals. Initially, the project was presented to the Parks and Recreation Board on January 7, 2015 where it received unanimous approval. Full and final approval of the band shell project was enthusiastically received on Monday, February 2nd at the Cedarburg Plan Commission meeting.
With all approvals now received, the Cedarburg-Grafton Rotary Club intends to seek bids from general contractors to oversee the project. It is our expectation to partner with local business Wisconsin Abstract & Title Company to handle the escrowed funds. Construction is planned to start in late August to insure there is minimal disruption to the typical uses of the park. It is anticipated that the project will be completed in about a four month period. Landscaping and the remaining upgrades will be completed by June 1, 2016. Thereafter, the Rotary Club is planning a community celebration to formally unveil this gift to the community.
Through a coordinated fundraising effort, businesses and individuals will be asked to help fund the project. To recognize those who do participate, a donor wall is being designed in conjunction with two local art organizations and will be placed on the east side of the band shell. Each individual or organization which donates $10,000 or more will be identified on the wall.
The initial estimates for the project are $525,000 for the band shell and $100,000 for the landscaping upgrades. The Cedarburg-Grafton Rotary Club is committed to organizing the fundraising efforts for this project. The Club itself has approved a $150,000 investment and many individual members of the Rotary Club made contributions of $10,000 each. The remainder of the funds will be raised by a fundraising committee. The Cedarburg-Grafton Rotary Club is prepared to take out a short term construction loan if necessary to make sure the project stays on track and because we are confident the necessary funds can be raised.