The city of Waupaca’s Parks and Recreation Department celebrated the completion of Swan Park’s sled hill Saturday, Feb. 7 as part of its first ever Waupaca Winter Rec Fest.
Hundreds of people of all ages attended the event, which included sledding, snowshoe hikes, winter activities, a campfire and food and refreshments.
The grand opening and recognition ceremony took place at dusk, followed by a fireworks show from the top of the sled hill.
Aaron Jenson, the city’s parks and recreation director, said the project did not involve any taxpayer dollars.
Foundry sand from Waupaca Foundry was used for the project. The sled hill opened in November.
Beneficial Reuse Management, of Milwaukee, approached the city several years ago with the idea of building a sled hill in Swan Park.
The company contracts with the foundry and other companies to find uses for their industrial byproducts.
BRM, which has been working with Waupaca Foundry since 1999, is always looks for potential projects in the area that are in proximity to the foundry.
About 10,000 truckolads of foundry sand were hauled to the park over the course of two years.
“This hill was a field back in 2012,” said Ald. Eric Olson, who is the chairperson of the city’s Parks and Recreation Board.
He said it was great to see so many people at the first Waupaca Winter Rec Fest.
DAn Schuurman, of BRM, acknowledged Director of Public Works John Edlebeck, Facilities Superintendent Russ Montgomery and Jenson for their involvement in the project and thanked the foundry for making the project possible, as well as Faulks Bros. Construction for part of the work.
Schuurman also expressed his appreciation to the community, especially the Swan Park neighbors for their patience during the project.
Jenson said the project also included a T-ball area for children, a new parking lot and lighting.
Basketball hoops will also be going up, and an ice rink will be added, he said.
The sled hill did not have a complete cover of snow, but there was plenty for sledding.
Those who went down the hill described it as a fast ride.
Last weekend’s ribbon cutting included several children who went down the hill on sleds to break the ribbon.