Canoe and kayak enthusiasts have a new spot to send out their vessels into the Eau Claire River, after the first of several new boat launches opened this week in Weston.
The new launch at the corner of Ross Avenue and Babl Lane (next to the Ross Avenue Bridge) already was a spot popular with boaters, but was unmarked and tough to find. A parking area, bike repair station, paved path and informational kiosk were all added to the launch site, along with an asphalt boat drop-off point.
The $175,000 project, which began in late 2015, was paid for through a combination of room tax dollars and grants, says Village Administrator Daniel Guild: “Not one penny of taxpayer money was used.”
Additional plans for boating upgrades at Yellowbanks Park and the CTH J bridge area are underway, and village officials are meeting with neighboring communities to discuss installing additional launches throughout the area.
“We have long-believed that the Eau Claire River is an under-appreciated asset here in the metro area,” says Weston Parks and Recreation Director Shawn Osterbrink. “We hope that this is the start of a concerted effort by our local communities, not just Weston, to make the Eau Claire River more accessible and enjoyable.”