Thiensville-Mequon Rotary Club
Chartered 1937

"L e a d e r s h i p   T h r o u g h   S e r v i c e"


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Our Centennial Project

Rotary Riverwalk


The Rotary Riverwalk is a joint project of the Thiensville-Mequon Rotary Club, The Mequon-Thiensville Sunrise Rotary Club, the City of Mequon, and the Village of Thiensville.  As the project is developed and additional information is available, we will post that information here.

Link to the T-M Rotary / M-T Sunrise Rotary Riverwalk Web Site


Link to Thiensville Park Segment Bridge Installation, September, 2013
Link to Riverwalk Civic Center
Segments Signage Pictures, August, 2013
Link to Riverwalk Civic Center
North Segment Pictures, late 2012
Link to Riverwalk Civic Center
South Segment Pictures, late 2012
Groundbreaking on the Civic Center Segment, 9/25/2012
Rotary clubs commit to raising $125,000 for riverwalk parks: Mequon NOW, 5/18/2011
Pictures of the new signage installed summer of 2009
Second segment of Rotary Riverwalk open to the public: Mequon NOW, 10/17/2007

Ribbon Cutting for Library Loop Segment, October 9, 2007
Ground Breaking for Library Loop Segment, June 2, 2007
Rotary clubs to embark on Riverwalk's next phase: News Graphic. 5/22/2007
City prepares for possible riverfront park: Mequon NOW, 5/2/2007
Rotary clubs move forward with second phase of Riverwalk: Mequon NOW. 2/28/2007
Art festival benefits Rotary Riverwalk: Mequon NOW, 9/13/2006
Softball game raises funds for Riverwalk, foundation
: Mequon Courant, 8/30/2006
Riverwalk Walk, LionFest raise funds for community projects: Mequon Courant, 6/13/2006
Water, water everywhere, but too few paths to follow: Milwaukee Journal. 5/29/2005
Work has started - Pictures posted: October 21, 2004
"Fall Into Art" Festival announced - To benefit Rotary Riverwalk: June 21, 2004
Governor Jim Doyle presents grant to Village of Thiensville:  5/20/2004
Ozaukee land projects to receive state grants: Milwaukee Journal, 5/18/2004
DNR plans to give grant for riverwalk construction in Thiensville: Milwaukee Journal, 4/8/2004
Rotary Clubs help jump-start Town Center plan: Milwaukee Journal, 8/13/2003


Groundbreaking on the Civic Center Segment, 9/25/2012

L-R Chris Frommell (Rotarian & Co-Chair - Joint Riverwalk Committee), Lee Szymborski (Rotarian & City of Mequon Administrator), Terry Schacht (President - Mequon/Thiensville Sunrise Rotary Club), Ron Allen (President, Thiensville/Mequon Rotary Club), and Roger Kirgues (Rotarian & Co-Chair Joint Riverwalk Committee)

September 25, 2012

Click here for a larger picture

L-R Chris Frommell (Rotarian & Co-Chair - Joint Riverwalk Committee), Wally Sommer (Rotarian), Terry Schacht (President - Mequon/Thiensville Sunrise Rotary Club), Ron Allen (President, Thiensville/Mequon Rotary Club), and Roger Kirgues (Rotarian & Co-Chair Joint Riverwalk Committee)

September 25, 2012

Click here for a larger picture

 

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The following is an excerpt from a news article that appeared in Mequon NOW on May 18, 2011.  The full article can be viewed at http://www.mequonnow.com/news/122182114.html

Rotary clubs commit to raising $125,000 for riverwalk parks

By MARY BUCKLEY

Posted: May 18, 2011

Mequon - The two Mequon and Thiensville Rotary clubs have made a commitment to raise $125,000, half of the matching funds necessary to meet the requirements for a $250,000 Department of Natural Resources grant for park development.

Roger Kirgues, who along with Chris Frommell, chairs the Rotary Riverwalk project, updated the Common Council last week.

"Our goal is to raise the full $250,000 if we can," Kirgues said.

The Thiensville-Mequon Rotary Club and the Mequon-Thiensville Sunrise Rotary Club took on the planning, development, engineering, fundraising and building of the riverwalk as their centennial project in 2004. Some sections of the walk have been completed. It will stretch along the river from Village Park in Thiensville to new park space in Mequon at the intersection of Cedarburg and Mequon roads, providing necessary easements from private property owners along the way can be gained.

Kirgues said the clubs are now focusing on the so-called Riverfront Park in Mequon, two areas of green space divided by four private homes. The northern portion of the area is Settlers Park; the southern part is city-owned land that has been cleared of the buildings that once were on the site.

The Settlers Park area would have a pavilion and a boardwalk along the river that would connect to an existing section of the Rotary Riverwalk. Another boardwalk would be built in the south park area.

The council has discussed plans for the park in recent years. The city would likely phase in park development due to its cost, estimated at $2 million in 2009.

Alderman Ken Zganjar urged residents to support the various fundraising events sponsored by the clubs.

Kirgues said the club plans to plant 1,000 redbud trees in the Town Center and along the riverwalk.

The Mequon-Thiensville Sunrise Rotary Club did the initial planting of 100 redbud trees along the Rotary Riverwalk in Thiensville last weekend.

Kirgues said the fundraising plan would likely include opportunities such as naming rights or buying a redbud tree.

The clubs hope to have fundraising under way by September.

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Signage installed the summer of 2009:

At the entrance to the Library Loop Segment across the street from the Weyenberg Library.

Click here for a larger picture

Click here to see a large picture of the sign only.

On the Library Loop Segment, directly east of the entrance at the Milwaukee River.

Click here for a larger picture

Click here to see a large picture of the sign only.

At the entrance to the Village Park  Segment, At the west end of Village Park in Thiensville.

Click here for a larger picture

Click here to see a large picture of the sign only.

On the Village Park Segment, next to the Thiensville Dam.

Click here for a larger picture

Click here to see a large picture of the sign only.

At the mill end of the Village Park Segment, near the site of the original Sawmill.

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Click here to see a large picture of the sign only.

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The following is an excerpt from a news article that appeared in Mequon NOW on May 2, 2007.  The full article can be viewed at http://www.mequonnow.com/story/index.aspx?id=675853

Second segment of Rotary Riverwalk open to the public

By Mary Buckley
Staff Writer
Posted: Oct. 17, 2007

A beautiful fall day heralded the opening of the Library Loop section of the Riverwalk on Oct. 9.

Blue skies, a breeze blowing the falling leaves and abundant sunshine welcomed members of the Thiensville-Mequon Rotary Club, the Mequon-Thiensville Rotary Club, city and village officials, and others interested in the link from Cedarburg Road to Settlers Park.

The loop, which begins with a handicapped accessible ramp bridging a deep gully, takes a straight path to the bank of the Milwaukee River and then turns south, meandering among trees and shrubs to Settlers Park.

Roger Kirgues, who along with Steve Peterman co-chairs the Rotary Riverwalk Committee, greeted almost 50 people drawn to the site both by the accomplishment and by the day. Kirgues was grateful for the cooperation of property owners along the Library Loop section of the path.

"Without them and their willingness to work together with this project, we would not be here today," he said.

A committee of Rotarians is working to gain easements from property owners along the river. If easements can be obtained, the Riverwalk would extend from the bridge at Mequon Road to Village Park in Thiensville.

Cooperative effort

Thiensville Village President Karl Hertz, who is also a Rotarian, said the entire project could take years to complete. Certain portions of the proposed walk would include bridges to traverse tight areas with little to no riverbank for a path.

But, on a bright day marking the completion of the Library Loop, the focus was on that accomplishment.

Julie Petri and Kathy Peterson of the Mequon Community Foundation noted the accomplishment.

"I used to watch a lot of 'Sesame Street,' " Petri said, referring to a time when she had young children at home. "As the characters on 'Sesame Street' would say, 'Now that is cooperation!' "

The foundation donated $10,000 toward the estimated $85,000 cost of the project.

Handicapped accessible

Roger Reinemann, the former president of the Mequon-Thiensville Sunrise Rotary and of the Mequon Common Council, cut the ribbon and tested the accessibility of the path along with two wheelchair-bound residents of nearby Luther Manor at River Oaks, an assisted living facility.

The wheelchairs glided over the entry ramp but the going was a little tougher on the crushed rock path.

Rotarian Stan Smith said the path will compress and become more firm over time. Smith said Independence First helped with suggestions on how to make the walk accessible. Independence First is a resource for people with disabilities.

David Beinlich of Luther Manor at River Oaks said the path will be interesting for residents. The facility granted an easement for the path.

"We are very happy our people will be able to watch people using what is our backyard," Beinlich said. "Some of them enjoyed watching it being installed."

Obtaining easements

The entire group assembled for the ribbon cutting took the short hike along the path to the park.

Laura Rowe and daughter Julia, 4, noticed her husband Bruce, a Rotarian, at the ribbon cutting and came to enjoy a few minutes with dog Sasha on the riverbank. Julia had the distinction of being the first of many children on the path.

Viewed as a centerpiece for the proposed Town Center along Mequon and Cedarburg roads in both the village and city, the Riverwalk is divided into six segments

The first segment, called Village Park and located adjacent to Village Park in Thiensville on the Millrace berm, was completed in 2004. Kirgues said work continues to gain easements for additional sections of the walk.

Mary Buckley can be reached at mbuckley@cninow.com or (262) 446-6615.

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Thanks to everyone who help make this segment  possible.

Rotary Riverwalk - Library Loop Ribbon Cutting
October 9, 2007

Click on any of the images for a larger view

The Entrance to the Library Loop

The crowd at the Ribbon Cutting
Thiensville President Karl V. Hertz
Mequon Mayor Christine Nuernberg
Rotary Riverwalk Co-Chairman Roger Kirgues
Stan Smith - Town Center Committee
Roger Reinemann - Former President - Mequon Thiensville Sunrise Rotary Club
Roger Cutting the Ribbon
Our Seniors enjoying the first visit to the Riverwalk
After the Ribbon Cutting

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Thanks to Jean Hill, From The Mequon-Thiensville Sunrise Rotary Club for the following pictures of the Groundbreaking ceremony on June 2, 2007

Click on any of the images for a larger view

Rotary Riverwalk Co-Chair Roger Kirgues

T-M Rotary President 2007-08 Shelley Weston

Mequon Mayor Christine Nuernberg

Thiensville President Karl Hertz

Stan Smith - Town Center Committee

Steve French, Mequon Community Foundation, presents a check in the amount of $10,000 to the Co-Chairs of the Rotary Riverwalk, Roger Kirgues and Steve Peterman

Karl Hertz, Christine Nuernberg, State Senator Alberta Darling, Shelley Weston, State Representative Jim Ott, M-T Rotarian Bob Blazich, Roger Kirgues and Steve Peterman.

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The following is an excerpt from a news article that appeared in the News Graphic on May 22, 2007.

Rotary clubs to embark on Riverwalk's next phase

Funding for $100,000 project comes from nonprofits, Wisconsin DNR

By Ed Zagorski
News Graphic staff

Posted: May 22, 2007

Mequon - The Mequon and Thiensville Rotary Clubs will publicly announce the next phase of their Riverwalk project, which is estimated at $100,000, early next month at a groundbreaking ceremony.

This phse is called the Library Loop and upon completion will provide a walkway along the Milwaukee River from Settlers Park north to the chamber of commerce office building in Thiensville.

The Library Loop is about one-fifth of a mile and will include a handicap accessible viewing platform by Luther Manor Oaks, 11340 N. Cedarburg Road.

"The resident staff and organization want to be part of the community, and being park of the Riverwalk allows us to do that," said Dave Beinlich, Luther Manor administrator. "It gives us great pride to participate."

The project is being financed by the Mequon Community Foundation through a $10,000 donation with additional funding provided through Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources grants and fund-raising efforts of the Rotary clubs, the Mequon-Thiensville Sunrise and Thiensville-Mequon afternoon groups.

(Ed Zagorski can be reached at ezagorski@conleynet.com)

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The following is an excerpt from a news article that appeared in Mequon NOW on May 2, 2007.  The full article can be viewed at http://www.mequonnow.com/story/index.aspx?id=600210

City prepares for possible riverfront park

Officials debate fate of houses with expensive upkeep

By Mary Buckley
Staff Writer
Posted: May 2, 2007

Mequon staff will continue to pursue agreements that would give the city right of first refusal on two homes on North Cedarburg Road along the Milwaukee River.

The right of first refusal allows the city to decide whether to buy the houses before they are offered to other potential buyers.

Mequon owns two houses at 11230 and 11300 N. Cedarburg Road and has the right of first refusal on two of the remaining four located between Mequon Road and Settlers Park.

City Administrator Lee Szymborski said the city began purchasing the houses in 2001 with an eye toward the development of a riverfront park in the proposed Town Center.

The city rents the two houses but the Finance-Personnel Committee last week began to consider its options for the houses.

The rent has not covered the cost of mortgage and repairs to the houses.

Sewer work has been done at both houses; the city has replaced the roof on one and worked on the well at the other, creating a total deficit of $2,499.

The city could continue renting the houses or pay off the mortgages and tear them down, Szymborski said.

The city owes $141,488 on the two mortgages as of April 7. Public Works Director Jon Garms estimates it would cost $10,000 a piece to tear the houses down. There could be additional cost for asbestos abatement, disconnecting sewers and abandoning wells.

Fifth District Alderman Mark Seider said he was disappointed to learn the city had spent $28,000 on repairs to one of the houses but he was not in favor of tearing them down.

"I would try to get right of first refusal on the two remaining houses and otherwise stay with the current course (on the two city-owned houses)," Seider said.

Seventh District Alderman Dan Gannon said his opinion changed when he found out how much the properties were costing the city.

"Rather than losing money, I say remove them," he said.

One house is adjacent to Settlers Park, which could allow for the park's expansion.

Seider was hesitant about their removal.

"If you tear one or both down, all you do is increase the value of the others," he said. "There would be open land all around them."

Mayor Christine Nuernberg said the city right of way goes almost to the front door of the houses - one negative.

"I don't think people want to live next door to active-use property," she said. "If the riverwalk goes in, it might decrease their value."

The committee asked for more information on repairs and the amount of time staff is spending on the houses, as well as anticipated major repairs, the actual cost of demolition and the impact of the planned reconstruction of the Mequon-Cedarburg Road intersection this summer.

Nuernberg said she would like the committee to tour one of the city-owned houses, which will be vacant in May, in order to view the backyard, which is along the river.

 

Mary Buckley can be reached at (262) 446-6615. Her e-mail address is mdbuckley45@earthlink.net.

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The following is an excerpt from a news article that appeared in Mequon NOW on February 28, 2007.  The full article can be viewed at http://www.mequonnow.com/story/index.aspx?id=571586

Rotary clubs move forward with second phase of Riverwalk

By Mary Buckley
Staff Writer
Posted: Feb. 28, 2007

The Rotary clubs in Mequon and Thiensville, powered by a National Recreational Trails Act program grant of $58,390, are moving ahead with the second phase of the Riverwalk Project.

Roger Kirgues and Steve Peterman, co-chairmen of the Riverwalk project for the two Rotary clubs, are hard at work, along with 18 to 20 other people in the committee, to develop what is called the Riverwalk's Library Loop.

The Riverwalk will eventually run along the Milwaukee River from Mequon Road into Village Park in Thiensville.

The Library Loop goes south from a drainage ditch opposite the Frank L. Weyenberg Library into Settlers Park. Most of this section of the path will be in Mequon.

"The first area we did was Village Park," Kirgues said.

As the focus shifts to the Library Loop, Kirgues is talking with property owners to obtain easements for the path along the river.

"We are really focusing on one-on-one discussions about the project," Kirgues said. "We are having good conversations with them, but it certainly is up to the property owners."

Kirgues emphasized the clubs want to be very respectful of the residents' concerns.

Some are concerned about security and privacy, he said.

Peterman has been working with engineers designing the walkway.

"There will be an 80-foot boardwalk from Green Bay Road right across the drainage ditch area," Peterman said.

The area will be handicapped accessible with look out spots along the river for people to be able to stop and enjoy the scene.

The riverwalk project has six phases.

"Our goal is to do one a year," Peterman said. "But what we can do will really be driven by individual property owners' willingness to grant the easements."

The federal grant requires the clubs to raise matching funds.

"We are hoping to be able to secure gifts for construction and development," Kirgues said.

The clubs will also be holding their second annual Walk for Riverwalk on Saturday, June 10. Short (1.5 mile) and long (3.5 mile) routes will be available, all ending up at Village Park,

Construction on the second phase could start in May.

 

Mary Buckley can be reached at (262) 317-8648. Her e-mail address is mdbuckley45@earthlink.net.

 


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The following is an excerpt from a news article that appeared in Mequon NOW on September 13, 2006.  The full article can be viewed at http://www.mequonnow.com/story/index.aspx?id=494866

Art festival benefits Rotary Riverwalk

By Lynne Kleinman
Staff Writer
Posted: Sept. 13, 2006

When the first Fall into Art festival was held two years ago, organizers envisioned it growing and becoming an annual community event in Mequon and Thiensville's Town Center.

Despite cloudy, cool, windy weather Saturday, there was plenty of reason to believe that that vision was becoming a reality, as around 1,000 people turned out for the third annual Fall into Art festival.

The event was held on Main Street south of Freistadt Road, on the grounds of the popular Thiensville Farmers Market.

Wide range of items

From 20 mainly local artists who exhibited and sold their work at the festival in 2004, the number of exhibitors grew to 65 this year, including artists from all over southeastern Wisconsin.

"We have a wide range in the types of art this year," said Linda Bendix, director of the Frank L. Weyenberg Library, who co-chaired the event with Shelley Weston, president-elect of the Thiensville-Mequon Rotary Club, the festival's sponsoring organization. "There's photography, paintings, crafts, jewelry, candles, scrapbooking and others."

Artists keep all proceeds from their sales but pay a fee for their display booth, Weston said. Those fees, as well as funds raised from games and other activities at the event, will support the Rotary Riverwalk project in Mequon and Thiensville.

The Riverwalk, first proposed in August 2003, is being built jointly by the Thiensville-Mequon Rotary and the Mequon-Thiensville Sunrise Rotary, in celebration of Rotary International's centennial in 2005.

Regarded as a key feature of Town Center development, this pedestrian walkway will be more than a mile long, extending from Thiensville Village Park on the north, along the west bank of the Milwaukee River, to Mequon Road on the south.

Two area State Farm Insurance agents, Doug Hansen in Thiensville and Marlene Ver Straate in Mequon, sponsored the festival's sound stage, which featured Dixieland and ragtime music by the Dixie Doodles on Saturday afternoon.

Music during the morning hours was provided by the Jazz Ensemble from Concordia University Wisconsin.

Active participation

The festival afforded child and adult visitors the opportunity for active participation in art, which many considered a good alternative to passively viewing the work of others. The Todd Davis American Family Insurance Agency in Thiensville sponsored the art activities, which included decorating papers plates with images of this year's festival mascot, Rubber Ducky.

Games were also popular. Winners of the Ring Around the Duck Toss, sponsored by the First Weber Group in Mequon, received rubber ducks as prizes.

"We try to keep it low budget, so most of what we make goes to the Riverwalk," Bendix said.

She estimated proceeds from this year's Fall into Art at around $1,500, down slightly from last year.

"All in all, it's a nice fall event for families," she said.

AT A GLANCE

The 1.3-mile scenic Riverwalk being built by the Rotary Clubs of Mequon and Thiensville is expected to benefit the community in the following ways:

• preserve and enhance the natural beauty and environmental impact of the Milwaukee River

• fulfill Rotary's mission of community service

• provide educational opportunities for schools and families in the community

• provide safe, enjoyable and scenic access to the Milwaukee River

• improve quality of life in the community

• unite components of the Town Center Plan

• enhance the Mequon-Thiensville park system



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The following is an excerpt from a news article that appeared in the Mequon Courant on August 30, 2006.  The full article can be viewed at http://www.mequonnow.com/story/index.aspx?id=489009

Softball game raises funds for Riverwalk, foundation

Mequon Courant

Posted: Aug. 30, 2006

Concord Development Co. demonstrated its prowess in softball Sunday, coming back from a 12-run deficit to beat the team from James H. Hoffman Builders by a score of 15-13 in a seven-inning game at Thiensville Village Park.

Played in the spirit of friendly rivalry that characterizes the relationship between the business competitors - Andy Petzold, president of Concord Development, and Jim Hoffman, owner of Hoffman Builders - the game was a fundraiser for the Rotary Riverwalk and the Tim & Tom Gullikson Foundation.

Along with providing a lot of excitement for plenty of spectators, the event brought in more than $10,000, primarily from a live auction and concession sales at the game.

Former member of the Milwaukee Brewers and all-star Larry Hisle was captain of the Concord team, which also featured former NBA all-star Terry Porter. The Hoffman team was comprised of Ozaukee Senior League players and company owner Jim Hoffman.

The Rotary Riverwalk, which will ultimately provide a trail more than a mile long from Thiensville Village Park south along the west bank of the Milwaukee River to Mequon Road, is a centerpiece of Mequon-Thiensville Town Center development.

The Gullikson Foundation, inspired by the late Tim Gullikson, a tennis champion and coach, seeks to enhance the quality of life of brain tumor patients and to support their families in managing the physical, emotional and social challenges presented by this illness. Hoffman, who played tennis with Gullikson years ago, has lost other friends and family members to brain tumors.

Daniel Morgese of Milwaukee, an 18-year-old brain tumor survivor who has received a Gullikson Foundation scholarship to study accounting at Milwaukee Area Technical College, threw out the first pitch at Sunday's game.

- Lynne Kleinman,

Staff Writer


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The following is an excerpt from a news article that appeared in the Mequon Courant on June 13, 2006.  The full article can be viewed at http://www.mequonnow.com/story/index.aspx?id=434891

Riverwalk Walk, LionFest raise funds for community projects

By Lynne Kleinman
Staff Writer
Posted: June 13, 2006

Under sunny skies last weekend, area residents flocked to two events that kicked off summertime fun in Mequon and Thiensville, while also raising funds for good causes.

A crowd of around 175 participated in the Riverwalk Walk on Saturday, raising more than $16,000 to help build a 1.3-mile trail along the Milwaukee River in Mequon and Thiensville.

The walkers’ route ended at Thiensville Village Park, where many of them remained for LionFest, an annual three-day event, the proceeds from which benefit a variety of local charities.

“We were trying to move this beyond just the two (Rotary) clubs,” said Dorothy Wahner, organizer of the Riverwalk Walk for the joint Rotary Clubs of Mequon and Thiensville, which first proposed building the trail three years ago to mark Rotary’s 100th anniversary worldwide in 2005. “This was nicer than the first (walk). We have more visibility now, and there’s more community support.”

Organizations join forces

Sharing the common goal of improving the quality of life of the local community, LionFest and Riverwalk Walk organizers supported each other’s events in their promotional materials this year, and even provided some continuity in the entertainment.

“The Tae Kwon Do group was a wonderful addition to the event, Wahner said, referring to a group, age 2 to adult, who practice an ancient Korean form of training that is said to improve flexibility, strength, balance, concentration and endurance. “They did warm up exercises before the walk and presented a program at LionFest after the walk which highlighted various skills and components of their training.”

The walk was promoted by other community groups as well, Wahner said, including the Mequon-Thiensville Chamber of Commerce and Youth Service America at Steffen Middle School; Town Center Committee; and village of Thiensville and city of Mequon.

As a major sponsor of the Riverwalk Walk, the Ozaukee County chapter of Thrivent Financial for Lutherans donated $1,600. Sommer’s Buick-Pontiac-Suburu, the other major sponsor, made a $1,000 donation.

Fest declared a success

Organizers of LionFest, the Thiensville-Mequon Lions Club’s major annual fundraiser, pronounced this year’s event a success.

“We did exceptionally well,” said Terry Leonardelli, estimating that proceeds from the event “were in the $50,000 range” this year.

Thiensville Police Chief Richard Preston said despite some unseasonably cold evening temperatures over the weekend, crowds of around 10,000 moved through the park each day of the event to watch the softball tournament, take a turn on a variety of rides on the midway, consume the “famous chicken dinner” that has long been a hallmark of LionFest, and to enjoy live afternoon and evening entertainment.

“The music was very good this year,” Leonardelli said, adding that the opportunity to dance to live music has always drawn a lot of people to event.

The groups that entertained were The Crisis, Generations, Crossfire, the Sweet Tarts and Kickin’ Country.

Chris Stadler, who coordinated the softball tournament, said 20 teams from southeastern Wisconsin entered, and cash prizes — from a $2,100 purse made up from entry fees — were awarded to winners. Taking first place, he said, was the Diamond Express team from Milwaukee.

Preston said plenty of children had hours of fun on the midway.

Buying a wristband for $13, they could have four hours of rides — a child’s nirvana,” he said.

Daytime attractions for the adults included bingo and a classic car show.

Supporting the community

Leonardelli said the smooth operation of LionFest was due in large measure to the work of many volunteers from agencies the Lions Club supports. Among those organizations, he said, were Ozaukee Special Olympics, Portal Industries of Wisconsin, Family Sharing of Ozaukee County, Ozaukee Family Services, Interfaith Caregivers of Mequon and Ozaukee Big Brothers Big Sisters.

“Especially with the construction on Riverview Drive, remote parking was an important part of our operation this year,” Leonardelli said. “We were fortunate that Mike Gross (of School Transport Inc.) provided shuttle service to the park.”

Gross said his school bus company donates this service every year.

“It’s a chance for us to support the community — and we like to do that,” he said.


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The following is an excerpt from a news article that appeared in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on May 29 2005.  The full article can be viewed at http://www.jsonline.com/news/ozwash/may05/329161.asp

Water, water everywhere, but too few paths to follow

Cities, towns envision new, expanded walks along rivers

By MIKE JOHNSON
mikejohnson@journalsentinel.com
Last Updated: May 29, 2005

Waterways coursing through communities in Ozaukee County are often underused natural resources that have been out of reach of many people, residents and government officials say.

That is changing, though, as a steadily growing chain of walkways along urban streams provides residents greater access to the water.

In Cedarburg, efforts are under way to extend the Cedar Creek walk through the downtown area.

And in Thiensville and Mequon, a one-quarter mile scenic walk along the Milwaukee River officially opened last weekend, marking one of the most visible signs yet of an ambitious plan to create a town center in the two municipalities.

"One of the biggest assets . . . is the river, except no one can see the river or get to the river," Mequon Mayor Christine Nuernberg said during a May 21 ceremony at Thiensville's Village Park that officially opened the trail.

The walkway along the Milwaukee River changes that, she said.

"I think people will come to this area and make this area a thriving area because of what we're doing now to make the river really accessible to everybody," she said.

Thiensville Village President Donald Molyneux said the entrance to the riverwalk was "beautiful," and called the path a "wonderful addition to the park."

The riverwalk exists today in large part because of the Thiensville/Mequon Rotary Club and the Mequon/Thiensville Sunrise Rotary Club teaming up with the municipalities to turn a vision into reality.

Mequon and Thiensville wanted to use the river to help draw people to the area. The riverwalk is seen as a key component of the Town Center plan, which was introduced in 2002 and envisions attracting restaurants, home-decorating and improvement stores and gift shops to Thiensville's Main St. Mequon and Thiensville are cooperating on the plan.

The clubs took on construction of the walkway as a public service project to mark the 100th anniversary of Rotary International this year.

Eventually, the riverwalk will extend 1.3 miles, from Thiensville's Village Park to the bridge at Mequon Road that carries vehicles over the Milwaukee River, said Ted Weirather, a Rotary member. He and another Rotary member, Steve Peterman, approached city and village officials in 2003 and offered the Rotary clubs' assistance in developing the riverwalk.

"The river is one of the most beautiful natural resources," Weirather said.

The second phase of the project, extending the trail to where the river turns near the River Bank building, should begin soon, Weirather said.

Thiensville received an $82,094 grant from the state Department of Natural Resources for the riverwalk work. Weirather said other fund-raising activities are ongoing. Since the project is being done in phases and engineering work remains to be done, he didn't have a cost estimate for the entire project.

Winning praise

The riverwalk already is winning high marks.

Wendy Petzold of Mequon was on the riverwalk with her children, Aaron, 7, and Grace, 4, shortly after it opened.

Aaron was fascinated by the frogs along the trail.

And Grace was thrilled by the water falling over the dam. The riverwalk entrance showcases the dam.

"It's very nice to be able to come and enjoy the park. For me, I can't walk along the grass," said Wendy Petzold, who uses a wheelchair.

"So having the path is wonderful," she said, because it makes the river accessible to more people.

Chuck Zamora and his son, Cory, 13, were on the path as well. They moved to Mequon in December from Brisbane, Australia.

"We're actually enjoying watching spring. We've never experienced that before," said Chuck Zamora, who lived in Australia for 30 years. "I've never actually seen tulips and daffodils emerge like that. It's beautiful. . . . I've always believed that people should take advantage of waterways and make them a part of the community."

Alex Prenzlow, 12, attended the riverwalk opening and not just because his dad, Elmer C. Prenzlow, is a village trustee.

The family, including Elmer's wife, Linda, is at the park at least once a week during the summer.

"We know that it's been in planning so long that it's really nice to see it get started," Linda Prenzlow said. "It's a real asset to Mequon and Thiensville. This walk is going to go through the park. It's a nice, extra safe, flat place to walk and bike."

Appeared in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on May 29, 2005.

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Work has started - Pictures posted:
Click on a picture for a larger view, click the Back button to return here
 

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"Fall Into Art" Festival Announced

Vanessa Brown, T-M Rotary Director, announced a fund raiser to benefit the Rotary Riverwalk will be held on September 18, 2004 in the Thiensville-Mequon Town Center, as follows:

We are pleased to announce a new community event called “Fall Into Art” to be held on Saturday, September 18, 2004 on the streets of downtown Thiensville.  The event is being held to highlight the Thiensville downtown, the Rotary River Walk and the Thiensville-Mequon Town Center project.  A committee has been formed of local merchants interested in planning and participating in this one day event. (Including Tres Jolie, Interior Garden Art Studio, Art Escape Gallery, Fantasy Flowers, and several others.)

In addition to inviting merchants and artists to display their wares in booths around downtown Thiensville (Green Bay Rd), the committee has also identified other events/activities we are considering holding; Rotary Canoe Competition with the Chamber of Commerce, Farmer’s Market, food tents, beer tent, sidewalk art with chalk contest, silent auction in the old Fire House, clowns, balloons, face painting, and children’s games.

Info for Local Merchants Click Here (PDF Format)

Registration Form for Merchants (PDF Format)

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May 20, 2004, City of Mequon Rotary Park


State of Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle presents a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Stewardship Fund grant of $82,094 to Village of Thiensville President John Treffert and Village of Thiensville Administrator Dianne Robertson. The grant is for the development of the Rotary Riverwalk along the Milwaukee River in Thiensville. The Rotary Riverwalk is a joint Centennial project of the Rotary Clubs of Thiensville-Mequon, and Mequon-Thiensville Sunrise in cooperation with the City of Mequon and the Village of Thiensville. (click on picture or here to see a larger image)

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Photo credit: Dave O'Connor


The following is an excerpt from a news article that appeared in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on May 18 2004.  The full article can be viewed at http://www.jsonline.com/news/ozwash/may04/230153.asp

Ozaukee land projects to receive state grants
$555,000 earmarked for 3 municipalities, county

By DON BEHM and MIKE JOHNSON
dbehm@journalsentinel.com

Posted: May 17, 2004

Mequon, Thiensville, Newburg and Ozaukee County will receive $555,092 in state Stewardship Fund grants this week, state and local officials said.

The four grants are to help pay for acquiring natural areas to be opened to the public in Mequon and Newburg, and for building recreational facilities in Thiensville and at an Ozaukee County park in the Town of Saukville.

The fund is the state's primary land conservation program.

On Thursday, Gov. Jim Doyle will be in Mequon to announce three of the grants, Mayor Christine Nuernberg said. He is expected to arrive at Mequon Rotary Park, 4100 W. Highland Road, after 3:45 p.m. The program is open to the public.

One of the grants is an award of $358,500 to Mequon for purchase of a 52.5-acre addition to the Mequon Nature Preserve. The Ozaukee Washington Land Trust, which applied for the grant, has an option to buy the Bacher property at 8519 W. Donges Bay Road for $875,000.

Mequon, the trust and the Greater Milwaukee Foundation are partners in an effort to piece together a preserve encompassing 640 acres, or 1 square mile. Forests and wetlands are to be restored to the preserve, which is bounded by Donges Bay and County Line roads on the north and south and Wauwatosa and Swan roads on the east and west.

The other two grants to be announced Thursday are $82,094 to Thiensville for development of its Rotary Riverwalk on the Milwaukee River and $100,000 to Ozaukee County for development of Tendick Nature Park on the river in the Town of Saukville.

Thiensville plans to build a 1.5-mile pedestrian trail along the river from Village Park to Green Bay Road. The riverwalk eventually could be extended to Mequon Road in Mequon.

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The following is an excerpt from a news article that appeared in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on April 9, 2004.  The full article can be viewed at http://www.jsonline.com/news/ozwash/apr04/221014.asp

DNR plans to give grant for riverwalk construction in Thiensville

By MIKE JOHNSON
Posted: April 8, 2004

Thiensville - A plan to build a pedestrian trail along the Milwaukee River as part of the ambitious Town Center proposal is getting an $82,094 boost from the state Department of Natural Resources.

The DNR tentatively has approved the grant, a 50% match for the work in Thiensville, Daniel Kaemmerer, a DNR natural resources financial assistance specialist, said Thursday.

"We're very supportive of riverfront trail projects that help bring the public down to enjoy the river and, in so doing, enhance the understanding of the importance of preservation," Kaemmerer said.

Matching funds for the trail work in Thiensville will come from Rotary Clubs in Mequon and Thiensville and Homestead High School students, Thiensville Administrator Dianne Robertson said. No village funds will be used for the project, she said.

The money will cover the first phase of the riverwalk project, creating the path from Village Park to Green Bay Road, Robertson said.

Also, it will include surveying properties along the entire future riverwalk from Village Park to Mequon Road in the city of Mequon, Robertson said.

The Thiensville-Mequon Rotary Club and the Mequon-Thiensville Sunrise Rotary Club have offered to take the lead in constructing the riverwalk, as a civic project commemorating the Rotary's 100th anniversary in 2005.

The riverwalk is to be named Rotary Riverwalk.

The 1.5-mile riverwalk is a key component of the Town Center plan. Introduced more than a year ago, the plan envisions attracting restaurants, home decorating and home improvement stores and gift shops to Main St.

Mequon and Thiensville are working together on the proposal and the riverwalk. Mequon encircles the village.

The plan also envisions improving the Mequon civic campus - the area around City Hall. Proposed improvements include a pedestrian connection from Cedarburg Road to the Ozaukee Interurban Trail.

Homestead students have been raising funds about three years and have donated $8,750. Most will go for the trail project, but $1,250 will be saved for future uses, Robertson said.

Meanwhile, the two Rotary Clubs are planning a fund-raiser, the Rotary Riverwalk Walk, on June 19 to raise money for the project. Teams are being formed to walk the riverwalk path. Registration forms are available at Village Hall and Mequon City Hall.

Kaemmerer said the DNR will issue the funds to Thiensville once the public comment period on the proposal ends Monday. So far, he said, the DNR has received no comments about the proposal.

The funding could be delayed if someone raises concerns that the trail could damage the environment. But the DNR said projects such as the riverwalk typically do not have the potential to cause significant environmental harm.

To comment about the project, call Tom Blotz of the DNR at (414) 263-8610.
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The following is an excerpt from a news article that appeared in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Aug. 14, 2003.  The full article can be viewed at http://www.jsonline.com/news/ozwash/aug03/162115.asp.

Rotary Clubs help jump-start Town Center plan

Groups want riverwalk to honor 100th anniversary

By MIKE JOHNSON
mikejohnson@journalsentinel.com
Last Updated: Aug. 13, 2003

Mequon - An ambitious plan to turn Main St. into the Mequon-Thiensville Town Center got a major boost Wednesday night when Rotary Clubs offered to take the lead on constructing a riverwalk for the project.

The 1.5-mile riverwalk is a key component of the Town Center plan, which was introduced last October and envisions attracting restaurants, home-decorating and improvement stores and gift shops to Thiensville's Main St.

The plan also envisions improving the Mequon civic campus as well - the area around City Hall. Proposed improvements include building a pedestrian connection from Cedarburg Road to the new Ozaukee Interurban Trail.

The Rotary Clubs announced their proposal during the inaugural meeting of the Town Center Committee, a joint panel formed by Mequon and Thiensville to make recommendations on how to proceed with the creation of the center.

Committee members applauded the proposal, saying Rotary participation would give momentum to Town Center plans.

Both Mequon and Thiensville would have to approve the Rotary Clubs' participation in the project. Mequon Mayor Christine Nuernberg, who attended the meeting, welcomed the support, as did Thiensville Trustee Sarah Elliott and Mequon Ald. Samuel Cutler, both members of the Town Center panel.

"It is really just a thrill to hear you step forward," Elliott told Ted Weirather, of the Thiensville-Mequon Rotary Club, and Steve Peterman, of the Mequon-Thiensville Sunrise Rotary.

Weirather and Peterman said the clubs want to build the riverwalk as a civic project commemorating the Rotary's 100th anniversary in 2005.

They said they did not have cost estimates yet on the project. The clubs expect to make a more detailed presentation to the Town Center Committee next month.

Officials from both communities hope that the Town Center will create an identity for the area - a suburban version of Milwaukee's Water St., with some additional features - and give Mequon and Thiensville residents an alternative to downtown Milwaukee.
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