2012 Year in Review: Owen Park Revamp Planned
In a seemingly sudden action, Owen Park in Eau Claire was redesigned and upended when Xcel Energy was forced to remove 25,000 tons of contaminated soil and 75 trees from the land. The contamination, which was left over from the Eau Claire Gas & Light Company over a centurty ago, was found by the DNR. Since Xcel took over the now defunct Gas & Light Company, they were responsible for the damages. Given the public nature of the park, the city and Xcel hosted input meetings to figure out how the new Owen Park might look. The final plans included more connecting paths off of the bike trail, a new pavillion, river access, a new restroom building and a number of new trees to replace those that were lost. Soil removal began in the fall and the park improvements are expected to be done by June, 2013.