Wintermission 'Gearshare' Program Coming to Eau Claire, Altoona Libraries

Nate Cooksey, photos by Michael Lundebrek |

Following feedback from residents regarding winter activity in the Eau Claire area, Wintermission Eau Claire - the organization behind the Winter Recreation Loop in Eau Claire - has partnered once again with the City of Eau Claire and several other organizations in the area to establish their "Gearshare" program. The program came about due to residents' comments on the lack of access to good winter recreation equipment. Involved in Wintermission Eau Claire since the very beginning, Eau Claire City Council member Emily Berge explained this difficulty as, "... a barrier to enjoying winter is the lack of winter gear, whether due to the cost of gear or not knowing what gear to buy.”

The goal of Gearshare is to supply winter gear that everyone might not have in their garage, such as adult and child-sized snowshoe sets (poles included), ice fishing kits, and even Kubb sets – and all you'll need is a library card. That's right, both the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library (400 Eau Claire St., Eau Claire) and the Altoona Public Library (1303 Lynn Avenue) will add specialty winter items to their rotation of rentable items. 


And it doesn't stop there; Pinehurst Park (3523 Delbert Road, Eau Claire) will offer even more winter recreation options. Eau Claire Parks and Rec will provide sleds, hockey gear, broomball sets, snowshoes, and kubb sets. Eau Claire Parks and Rec employees on site will provide rental abilities, and equipment storage will be provided by Pinehurst Park - OutdoorsMore, Inc.

Wintermission Eau Claire is a program to reduce social isolation and support outdoor physical activity in winter.  The Eau Claire Wintermission core team involves participation from the Cities of Eau Claire and Altoona, the Eau Claire City County Health Department, UW-Eau Claire, Visit Eau Claire, and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation. Read more about Wintermission at