Mount Simon Park to expand?

Tom Giffey

Amonst the many wonders of Mount Simon Park, one of the city'es public disc golf courses
Amongst the many wonders of Mount Simon Park, one of the city's public disc golf courses.

Eau Claire’s Mount Simon Park might be expanding in the near future. The city is on track to receive a $166,000 matching grant from the state’s Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program to help buy 1.2 acres along the park’s northwest side. According to the state Department of Natural Resources, the land will offer an ideal place for hiking, fishing, trapping, cross-country skiing, and biking. The expansion isn’t a done deal, however: The DNR Board must still OK the grant and the city must budget its own matching funds and negotiate purchasing the property from its private owners, says Phil Fieber, city parks director. In other park-related news, Eau Claire’s Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department is also pondering plans to upgrade Pinehurst Park to improve wintertime recreation there, including making sledding safer and perhaps adding downhill skiing and snowboarding to the mix. A public input session will be held Jan. 16, and the process is expected to take several years.