Old Settlers Park to undergo renovation with support of community foundations

A significant renovation project will seek to beautify Old Settlers Park in West Bend as the Greater Milwaukee Foundation partners with the West Bend Community Foundation to fund several upgrades.

As part of its centennial gifts to the region, the Greater Milwaukee Foundation is committing $200,000 to the park renovation project, which will kick off in September.

Old Settlers Park encompasses a triangular public space at the north end of Main Street in downtown West Bend. The 11,000-square-foot venue hosts a variety of public events and activities, including a farmers’ market and the weekly summer concert series Music on Main.

The renovation project to the space, led by the West Bend Community Foundation and the City of West Bend, will replace the existing 144-square-foot gazebo with a 442-square foot gazebo that will double as a band shelter. The project will also expand the park’s walking patio area and outfit it with new concrete.

Additionally, interlocking brick will replace the park’s existing timber walls, and a third access point will be introduced to the park along with new landscaping and an irrigation system.

The package of upgrades aligns with West Bend’s downtown development plan, which includes efforts to improve pedestrian access to the city’s cultural district as well as a push to improve the backs of business facades and enhance the Eisenbahn Trail.

“This renovation will allow the appearance and functionality of Old Settlers Park to match its place and prominence in the community,” Chris Chlupp, vice president of the West Bend Community Foundation, said in an announcement. “Everyone in West Bend can be proud of the generosity that has brought this project to bear.”

Park renovations will likely be completed by spring 2016.

“Public gathering spaces can instill civic pride and offer a powerful sense of community,” said Ellen Gilligan, president and chief executive officer of the Greater Milwaukee Foundation. “Through our proud partnership with the West Bend Community Foundation, the Greater Milwaukee Foundation is excited to bring new luster to an historic park known today for its vibrant activity.”

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