The Park in their Heart
Friends of Emerson Park announces major donation while breaking ground
By Katelyn Voorhies/Kris Leonhardt
STEVENS POINT – On Oct. 29, the Friends of Emerson Park announced a new major award while breaking ground on the park’s new playground.
In January 2017, Friends of Emerson Park was created to obtain and repurpose the grounds of the former Emerson School. Final demolition of the school buildings occurred in 2002, but the land has sat vacant since that time.
In July 2018, the city purchased the land from the Stevens Point Area Public School District, and one month later, city leaders voted to dedicate the land as a park.
“First and foremost, I want to thank Meleesa Johnson, Mike Bialas, and Garrett Ryan for bringing this neighborhood together and creating the Friends of Emerson Park,” stated Ginger Keymer, who co-chairs the group along with Danielle Weaver, during the ground-breaking ceremony.
“We are here today because of their foundational efforts. They planted the seeds and nourished this project, and they were instrumental in creating this park space and persuading the school district to work with Mayor Mike Wiza and the city, and to get this property transferred and established as a public park for the city and community of Stevens Point.”
A capital campaign organized by the group now continues to raise funds for the project with the slogan “The Park in Our Heart,” which recently received a major boost.
“Ultimately, we are here to announce and honor a new cornerstone to this entire project. I am thrilled to share the news with you of a major leadership gift recently awarded to Emerson Park. The Seramur Family Foundation has awarded $100,000 for the Emerson Playground which moving forward will be The Seramur Family Foundation Playground,” she added.
“In addition, we were just notified by the board yesterday that they are pledging an additional $60,000 towards the site work, ground prep, excavation, and concrete costs, essentially providing funding for the entire scope of the playground project from start to finish.”
The Seramur Family Foundation Playground is Phase No. 1 of the three-phase park redevelopment plan, which also includes a multi-purpose basketball/pickleball area and a covered shelter area with restrooms. The majority of the 2.14 acres site will remain open as recreational event space.
The playground will be installed by mid-November.
For more information on the park, visit https://emersonparksp.org.