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New Community Square in Eagle River now fully open to public

The Community Square is located on West Wall Street in Eagle River.
Dan Dumas/Northwoods Mediaworks
The Community Square is located on West Wall Street in Eagle River.

Especially on summer days, downtown Eagle River is often busy with shoppers, visitors, and people who live nearby.

But public space has been limited and public restrooms have been hard to find.

The Rotary Club of Eagle River sought to solve those issues, and now, a new public greenspace and gathering spot is now fully open.

What’s now the Community Square underwent a half-million-dollar transformation from its previous state.

“We had a vacant lot in downtown Eagle River that was getting no use. It had a history of being an old service station and kind of being an eyesore,” said Rotary Club President Jed Lechleitner.

Fundraising for the project was kicked off by a $125,000 donation by Rotarian Carol Hendricks.

The square features artificial turf, shaded picnic tables, year-round public restrooms, and a building with an interior space for warming and serving food.

“The community stepped up in a huge way and was very supportive. It came much quicker than I expected. It was pretty amazing to see. I always say that you can kind of gauge the community’s acceptance of a project by how much money they’re willing to put at it,” Lechleitner said. “This one just came together really quickly. It was really fun and easy for us.”

Lechleitner said many Rotarians volunteered their time to help build the space.

“It’s been a really good thing to see,” he said. “It’s kind of given our club kind of a purpose here in the last couple years and it’s been a really good thing for the community and kind of everybody involved.”

The Community Square is always open to the public, but it will also host some special events.

On Saturday, June 29, the square will host an all-day summer kickoff featuring chalk art, food trucks, a beer garden, and live music.

The event is a fundraiser for ongoing maintenance costs.

Ben worked as the Special Topics Correspondent at WXPR from September 2019 until November 2021. He then contributed with periodic stories until 2024. During his full-time employment, his main focus was reporting on environment and natural resources issues in northern Wisconsin and Michigan's Upper Peninsula as part of The Stream, a weekly series.
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