The Grafton Chamber of Commerce celebrated the new additions to Veterans Memorial Park with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday, Oct. 31.
Additions to the park include a 1,500-foot walking path with street lights along the riverfront, a staircase down to the river for ice skating, and a canoe and kayak lodge. The project was spearheaded by a 2014 grant from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources' Stewardship Fund program, which contributed 50 percent of the $225,000 needed to complete the project. An additional $25,000 was donated by Meijer.
The area has already seen a significant amount of construction this year. This summer, work was completed on stabilizing the shoreline of the Milwaukee River thanks to a grant from the Fund for Lake Michigan.
Jessica Wolff, director of planning and development for the village of Grafton, has been pleased with the community's use of the park and hopes the new additions will continue to attract more residents.
"We believe that we have created a destination and draw for our downtown area that will hopefully continue to attract more use for events and businesses," Wolff said.
Residents of the area were on hand for the ceremony and to see the changes to the park.
Bob Hoffmann, a longtime resident of Grafton, remembers watching kayak races on the river from the park.
"With all the band concerts and GALA events, this park has always been a great location," Hoffmann said. "They did a wonderful job with the work on the park and I hope more people come out to see it."