Eau Claire Waterways Plan

The Weber Community Planning team prepared a plan for the corridors of the Chippewa and Eau Claire Rivers (30 miles of shoreline) plus five creeks and Half Moon Lake in the City of Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

The Eau Claire Waterways Plan was published in three volumes: (1) Plan Summary and Introduction, (2) Discovery Chapter and (3) Plans and Actions, including chapters on Parks and Trails, Land Use and Urban Design, Environmental and Cultural Resources, Economic Development, and Implementation Program.

The plan focused on recreation, redevelopment, natural resources and economic development while addressing the Comprehensive Plan elements of parks, trails, land use, urban design and historic resources. Also included was a program for land acquisition, funding, partnerships and regulatory adjustments plus a list of public and private actions according to priority. Of special interest to the City were recommendations on how to stabilize, replant and remediate steep and rip-rap riverbanks.

Many opportunities were provided for public engagement including interviews, neighborhood meetings and hands-on planning workshops. A Web site was maintained and a video prepared of the process and the outcome for use on the Internet.

More than 140 aerial photos, ground photos, sketches and maps complemented the text and brought the waterways to life.

Led by Bill Weber, the team included Phil Johnson, RLA, of Ayres Associates and Josh Suess of Suess Custom Maps. The City departments of Community Development, Parks, and Economic Development were involved. Other assistance was provided by the Wisconsin DNR and students and faculty from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Review was conducted by a citizens advisory committee plus the Plan Commission and the Waterways and Parks Commission.