YMCA Gifts the Community with Peterson Park

• As the northeast portion of the City of Sturgeon Bay has developed, there had been no provision of common green spaces to mirror that residential growth. Not only are these green spaces important for children to run and jump and swing, but more importantly, they provide space where kids can learn basic social skills, be creative and use their powers of imagination in their play.

To fill this need, the YMCA has joined with the Sturgeon Bay Parks Commission to provide an amazing privately funded 10-acre public park north of the YMCA on Michigan Avenue. The YMCA owned and managed park will be a “park for the community” and be named Peterson Park. A gift from Carla and Ellsworth Peterson funded the acquisition of the property in 2013 and will fully fund the initial phase of construction and improvements.

Initial improvements will include walking paths, sports facilities, an amphitheater used for exercise classes and more. Discussions are in progress with local partners to improve selected areas of the site as prairie gardens.

The YMCA has engaged KaBOOM!, the nationally known nonprofit organization which has a longstanding track record of engaging the community and creating well-designed playgrounds in a single day. It is hoped that additional funds will be raised this year to construct the community playground in the spring of 2015.

Tom Beerntsen, YMCA president and CEO, said “Peterson Park will be a unique public amenity for our community and is a testimony to the extraordinary generosity of the Peterson family. As additional funding is made available, we will continue to add program components to the Park area. We believe that the great thing about the eventual KaBOOM! build out of the playground area is that it will engage our community’s spirit of volunteerism and bring all of us closer together.”

For more information on the Peterson Park Project or how you can assist with the project, contact Tom Beerntsen or Cindy Weber, the YMCA Vice President of Resource Development, at the YMCA.