NEENAH (NBC 26) — The city of Neenah has been making plans to develop Arrowhead Park for decades. Now, those plans are in motion.
There is limited waterfront access left to develop in the Fox Valley. The city is planning to create an expansive park along Little Lake Butte Des Morts.
“When you look at all the water access we have here in the Fox Valley, there is very limited public access,” said Michael Kading, Neenah Parks and Recreation director.
The city will turn 10 acres into a prairie development. Currently, there is no prairie but the area is on a migration path so they are hoping to attract different types of birds and insects by creating this prairie. They have already planted native plants along the lake. The other 20 acres of land will become a multifaceted entertainment area.
“We’re looking at an amphitheater environment, active play equipment, potentially a climbing environment, sculptures, art. Just different rooms within the park,” said Kading.
The plans also include expanding and creating new paths through the park. The Neenah Historical Society hopes the development makes for a better connected downtown.
“It’s taking a previously blighted area of Neenah and turning it into a really accessible, usable space for people to enjoy. Hopefully phase two incorporates some trails coming to this side of the Main Street overpass so people can come find the historical society,” said Erica Suchyta, assistant executive director of the Neenah Historical Society.
There have been four plans for the park throughout the past few decades, and the city has been working on the most recent one since 2017.
“People want to know what the wow factor is for Arrowhead Park. I don’t believe it’s going to be one component. It’s going to be the totality of the project,” said Kading.
On Thursday, bidding opens for the pier and prairie opens. The city is looking forward to what comes next for Arrowhead Park.