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City park features solar canopy

Construction crews are building a solar canopy shelter at Groholski Park in Stevens Point. Submitted Photo

Shelter built in Groholski Park

The newest neighborhood park in Stevens Point features a solar canopy shelter.

The shelter currently under construction at Groholski Park is the first of its kind to be installed in a municipal park in Wisconsin.

Scheduled for completion in July, the solar canopy shelter will provide shade to park visitors and power a free charging station for electric vehicles.

It will generate more energy than the park will consume. The surplus energy will be sold back to the utility company.

“We are thrilled to see Groholski Park taking shape,” said Stevens Point Mayor Mike Wiza “This project not only enhances our community’s recreational options but also exemplifies our dedication to green, renewable energy initiatives. It’s the first of it’s kind and a monumental step forward for our city park system.”

Family donation

The Groholski Park project was made possible through donation from the Judy Groholski Family in November 2020.

The donation included 10 acres of land dedicated to creating and protecting additional public green space and wetlands.

The land was zoned as a conservancy, and the city committed to developing a neighborhood park on the portion adjacent to the street within five years from the donation.

Planning began immediately with city staff, under the direction of Wiza, exploring innovative ways to ensure the park would have a net-zero impact on the energy grid and possibly generate renewable energy for the community.

Groholski Park also includes a walking and biking trail along a scenic path around the perimeter of the greenspace and adjacent the wetland.

The path is less than a block from the Schrader Connection and will give nearby residents the ability to take a stroll around the park.

The official opening is anticipated in late August, following the completion of the park’s final grading and greenspace seeding.

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