From the variety of parks, downtown attractions, and the picturesque Wisconsin River – Wausau is a growing city, packed with things to see and do.
From the variety of parks, downtown attractions, and the picturesque Wisconsin River – Wausau is a growing city, packed with things to see and do. The Community Foundation at its core is a community connector. For over 33 years, we have connected the passions of our donors with various attractions throughout Wausau. Read more here about local attractions the Community Foundation has helped make a reality to enjoy your summer in Wausau!
| Wausau River Life
More than 17 acres of prime riverfront property along the Wisconsin River in Wausau has been reclaimed from blight and redeveloped into a vibrant destination for recreation, entertainment, dining, and high-end urban living. The multi-million-dollar Riverfront Development Project was supported by a grant of over $1 million from the Lawrence & Jane Sternberg Rivers Edge Development Fund—a component fund within the Community Foundation—and grants totaling $96,000 from various Community Enhancement Funds.
| 400 Block
Wausau’s 400 Block is rich in history as the former home of the Marathon County Courthouse and various retail stores. The square was cleared of buildings and designated as a public gathering space in 2002. The Community Foundation worked closely with the City of Wausau and community leaders in the development of this community gathering space. The Foundation administered a project fund that collected the $1.2 million needed to develop the space, which features a bandshell, water fountain, green space, and seating areas. The 400 Block is currently home to a variety of events such as Concerts on the Square, Chalkfest, Festival of Arts, and other events supported through grants of the Community Foundation.
| JoJo’s Jungle
JoJo’s Jungle is a unique setting where children of any ability can play and is another wonderful addition to the heart of our community. JoJo’s Jungle utilized a fiscal sponsorship fund within the Community Foundation, was awarded a Community Enhancement Grant of $50,000, and a recipient of an anonymous Donor Advised challenge grant that launched the campaign to the finish line. The Community Foundation is proud of its partnership in this project, not only as a funder but also as a fund administrator.
| Rib Mountain State Park
Rib Mountain State Park is a unique natural treasure for the citizens of Marathon County, the region, and the state. Its trails, recreational opportunities, history, and scenic beauty offer people access to the great outdoors with close proximity to downtown Wausau. The Community Foundation has partnered with Rib Mountain State Park in various capacities including a grant for the building of the Friends Gathering Shelter, and the Summit Players Theatre summer state parks program.
| Wausau Whitewater
Wausau’s Whitewater Park is an international attraction, located just a few blocks from downtown. The park offers an information tent, food, kayak vendors, training, competition, and recreation. Wausau Whitewater hosts a variety of competitive events including Freestyle and Slalom competitions at local, national, and international levels. Whitewater Park offers you the chance to participate in introductory and advanced training classes as well as recreational paddling days! The Community Foundation is proud to have supported phase two of the Whitewater Park improvements through a Community Enhancement Grant. The organization did a great job making this “hot spot” in downtown Wausau an even more attractive venue for whitewater sports viewing and participation.
| Wausau Water Walkers
The Central Wisconsin Water Ski Show Team provides quality show entertainment, develops the sport and skill of water skiing, and promotes team spirit within a family environment. The Central Wisconsin Water Ski Show Team performs free water ski shows twice weekly from June-Labor Day. Lake Wausau shows are Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. at DC Everest Park, 1800 S. 3rd Ave., Wausau. The organization installed a new dock at the D.C. Everest Park thanks to a $10,000 grant from the Marvin and Ruth Schuette Fund of the Community Foundation. The organization is able to host larger, safer, and enhanced shows thanks to the generosity of this grant.
| Alexander Airport Park
It’s impossible to miss Alexander Airport Park on Wausau’s southeast side. It’s the one with an A7 Corsair airplane on display and an aviation-themed playground complete with a control tower, life-sized fuselage, and sidewalks that exactly replicate the runways and taxiways of Wausau Downtown Airport located across the street. The former Airport Park was transformed in 2017 and renamed in honor of the Alexander family, whose generosity led to the building of the airport in the 1920s. The park’s makeover was the vision of the Southeast Side Neighborhood Group, who undertook a capital campaign to raise $600,000 to bring their vision to life. To accept and manage donations, the group established a project fund within the Community Foundation.
| Greater Wausau Area Pickleball
Greater Wausau Area Pickleball, in conjunction with the Wausau & Marathon County Parks, Recreation & Forestry, has completed a major project at Marathon Park. There are now nine dedicated pickleball courts that are open for public use. A Community Enhancement Grant of $10,000 was given toward the project from the Marvin & Ruth (Rudie) Schuette Fund of the Community Foundation.
| Central Wisconsin Offroad Cycling
North central Wisconsin is home to a growing and active mountain bike community. thanks to the Central Wisconsin Offroad Cycling Coalition. The Central Wisconsin Offroad Cycling Coalition is a nonprofit organization focused on making Central Wisconsin a better and more diverse mountain bike destination. CWOCC oversees the development and maintenance of six trail systems in the Wausau region: Nine Mile, the Big Eau Pleine, the Underdown, Sylan Hill Bike Park, Ringle Trails, and Prairie Dells. Since 2013, the Community Foundation has supported CWOCC through multiple grants totaling over $78,000 for bike trail improvements.