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Menomonie Public Library receives Vibrant Spaces Grant


The City of Menomonie announced today that it is receiving a $44,250 Vibrant Spaces grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) to upgrade the Menomonie Public Library’s waterfront space to encourage community and economic development.


The Vibrant Spaces grant program is designed to help cities and towns revitalize underused spaces to build community and attract future residents. Through this grant program, communities across the state of Wisconsin will be investing in their workforce attraction and small business development by creating inviting, walkable spaces in their downtowns, gateway districts, and economic centers.


“Investing in vibrant communities where people want to live, work, and raise families is critical to attracting and retaining workers in our state,” said Missy Hughes, secretary and CEO of WEDC, the state’s leading economic development organization. “These grants will help communities create new gathering places in thriving downtowns to draw in residents, visitors, new businesses and investments.”


As a part of a broader initiative to create welcoming spaces for visitors and future residents, the City of Menomonie aims to reimagine the Menomonie Public Library’s waterfront space and further connect it to existing walking and biking trails. WEDC’s Vibrant Spaces grant will help fund the construction of an accessible outdoor patio, seating, and hammocks, as well as additional landscaping. Located on Lake Menomin, this outdoor area will provide space for members of the community to work and socialize. The space will be an inviting space for families spending the day outside and remote workers looking for a change of scenery. Additionally, the hammocks and public Wi-Fi will provide teens and young adults with a space to gather and socialize in the community.


“I'm pleased to announce that in addition to the $77,000 that was gifted to us by the Joan Polasky estate, we have leveraged that gift to qualify us for a grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation for $44,250, to do even more good with that gift! By the end of 2024, we will have developed an "outdoor lounge" space for library visitors to use, complete with shade trees, lounge tables & chairs, an outdoor fire feature, and a hammock lounge,” said library director, Joleen Sterk.

Since public funding does not cover all of the library’s costs, the library is extremely grateful for generous grants such as this so it can continue to make a positive impact in the lives of people in Dunn County.


If you are interested in donating a gift of any amount, please contact Joleen Sterk, Menomonie Public Library Director.


The Vibrant Spaces Grant program is an initiative within WEDC’s Community Development and Investment (CDI) grant program. Projects were evaluated based on their ability to create visible and pedestrian oriented public spaces that attract and accommodate multiple users and activities. Successful projects demonstrated that they would benefit the local district, nearby businesses and the community as a whole. Communities were required to match grant funds and begin construction this summer.


More information can be found online at: https://wedc.org/programs-and-resources/vibrant-spaces/


ABOUT THE WISCONSIN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) leads economic development efforts for the state by advancing and maximizing opportunities in Wisconsin for businesses, communities and people to thrive in a globally competitive environment. Working with more than 600 regional and local partners, WEDC develops and delivers solutions representative of a highly responsive and coordinated economic development network. Visit wedc.org or follow WEDC on Twitter @WEDCNews to learn more.


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