Irvine Park Welcome Center ribbon cutting draws hundreds

Chippewa Falls (Chippewa Herald)

Chippewa Falls resident Rick Flynn has been following Irvine Park & Zoo’s new Welcome Center since the project’s early stages, but even he was amazed to see the quality of the nearly-finished product.

From big to small donations, time volunteered and energy put into building, it really was the whole city who made it happen. And the city who showed up.

A couple hundred people filled the new parking lot in front of Irvine Zoo’s Welcome Center Tuesday night for the ribbon cutting ceremony, arriving as early as an hour ahead of time.

The Chippewa Falls Area Chamber of Commerce and Parks Board held the ceremony to honor all of the hard work the community has put into the building. Mayor Greg Hoffman, Chamber chair Jenny Lemminger, Parks Director Dick Hebert, Parks Board President Beth Arneberg and capital campaign co-chairs Gerald Jacobson, Peg Leinenkugel, Patti Darley and Bob Hogseth all spoke to give their thanks to the community and excitement for the future of the park.