Strong Towns

When I saw this in my Twitter feed the other day, I jumped on it. A long time ago, I remember my city had a promotional campaign and the signs that were placed along highways approaching our city seemed to say it all. “Wausau’s Got It.” One of the things I learned while growing up was that we can always make things better. I want to show the world that we are doing it right here in Wausau and doing it well.

One of the clear signs is the vitality of our downtown. The River District offers plenty of places for dining and entertainment. Arts Block featuring The Grand Theater and its Great Hall and the Center for Visual Arts adding to the culture.

Wausau is a fine place to raise a family. We are a small city in some respects, but we have a vibrant culture and it shows. Our city is a place for fine art. In the Leigh Yawkey Woodson, we have one of the finest small town art museums in Wisconsin. Named for the daughter of lumber baron Cyrus Yawkey, the LYW had its beginnings with what has become its signature exhibit “Birds In Art.” Its facility evolved from the home of John and Alice Forester (Alice being the daughter of Leigh Yawkey Woodson). It over looks the city from its perch on East Hill and is just a healthy walk from downtown.

If something is not right, if something is run down, if something is an eye sore, we don’t just let people sit around and complain about it. We are a city of doers. The East River Front was a hugely blighted area. The city and business leaders got together. The community foundation came in. Money flowed in from public and private sources. A private road was rebuilt as a public street. The River Edge Trail along the Wisconsin River was extended. A creek that was once underground is now on the surface meandering as creeks do.

Street lights and other lights along the River Edge Trail were put in and people are no longer walking in the dark. A restaurant with a video arcade came into being. Next will come apartments.

We like to be known to look upward here in Wausau. We welcome newcomers. We welcome new businesses.

Come to Wausau and know what a Strong Town is like.

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