The Cleghorn School Park started after the Township of Pleasant Valley was offered to purchase the Cleghorn Elementary School back from the Eau Claire School District after it closed. The site consisted of a school house, 9.3 acres, playground equipment, walking nature trail, private well and septic system.
The Township bought the parcel in 2003 for $1 with the condition that they would agree to cover the costs of demolition. They had to have the school inspected for asbestos, salvage what was worthwhile, tear down the school house and have the rubble removed, and removed the old blacktop paving. The well and septic were found to be working order.
The community of Cleghorn and the Township residents met the financial challenge to accomplish all of this and more. The closing of this school was very emotional for the community and residents turned out in full force to raise the money needed to turn a sad situation into a good one. The first year they did a fundraiser that involved the whole community. Since the first big fundraiser, they now host a Fall Harvest Festival every year to celebrate the work that has been done as well as to continue to raise funds to expand the Park. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources provided the Cleghorn School Park with a grant in the amount of $66,736 to ensure that the park would remain as a green space for the community. The park also received a $15,000 grant as a result of efforts made by State Representative Jeff Smith. Community members have donated hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars to build a park that families can enjoy.
What has been accomplished so far: A new pavilion with public restrooms, state-approved serving kitchen, and two storage areas were built. Additionally, a small shelter was built that may be used for grilling and/or for picnics. The parking area and driveways were paved with blacktop.
The second phase of the project was the building of the ball field. Designed to accommodate softball or Little League baseball games, the site began with addition of some fill, grading, installation of the irrigation system and seeding of grass. This was done in the fall of 2008. Funds for this project began with memorials and in-kind work done in memory of Ronald Anderson.
To date we have received $66,736 through a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources grant, cash donations totaling $53,573 and $74,515 worth of in-kind labor, supplies and materials. We have documented total expenditures to date of $194,824. We know that there were more contributions made, but we do not have the documentation of value. For example, someone provided the kitchen with new stainless steel serving dishes, and a group of neighborhood ladies had their own fundraiser to purchase multiple large roasters and large coffee pots.