The group behind the effort to bring a zoo back to La Crosse's Myrick Park is asking the community to help make it happen. On Wednesday, members installed a new sign at the site of the former duck pond in Myrick Park. The sign encourages people to make donations.
Donations and potentially grant money will be used to preserve the existing buildings and build a pond around them. The goal is to return the site to how it looked when it was first built with "materials that will be able to sustain wear and tear of another 100 years," according to Sue Lacoste, President of the Myrick Park Community group.
The duck house on the site was designated a Historic Structure in February of 2016. It was designed by architect Otto Merman, who also contributed to ideas for the band-shell at Riverside Park, structures at Pettibone, and many older homes all over the La Crosse area.
"It's [the duck house structures] very significant to La Crosse. If you look at the little structure, everything is very unique in every way." says Lacoste. "It just makes sense for the city to have it restored and keep it a historical structure."
Estimates for the restoration work range up to $300,000. Lacoste says that number may come down. She's going to speak with the companies behind the estimates to make sure what they're planning on doing matches the original duck pond site, and not something bigger.
Lacoste calls the duck pond project Phase One in her group's effort. She says Phase Two will probably include playground equipment and possibly rides. A zoo would be Phase Three.
Learn more about this effort at the Myrick Park Community website.