City encourages ecological conservation for Riverside North proj - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

City encourages ecological conservation for Riverside North project

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) – As the city continues to ask for community input on the Riverside North redevelopment project, Earth Week is serving as a reminder of the importance of ecological conservation.

Mayor Tim Kabat, former Mayor Matt Harter, along with members of the Redevelopment Authority, said a plan for the 65-acre site must be environmentally conscious.

Riverside North, which includes the old Exxon-Mobil property, has wetlands and a floodplain, and connects to the Mississippi River. That's why protecting the environment, along with habitat restoration, are all factors, Kabat said.

“For those areas that are floodplain, to utilize trails—perhaps an extension of the International Gardens—doing things that are very low intensive on the use of land. But again, create an amenity there that's going to be very desirable,” Kabat said.

The city will host a Charrette, or week-long intensive planning process May 14-20.

Leading up to that, they are inviting the public to discussion sessions each month.

The next one is Thursday, April 24 at 7 p.m. at the Kumm Center on the Western Technical College Campus.

Panelists will lead the discussion on the environmental constraints of the area and conservation.

For a youth perspective on the project, the city asked student from Lincoln Middle School to come up with plans for the site.

“It's another way to just engage those students,” Kabat said. “Because those students are going to be the ones enjoying it decades from now.”

Kabat said he'll definitely be taking the students' work into consideration.

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