Your guide to family events, stories and news in Western Wisconsin.


Up to 12 'Born Learning Trails' to Be Installed Throughout Chippewa Valley

Irvine Park's 'Born Learning Trail.
Irvine Park's 'Born Learning Trail."

Ten area communities in Chippewa and Eau Claire counties have approved the installation of Born Learning Trails in their area parks. These are in addition to the Born Learning Trail installed last year at Irvine Park in Chippewa Falls. One more trail is pending approval.

Born Learning Trails are research-based outdoor activity paths for parents and caregivers to walk through with their young children to encourage them to talk, listen, read, think, imagine and create. These trails support United Way of the Greater Chippewa Valley’s Successful Children’s Network initiative which brings programs and resources together to ensure all children enter school ready to succeed.

A trail was installed on June 8 at Brunet Falls Park in Cornell, sponsored by Northwestern Bank, and on June 13 in Fairchild City Park in Fairchild, sponsored by United Way Emerging Leaders Society.  Additional trails are approved for Augusta, Altoona, Bloomer, Cadott, Eau Claire, Lake Hallie, New Auburn and Stanley. United Way is awaiting final approval for a trail in Fall Creek.

Volunteers from Cornell Area Betterment Association, Northwestern Bank, United Way Emerging Leaders Society, Hi-Crush and Bush Beans have been recruited for the first three installs, with additional help provided by City of Cornell workers. Volunteers for upcoming installations are still welcome and can contact United Way by email at or by calling 715-834-5043.

Ribbon-cutting ceremonies are planned for each trail location, with public welcome to attend. The ceremonies scheduled so far include: Liberty Reading Park in Augusta on Monday, June 19 at 4:00 P.M.; Fairchild City Park on June 21 at noon; and Brunet Falls Park in Cornell on June 22 at 3:30 P.M.

Businesses or organizations interested in sponsoring a Born Learning Trail can contact Kathy Cooper, Successful Children’s Network volunteer coordinator, at 715-834-5043.

United Way of the Greater Chippewa Valley has supported the human services of Chippewa and Eau Claire counties for over 50 years. It brings community members and resources together to ensure that children in the Chippewa Valley will enter school ready to succeed, Chippewa Valley residents will achieve self-sufficiency, and the mental health of Chippewa Valley residents will improve.

This was made by

Andrea Paulseth  photographer

Andrea Paulseth has been the part-time staff photographer with Volume One since 2009, trying her best to draw in the reader with off camera lighting skill and editorial style photography.