From the City of Pine City:
Supporters and volunteers have poured generous donations and thousands of hours of volunteer labor into transforming Hilltop Park, and now it's time to celebrate.
The community is invited to check out all the new amenities at the newly-renamed Hillside Recreation Area at an open house on Wednesday, Jan. 19 from 4-6 p.m.
Pine City Parks and Rec Director Stacy O'Rourke said the open house is especially to recognize the people behind the building on the site known as the "Warming House" - a brand new multiuse building with a lobby, four locker rooms, and flush bathrooms.
"It's a really great space, and we want to show off all the work that Pine City Youth Hockey and all the many volunteers involved in this project have done," O'Rourke said. "These volunteers do incredible work, and we're so thankful for them."
She said the project would never have happened without the ideas, support and hard work coming from Pine City Youth Hockey.
"They came up with a plan and they brought it to the school system and the city," she said. "They really wanted the focus of this plan to be revitalizing Hilltop Park - not just for hockey, but for the community as a whole. Their big focus is fitness, and fitness at all ages."
And they're not done yet. Coming up is Phase 3 of the project, which will be paid for in part with a $250,000 grant from the DNR. This phase will turn the park into a four-seasons area, putting a sidewalk network through the park, and paving one of the boarded rinks.
"That will make it the largest concreted space in Pine City," O'Rourke said. "We'll be able to have pickleball courts, and a full-size basketball court. We'll be able to do some free programming, like planning a roller rink or movie nights or street dances - it's just a great activity space."
She said the other outdoor rink area will remain grass underneath. "That will give us a location to have bags tournaments or soccer - just lots of different options that we're going to be able to bring to that park."
After that work is done, they are looking to a Phase 4, which will be building a cover over the concreted rink, giving longer ice playtimes in the winter and protection from the sun and rain during the summer months.
But on Jan. 19, it'll be time to honor the community organizations, local companies and individuals who made significant contributions to the new multi-use Warming House building, in both money and time.
"That building was built with volunteer labor," O'Rourke said. "Most of the supplies were even donated. It's just amazing what they did."