RHINELANDER - The Tri-County Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault wants to raise awareness. It held the second annual chalk walk in Downtown Rhinelander today.
But this sidewalk chalk art had special meaning.
"We invite people to come out and decorate the sidewalk with messages of strength and hope, pictures that represent healing and the belief that victims do not have to be victims, they can be survivors," says Shellie Holmes, Tri-County Center Executive Director.
The council offers advocacy and shelter to anyone in an abusive situation they want out of.
The problem affects more people than you may think.
"Chances are that everyone knows someone, or has themselves, had an experience that wasn't ok with them. So we're hoping to raise awareness. We're hoping that if a victim is walking by they will know that we're talking about them and know that they don't have to suffer in silence; that there is healing," says Holmes.
The Council will hold a re-naming event for its domestic violence shelter Saturday. The open house is from 10:30 AM to 2 o'clock, and the re-dedication is at 11 AM.
FOREST COUNTY - Forest Count and Wisconsin Off-Road Vehicle Park Inc. (WORVPI) have found a 10,000 acre plot of land they would like to buy for an off-road park, according to WORVPI President John Schnorr.
Schnorr wouldn't discuss the exact location in Forest County, but said they would hope to buy the parcels by June 2014. Right now they’re contracting an engineering firm to evaluate the land.
"That's so environmental concerns can be met," Schnorr said. "We'll look at that as well as a pleasurable experience for an off-road visitor who is going to come up and spend hopefully a weeks vacation in Forest County."
Forest County leaders believe an off-road park could help bring more tourists to the area, and with that more money. The county has the fifth worst unemployment rate, 7.9 percent, in Wisconsin.
WORVPI used Ripon College to perform a feasibility study on the off-road park. It says the average off-roader will travel 300 miles to visit an off-road park. It also projected an off-road park could bring in nearly $28 million per year for Forest County businesses.
"It will take us some time to operate and open it up and develop the trails, the camp sites, the amenities inside," Schnorr said. "Realistically we could see an opening date of Memorial Day of 2015."
The park would host ATVs, motorcycles and other vehicles on off-road trails.
People can help fund the park by purchasing $150 charter membership passes. More than 30 have already been purchased. Schnorr says only 100 will be available.
"The pass will entitle the holder to a park pass, an annual park pass, for the first year when the park opens," Schnorr said. "It will give us some capital up front and afford them a discounted price down the road."
Even with the progress, Schnorr says the project is still in the early stages.
"If you are an optimist, you think a huge amount of progress has been made," Schnorr said. "But if you are a pessimist, not enough progress has been made."
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