Walking path desired on Prairie Maison/Bluff Haven site

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The Growing Connections Walking Path is anticipated to be located on the southwest side of the Prairie Maison/Bluff Haven complex. It will feature trees, shrubs, flowers, decorative rock and bricks, benches, lighting, bridges and flowing water. (Drawing by Outdoor Creations)

By Correne Martin


A serene, lush and safe walking path will be enjoyed by residents and tenants of the Prairie Maison nursing home and Bluff Haven assisted living facility if the Community Health Services Foundation realizes its goal of raising approximately $69,000.

The proposed, 6-foot-wide, 752-foot-long, continuous walking path is an effort of the Growing Connections Campaign. This is driven by the non-profit foundation in celebration of the campus’ 10 year anniversary at its current location, with a goal of completion set for summer of 2020. 

“It will be on the southwest side of the complex, right as you drive in,” said Alesha Erdenberger, Bluff Haven/La Batisse (independent living) administrator. “A lot of our residents were walking down our driveway because our sidewalks weren’t long enough. This will be a calming place that will enhance life enrichment opportunities on our campus.”

CHSF is working with Outdoor Creations, of Monona, Iowa, to design the layout of the Growing Connections Walking Path. It will include native flowers and bushes, trees, decorative rock, bricks, benches and lighting. Also, since there’s a portion of the property that doesn’t drain well, Erdenberger said a couple areas will be dug out so flowing water with bridges to cross over can be incorporated. 

Currently, CHSF has about $40,000 toward the final cost of the project. There are also local businesses and individuals coming forward with in-kind pledges. For example, she said Universal Forest Products has committed to provide decking materials and the labor needed to install those portions of the project. Gale Beneker has also agreed to provide black dirt and decorative rock. 

“We started with our families, staff, tenants and vendors. Now we’re reaching out to area businesses, organizations and individuals for sponsorships,” Erdenberger said. “We want to grow awareness to this walking path and to our entity in general.”

As part of the campaign, CHSF is offering memorial and honorary bricks and pavers to members of the public who wish to financially support the walking path. These can be customized with special wording and/or graphics and logos. To inquire about purchasing one of these, contact Alesha at 326-3200 or email ame@chscwi.org. Dedications are also available for those interested in sponsoring benches and trees.

A groundbreaking is intended, Erdenberger said, though a date is not yet scheduled. 

Volunteer assistance with planting perennials, shrubs and trees will be welcome as the walking path comes closer to installation. 

CHSF is also planning a Business After 5 with the Prairie du Chien Area Chamber of Commerce to further bring awareness to the foundation, which started at the end of 2018, as well as share particulars about the project. 

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