Editor’s note: This is the first of two stories about 2021 SPARK Grant recipients.
HUDSON — The history of Hudson stretches back nearly 200 years.
The Lakefront Heritage Project wants that history’s story to stretch through Lakefront Park, for residents and visitors alike to enjoy.
“As we’ve been doing our research on what draws people to a community, history really floats to the top,” Christiansen Creative Director Tricia Christensen said.
The project, a collaboration between the Hudson Chamber of Commerce, St. Croix County Historical Society and Christiansen Creative, was one of two SPARK Grant winners this year.
The Hudson Community Foundation awards SPARK grants each year to projects that are innovative, will grow in the community and improve the community, Marketing Committee Chair Tracy Habisch-Ahlin said. The Lakefront Heritage Project received a $2,500 grant.
“What we liked about it was it provided information about our community in a new format that was exciting to us,” she said. “Having htat information throughout the community, providing our history, that was cool.”
The project would extend through Lakefront Park with signage on the Hudson archway and the 20-plus lampposts in the park. Each sign would display information about Hudson’s history.
“That’s a really nice pathway to tell a story,” Christiansen said.
As the city continues to grow, the project would serve as a look back into how it started.
“Hudson’s got a great story,” Christiansen said.
As a sixth-generation Hudsonsite, Christiansen was excited to be a part of the project.
“The Hudson history story is important to capture,” she said. “The older I get too, the more interesting it is diving into how did this town start. Growing up here there’s been so many changes.”
The setup will be accessible to anybody, Christiansen said.
All of the work behind the project is being donated. The total cost of the materials will be about $9,400.
If the full funds are raised, implementation of the project would mean first working with the city for approval, and then working with the St. Croix County Historical Society on content.
“They will help craft the story. The chamber will help promote it and make sure that all of our local entities know about it, but then also people coming in to visit will know about it as well,” she said.
The SPARK Grant is a big step in making the project a reality.
“We’re just all thrilled because I feel like we’re missing that story that we can share with everyone,” Christiansen said.
The group will be reaching out and applying for grants with other organizations. Those interested in supporting the project can donate to the Hudson Chamber foundation.
The goal is to have the pieces installed for spring of 2022.