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‘Thursdays at the U’ to focus on future of Rice Lake's Cedar Side Trail

| Linda Tollefsrud and Diane Walkoff

On Feb. 10, Craig Fowler and Kevin Jacobson will present “The Future of the Cedar Side Trail” to continue the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire – Barron County's “Thursdays at the U” spring lecture series. The presentation will be from 12:30-1:30 p.m. in the Blue Hills Lecture Hall (Room 234, Ritzinger Hall) on the Rice Lake campus.

Cedar Side Trail sign

On Feb. 10, Craig Fowler and Kevin Jacobson will discuss planned improvements to Rice Lake's Cedar Side Trail through city and county collaborations. (Submitted photo)

Fowler will cover how the Rice Lake Rotary Club became involved with the Cedar Side Trail project, including an overview of the trail system, the importance of the trail and the partnerships the club has developed through this work in and for the community.

Jacobson will discuss the club’s work to eradicate buckthorn on the trail, as well as how they are collaborating with the county in these efforts. The presentation will conclude with an aerial video and virtual tour of the entire trail system.

Having helped create and submit two separate funding proposals to the Rotary Club for the trail project, Fowler is pleased to report on the club’s significant support.

“The club enthusiastically supported and funded both proposals,” Fowler says. “There is so much more to the trail than just the popular Cedar Side loop, and Rotary has pledged to improve the public's understanding. The club also is committed to working with the city and county to develop a plan to control the spread of the invasive buckthorn plant that is choking out so many of the native plants and trees (and scenery) along the river.”

Fowler retired in July 2020 from his position as vice president and campus administrator for Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College in Rice Lake. He has been involved with the Rice Lake Rotary Club since 1998, serving as president in 2005-06. Jacobson, a retired optometrist, has been a Rotarian since 1986 and served as the club’s president in 1995-96.

The “Thursdays at the U” weekly series is free and open to the public thanks to support from the UW-Eau Claire – Barron County Foundation. Seating is open and reservations are not required.

Please note: Face masks are required inside all UW-Eau Claire buildings in Eau Claire, Rice Lake and Marshfield.

For more information about the series, call the campus at 715-788-6244 or email Dr. Linda Tollefsrud, the series organizer, at