Monday, December 21, 2009

Santa in the Park draws a large crowd

Santa came to the Village of Bellevue a little early this year, stopping at Josten Park with three of his reindeer on December 19th.

The Village of Bellevue Leisure Services department partnered with local Girl Scouts Troop 4638 to sponsor the event which had over 300 children, parents and grandparents attend. Children were able to sit in Santa’s sleigh, see his reindeer, participate in a craft project and sip hot chocolate.

“It was great to collaborate with the Girl Scouts and continue to build partnerships that help create a sense of community,” said Joel Gregozeski, Director of Leisure Services. Lindsey Novak, who organized the event and serves as the recreation supervisor for the village said, “it was a true joy catching the smiles on the faces of the kids, parents and grandparents.”

This was the first year the Leisure Services Department offered Santa in the Park. It plans to review evaluations submitted from participants and offer the program again next year.

To view pictures from the event, go to the Village's FaceBook page at:

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Village of Bellevue launches new web site

The Village of Bellevue has launched a revamped web site designed to be highly interactive and user friendly.

“We invite and encourage our residents to visit the new site,” said Village Administrator Aaron Oppenheimer. “It represents a strong collaborative effort between village departments and is designed to be informative and responsive to the needs of our residents. The site can also grow with the Village as we move ahead.”

Joel Gregozeski, Leisure Services Director, was responsible for coordinating the new site.

“The new site is more than a face lift, it is a completely new way of communicating” said Gregozeski. “The public will be able to view and register for Village recreation programs, view ordinances, agendas and minutes as well as participate in online surveys.”

The Village launched the new site on December 3rd. Development of the site was completed by staff. In addition, hosting and maintenance of the site has become more internalized saving the Village roughly $1,500 annually in hosting costs.

Some of the new features include a printer-friendly events calendar that will be linked to the Village Board and Commission agendas and minutes for meetings; an interactive organizational chart and interactive polling asking residents how they like the new site and how they feel about Village services.

Oppenheimer praised the new sites ability for flexible content management allowing changes on a moment’s notice or as questions and needs arise. “We feel that this is a wise investment,” said Oppenheimer, “an interactive web site is vitally important for communication between the village government and our residents. Our web site, will bring more information to our citizens at a lower cost and in a more timely and intuitive manner. We will also be able to create additional features to take advantage of new technologies.”

The site address is

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Roger VandenLangenberg is named 2009 Wisconsin Park & Recreation Association's Honorary Fellowship Award recipient

On November 5, 2009, during the Wisconsin Park & Recreation Association's (WPRA) annual awards banquet, Roger VandenLangenberg was named the Honorary Fellowship Award recipient.

The award is given to recognize individuals who have made outstanding achievements or contributions to the parks and recreation movement. The impact of their contribution must be of major significance to the local community or go beyond the local community.

Mr. VandenLangenberg has been involved in the Bellevue community for over 35 years, with many accomplishments benefiting and promoting parks and leisure services.

Entering his 14th year as the Village of Bellevue's Park Commission Chair, Roger has been directly involved in helping the Village accomplish several key initiatives, such as;
  • The creation and development of the Village’s first official Parks and Recreation Department later re-created into the Leisure Services Department.

  • The acquisition of 75% of the Village's current parkland.

  • The development of the East River Trail Parkway, Willow Creek Park and Bower Creek Park.

  • The construction of three community built playgrounds.

  • The development of the Village’s Urban Forestry Program.

  • The development of a Senior Advisory Board, on which he currently serves.

  • The creation of multiple successful recreation programs for all age groups.

Roger has also been involved in a multitude of other community service projects, such as;

  • Volunteering with the Bellevue Youth Softball program for over 35 years.

  • Serving as the Town Chairman for four years and a Town Supervisor for nine years.

  • Involvement in the Bellevue Business and Professional Association for approximately 30 years.

  • Assisting with the Annual Community Picnic.

  • Acting as a project leader in gardening for four years in the local 4-H.

  • Helping raise over $200,000 over the past 30 years for his local church’s school athletic department.

  • Serving on his church’s athletic committee for 30 years.

The Village of Bellevue is proud of Roger for his passion and dedication to improving the quality of life in our community.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Village of Bellevue Seeks Public Input on Walking, Bicycling and Safe Routes to School Plan

The Village of Bellevue will host two upcoming meetings pertaining to the potential adoption of a new Pedestrian, Bicycle and Safe Routes to School Plan.

A Public Informational Meeting will be held at the Village Hall (3100 Eaton Road) Wednesday, October 14, 2009 from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. During this time, Village staff will provide an overview of the draft plan and respond to questions and comments.

A formal Public Hearing will be held during the regularly scheduled meeting of the Village Board on Wednesday, October 14, 2009 at 6:31pm also at Village Hall. The purpose of this hearing is to obtain public input on the Village’s proposal to adopt a Pedestrian, Bicycle and Safe Routes to School Plan as an element of the Village’s Comprehensive Plan. At the hearing, all interested persons will have an opportunity to be heard, and action will be considered.

The proposed Pedestrian, Bicycle and Safe Routes to School Plan can be found on the Village’s web site at A copy may also be reviewed in the Village Office (2828 Allouez Avenue.) More information about this request is available at the Village Offices during normal business hours, 7:30 am to 4:30 PM, Monday through Friday.

Planning Project Background
The planning process started as a goal to make walking routes to school safer. “Once the planning process began however, we realized the entire community needs to be safer and more accessible for pedestrians and bicyclists” states Joel Gregozeski, Director of Leisure Services and Safe Routes to School Task Force Coordinator for the Village. So the village made it a priority to develop a long range plan to achieve this goal. The benefits of improved biking and walking span from improved health and safety for school children, to economic development and a cleaner environment. These benefits are why the Village Board and the Task Force found that a long range plan for walking and biking in Bellevue was important. The village’s Pedestrian, Bicycle & Safe Routes Task Force is leading the planning process with technical support by Brown County Health Department, Brown County Planning Department and Peter Flucke of WE BIKE, etc. The village presently has limited pedestrian and bicycle facilities, lacks connectivity and is challenged by a variety of barriers. The most obvious barriers are Interstate 43 and State Highway 172 which effectively divide the community into three distinct sections. Natural barriers also exist, such as steep ravines and stream crossings. According to Gregozeski “Walking or biking to school, parks, retail centers, the workplace, for example, is difficult due to a lack of safe pedestrian and bicycle facilities."

The process of developing the Pedestrian, Bicycle & Safe Routes Plan began in January. A community wide survey was completed by the St. Norbert Survey Center. Results of the survey indicated that many residents wanted to see additional sidewalks and most residents wanted to see more recreational trails. In additional to the community survey, the Task Force hosted a Public Workshop in May to gather input directly from interested residents.
The long range Pedestrian, Bicycle & Safe Routes Plan will establish a vision for the future of walking and biking in Bellevue along with specific recommendations for achieving that vision. While the long range plan cannot promise to immediately solve the challenges that the village is facing, some of the plan’s recommendations will be short range in nature. Other plan recommendations may be more complex and could take over twenty years before they are realized.

Work Completed to Date
The planning process is still in its final stages; however several successes have occurred as a result of the planning process. The Village has received a grant through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to place sidewalks and bicycle lanes along a significant portion of Verlin Road. In addition, a state grant was awarded to upgrade a section of Manitowoc Road to include sidewalk and bicycle lanes. Bill Balke, Director of Public Works for the Village states “The completion of these projects provide a means to safely connect residents from the northwest side of Bellevue to parks, schools, government offices, shopping, health care facilities, and the East Side YMCA. This will be significant for our community’s overall connectivity.”

Friday, September 4, 2009

Parks and Playground Use Up in Down Economy

A recent study suggest the economic downturn has spurred a sharp increase in public park and playground use among families with kids, especially those with children younger than 6 years old. Here are the results of a poll conducted on behalf of TPL by Harris Interactive from July 28-30, 2009. The sample included 2,095 U.S. adults aged 18 years and older.

The poll asked this question: "During this period of economic difficulty, have you and your family changed how much you make use of public parks and playgrounds?"

Those who responded fell into one of four groups and were given a choice of three responses:
  1. We make greater use of public parks and playgrounds;
  2. use public parks and playgrounds the same amount;
  3. or make less use of public parks and playgrounds.

All groups showed increased use, but two groups in particular showed a sharp increase.

Park users with children in the household:

  • greater use 30%
  • same use 60%
  • less use 10%

Park users with children under age 6 years in the household:

  • greater use 38%
  • same use 51%
  • less use 10%

Source: Trust for Public Lands

Monday, August 31, 2009

Village Citizen Listening Session

The Village contracted with St. Norbert College’s Survey Center to complete a citizen survey in January of 2009. Excellent feedback was received from residents through this process. In continuation of the Village’s efforts to gain citizen involvement in decision making, the Village will be hosting a citizen listening session.

This session will be held on Tuesday, September 1st at 6:00 p.m. at the Public Safety Building, 3100 Eaton Road. The session will primarily focus on matters affecting residents and businesses located east of Interstate 43.

The listening sessions are similar to a town hall meeting which is intended to provide an informal atmosphere to discuss a variety of topics. Members of the Village Board and staff will be in attendance to answer questions, address concerns and collect input from residents.

Refreshments will be served at the sessions. We look forward to seeing everyone there.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Village of Bellevue Completes Willow Creek Park & Hosts Ribbon Cutting

The Village of Bellevue recently completed Willow Creek Park. The 10 acre park is located at 1800 Guns Street. It features an open shelter with accessible restrooms, a playground for youth ages 2 through 12 years, three soccer fields, picnic tables, drinking fountain, off-street parking and a rain garden.

The Bellevue Leisure Services Department will be hosting a grand opening, ribbon cutting ceremony to welcome its newest addition. The ceremony will take place on Wednesday, August 19th at 6:30pm. The general public is encouraged to attend.

For more information on the completed project, future park projects or the ribbon cutting ceremony, please visit the village’s website at or call the Leisure Services Department at (920) 468-5225.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Village of Bellevue Receives Funding to Construct Bicycle Lanes and Sidewalks on Verlin and Manitowoc Roads.

The Village of Bellevue received grant funding in the amount of $465,425 from the Department of Transportation for the addition of bicycle lanes and sidewalk on both sides of Verlin Road. The improvements, scheduled for 2010, will be from Main Street to Bellevue Street. The project was submitted by the Village of Bellevue as part of a comprehensive plan to add bicycle and pedestrian facilities on high traffic roads throughout the community.

The Verlin Road Project will be coordinated with the Manitowoc Road Project which will also be completed in 2010. Manitowoc Road will be resurfaced adding bicycle lanes and sidewalk from Allouez Avenue to Main Street. Earlier this year, the Village received grant funding in the amount of $1.25 million for Manitowoc Road from Allouez Avenue to Eaton Road. The remainder from Eaton Road to Verlin Road will be funded jointly by the Department of Transportation, Brown County and the Village. Once completed, residents will be able to safely bicycle or walk from Huron Road (County Road EA) to Bellevue Street (County Road (XX).

We are excited that the Village of Bellevue received this vital funding from the Department of Transportation. This project will improve safety, provide connectivity, stimulate the economy and enhance the overall quality of life in Bellevue.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Parks & Leisure Services Offers Many Benefits

Parks and leisure services are an essential part of a healthy community. It positively impacts health, crime prevention, the environment, the economy, and the quality of life. A benefit is anything that is for the good of a person or thing. There are many well-researched and quantifiable benefits of having parks and recreation in our community.

This information is a compilation of benefits statements and research information from the National Recreation and Park Association and the Wisconsin Park & Recreation Association.

Personal Benefits

  • Physical recreation and fitness activities contribute to a full and meaningful life
  • Balance between work and play
  • Life satisfaction
  • Quality of life
  • Personal development and growth
  • Physical activity reduces the risk of stress-related disease and helps a person live longer

Social Benefits

  • Connected families. Recreating together builds strong families, the foundation of a stronger community.
  • Supports youth, provides outlets for conflict resolution.
  • Reduces crime and delinquency. Recreation - or incarceration? We want kids in our courts - the basketball court, tennis court, volleyball court - not in the juvenile court system!
  • Meaningful recreation activities help reduce the high cost of vandalism and criminal activity. It gives kids a safe place to go and channel their energy in positive directions.
  • Integrated and accessible recreational services and facilities are critical to the quality of life for people with a disability and disadvantaged individuals.
  • Recreational opportunities, facilities and beauty of the local environment are an essential foundation of community pride.
  • Community recreation enhances ethnic and cultural understanding, harmony and tolerance.

Economic Benefits

  • Pay now, or pay more later! Investment in parks and recreation as a preventative health service makes sense.
  • Reduced health care costs and productive workforce
  • Recreation, sports and fitness improves work performance, increases productivity, and decreases absenteeism and staff turnover.
  • Parks and recreation services help motivate relocation and expansion in our community.
  • Parks and recreation facilities are catalysts for tourism.
  • Enhanced land and property values.

Environmental Benefits

  • Clean water, clean air
  • Preserves wildlife
  • Reduces pollution
  • Protection of the eco system
  • Provides places to enjoy nature's beauty
  • Source of community pride
  • Preservation of open space

These are just some of the ways that park and leisure services benefit you, the community, and your neighbors.

Friday, July 10, 2009

The Village of Bellevue Announces New Blog

The Village is happy to announce our new Blog. Village staff will provide information, updates and emergency notifications on this blog. In addition to blogging, the Village has established a Twitter account ( and a Facebook page ( These resources will be used to improve communication between Village staff and residents and save printing and mailing costs.

I hope that this Blog will be useful to you.

Best Wishes,
Aaron Oppenheimer
Village Administrator

July is Parks & Recreation Month!

Since 1985, the National Recreation and Park Association has designated July as National Parks and Recreation Month. Everyone in Bellevue, whether they know it or not, celebrates the benefits of parks and recreation each and every day, by visiting their neighborhood park, walking or biking on trails and paths, playing ball and attending events like Movie in the Park and the Senior Picnic.

Parks and recreation facilities, programs and services provide healthy outlets for fitness, relaxation, learning and social interaction. These experiences offer opportunities for people to come together and experience a sense of community.

Research shows that 75 percent of Americans live within two miles of a public park or recreation facility, and more than 75 percent of the population takes advantage of their local parks and recreation facilities, amounting to 192 million visits annually.

The Village of Bellevue Leisure Services Department wants to provide a safe and accessible park environment within a half-mile distance from any home in the Village. With the recent addition of the Shaha Memorial Park, there are now approximately 240 park acres for citizens to explore.

Additionally, The Village of Bellevue Leisure Services Department is committed to promoting recreational, cultural and social programming for residents of all ages and abilities. In 2008, services were provided for more than 3700 participants in recreational programs, and tens of thousands of residents and visitors enjoyed the park system through ball games, shelter rentals and other community events.

This month, get out and take advantage of what the Village of Bellevue has to offer. Pack a picnic, play on a playground, take part in your favorite sport and enjoy the sunshine. Spending the day at a park is not only great for your wallet, it's great for your health, too.

For more information on parks located in the Village of Bellevue go to or call (920) 468-5225.