Beaver Dam Rotary River Walk Music Trail Opens in Downtown Area

Project: Beaver Dam River Walk

Beaver Dam is a picturesque community in Dodge County, Wisconsin, United States, along Beaver Dam Lake and the Beaver Dam River. A strip of green land near the downtown water tower is now named the Rotary Riverwalk Park after the Beaver Dam Common Council dedicated the land and the Rotary have invested heavily into providing a pleasant recreational facility for the community to enjoy.

Project Team:

Beaver Dam Rotary Club

Tom and Judy Heffron - Donors

Miller & Associates– Supply Partner

Beaver Dam - The Parks Department

Beaver Dam Common Council

Percussion Play - Manufacturer


The Rotary Riverwalk is located along the Beaver Dam River up to Mill Street near the Tower Parking Lot. The service organization has been working for years to enhance the stretch along the Beaver Dam River and has invested more than $50,000 in the area along the river adding a walking path, and benches as well as outdoor musical instruments. The Rotary have future long-term plans to plant more trees and build a small gazebo or pavilion.


The work of Rotary is done by volunteers who have a desire to give back to their community and to the world. The Beaver Dam Rotary Riverwalk Park is a gift to the citizens of Beaver Dam by the Rotary Club and is intended to be only the first segment of a longer riverside park system. There is a plan to design a walk along the Beaver Dam River that will provide an update to a section of the downtown encouraging the community to enjoy this mostly hidden resource.

Beaver Dam Chamber President Evonne Boettge said “We selected outdoor musical instruments because we wanted something fun along the walkway that didn’t take up a lot of space, was usable for all ages and didn’t mean you had to exercise to enjoy it. Also, we thought the sound would be a unique feature that was not normally found in a park. One of the parks in town does have a musical feature and the kids love it!”


The Percussion play instruments were gifted to the Riverwalk project by local family and city residents Tom and Judy Heffron who donated $10,000 to fund them. The park now has five Percussion Play outdoor musical instruments, which include conga drums, a cadenza xylophone, small babel drum and freechimes.

The Outdoor Musical Instruments were supplied by local Sauk City Playground equipment supplier and Percussion Play partner Miller & Associates - Sauk Prairie, Inc.
Miller & Associates had displayed the instruments at a conference attended by Evonne Boettage and agreed to bring one of the instruments to the local community center for participants to try before purchasing.

Evonne confirmed “We did know that the instruments were made outside of the country but were impressed by the quality, and since we couldn’t really find a comparable product we trusted our distributors (Miller & Associates) to handle any challenges that might happen.”

The instruments were installed by the Beaver Dam Parks Department. John Neumann, Parks, Forestry & Facility Supervisor, City of Beaver Dam said “We looked at a couple of other vendors for this project but liked what we saw with Percussion Play and Miller & Associates, whom we already have had good results working with in the past. The instructions were adequate on the pieces we received, that being said my staff is well versed on playground installation and have many years of experience. We were startled at first as everything was metric in the instructions but settled down when we saw the standard conversion printed. The delivery was fast and adequate, and everything was packed very well, nothing was damaged or scuffed. I would not hesitate to recommend these products as they are durable and really some high-quality products that should stand any environment”.

The Outcome:

Evonne tells us “Right after we put the instruments in the park I observed the kids and their parents enjoying making music and they were having a great time. Judy Heffron who donated the instruments is a music instructor and takes her students to the instruments as part of their lessons! Even now in the winter I have seen people stop to use them.”

She goes on to say “The instruments are very well made, colourful and a wonderful way to add sound and movement to an ordinary walkway. When you walk past it would be hard to resist at least a moment to hear what they sound like.”

Steve Barritt of Miller & Associates – Sauk Prairie says “The Beaver Dam community is very happy with the Percussion Play units and hoping to bring people to the downtown walk area along the river walk. It is a small community; however, they appear to be making a real effort to bring back a once vital downtown area.”

Additional Information:

About Miller & Associates. Working out of Sauk City, they serve all of Wisconsin and the UP of Michigan and has provided commercial furnishings and equipment since 1968. With a focus on quality, Miller & Associates chooses products with superior materials and innovative designs to offer customers.