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Chase Lumber and Sun Prairie Children’s Museum Community Project


The Sun Prairie Explore Children’s Museum was an idea born in 2019 by Sun Prairie moms who saw a need to have a community space for kids to learn, explore and engage in creativity, shared learning, critical thinking and fun through purposeful play.

Armed with extensive backgrounds in education, the founders reached out to potential community partners for help in bringing this wonderful idea to life.

The first priority, as with any endeavor such as this, was to raise the capital needed. And in true fashion of an idea that encourages creativity, a creative idea was proposed. Have students from Sun Prairie High School build Aldo Leopold benches, give them to artists to paint, install them throughout Sun Prairie parks, then auction them off with all proceeds going to the Children’s Museum. In the summer of 2020 that’s exactly what happened, with all lumber for the project donated by Chase Lumber to help maximize the proceeds of each bench.

As support continued to rise and resources flowed in from all corners of our community, the Children’s Museum was set to move into its new space in 2021. Which meant the building and installation of carefully and thoughtfully planned activities and features. One of which is a sprawling set of activities in a structure known as the “Exploratorium”. And thus came another opportunity for Chase Lumber to partner with the Children’s Museum through the donation of the lumber required to construct this engaging feature.

In just two years, the dream of providing a place to help in both the mental and physical development of children by engaging in play became a reality. Making the Sun Prairie Explore Children’s Museum a shining example of how an idea creates opportunities, opportunities inspire connections and connections deliver growth and success. Which is exactly the intended experience for each child and adult who comes to visit.


Thank you to everyone at the Sun Prairie Explore Children’s Museum for your vision, passion and dedication, and to all throughout our community who helped open the doors to this important space.

McFarland Community
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Chase Lumber and Troop 53 – McFarland Community Project


You don’t have to be an Eagle Scout to do something great for your community. But as it happens, this story is about an Eagle Scout who did something great for his community.

Enter the project.

The Larson House is a historical home in McFarland, and it was in need of three new trellises. For Eagle Scout, Riley, of Troop 53 in McFarland that seemed like a perfect project to take on.

So, Riley went about looking into the parameters of completing this project. Wherein he found, per historical requirements, the trellises needed to be made of cedar.

And thus, the roadblock. After pricing the amount of cedar it would take to complete the project, he discovered that the cost was well beyond the budget. So, Rick our manager at Chase Lumber in McFarland reached out to Riley and told him to stop in.

Rick took Riley out to the yard and figured between the both of them they would find, you guessed it, the solution.

Sure enough, Rick found a pile of older, graying and slightly twisted cedar boards that, with a touch of elbow grease, would be perfect for the project. Most of the boards were of different sizes than what was needed per Riley’s drawings. But Rick showed him how to rip and resaw them down to the right sizes in order to make the slates for the lattice sections. For the frames, they found some older, greying 1xs in the yard that after some sanding would be ideal for the trellises.

So, with a much lower cost and a deal to donate a portion of the materials, Riley had everything he needed to finish his project.

The result?

Well, the outcome speaks for itself.

Thank you, Riley, from all of us at Chase Lumber and the McFarland community. It was a pleasure to help you make this a reality. And a lesson that any barrier has a solution when people put their heads together.