We’re happy to share the good news that on Saturday, Oct. 16 a new boardwalk was constructed at Patrick Marsh!  A local Girl Scout named Lauretta Loesch was the driving force behind this idea and it took a community to see it through.

In 2019 Lauretta came up with the idea to solve a community need.  That need was increased access to the outdoors. Patrick Marsh is a wonderful green space that is enjoyed by many, however there was a section of trail that was frequently flooded making it impassable.  Lauretta teamed up with Groundswell and local volunteers to fix the trail by constructing a boardwalk across the low spot.

Volunteers hard at work. Photo credit: Roberta Herschleb

This boardwalk was designed to have minimal disturbance to the vegetation and wildlife in the area.  The technical term for the structure is a “puncheon” and instead of installing concrete pilings like a typical boardwalk, it simply rests on top of the soil.  This allows the structure to adjust to different freeze/thaw conditions as well as rain and snow events.

The boardwalk can be accessed from both the north and south ends of Patrick Marsh.  It’s located east of the kettle pond which is the small body of water that is surrounded by the oak savanna.  Because of the dry year we’ve had, the kettle pond is mostly dried up (which made construction easy), but next spring we should expect it to be considerably wetter out there.  HERE are GPS coordinates to the boardwalk.

Many thanks go out to our trusty volunteers, the Rotary Club of Sun Prairie, all of the donors who contributed to this project, and of course Lauretta who we could not be more proud of!  Not only did she raise over $1,000 for the project, she also earned her Gold Award which is a prestigious award that fewer than 6% of Girl Scouts achieve annually.

To see photos from the day of the build, click HERE.

The read the article written by the Sun Prairie Star, click HERE.