Friends launch campaign for new marsh building

GUEST OPINION

THE FRIENDS OF THE MARSH formed in 2005 to help protect and promote the Broughton Sheboygan County Marsh. The friends set their sights, literally, skyward.

In 2006, soon after formally becoming an entity, the Friends started to raise money to construct the state of Wisconsin’s tallest wooden observation tower. Fundraising started by collecting spare change in buckets at local events and progressed when many donations, both large and small, from local citizens, foundations, and employers started accumulating. Their vision became reality in 2009 when Sheboygan County was blessed with another great amenity, the Sheboygan Marsh Tower.

The Friends have not lost their drive and determination to make the Sheboygan Marsh an even better resource for the county. Using their knowledge and success from the tower project, they are now embarking on a new mission to develop an environmentally-friendly multi-purpose educational and meeting facility.

The new facility would sit where the existing extremely dilapidated storage garages are currently located. The primary function of the facility would be to house Camp Y-Koda’s ever-growing environmental educational classes along with other environmental stewardship activities.

The facility would also be used for meetings and gatherings when classroom activities are not taking place.

The tired, worn-out campground showers, now housed in the old Marsh Lodge, would be replaced and housed in the new facility as well. The goal is to make the building as environmentally responsible as budget will allow.

Initial estimates place the price tag at roughly

$660,000, including contingency. While no formal fundraising has taken place, the Friends have already raised over $40,000 in seed money.

The Friends encourage people to take a special look at the hidden jewel which is the Sheboygan Marsh. It is the largest restored wetland complex in the Lake Michigan basin, providing habitat for many species of birds, wildlife and other critters.

Step back, step up, and enjoy the wonder of the 14,000 acre Broughton Marsh from the observation tower; see what boaters, hunters, fisherman and snowmobilers have enjoyed for years. From the tower’s panoramic view, you will experience a breathtaking landscape, hidden treasures, massive waterways, abundant wildlife and recreational opportunities.

Then, once you have taken in the beauty, imagine a beautiful new, purposeful, building housing the classes of the next generation of scientists to protect, manage, and preserve magnificent resources such as the Sheboygan Marsh.

The Friends encourage people of all ages to participate in this monumental effort that will benefit many generations to come.

For more information, or to donate, please visit www.friendsofthemarsh.com, or call 920-876-4312. Like us on Facebook at Broughton-Sheboygan-County-Wisconsin-Marsh-Park- TOWER. — Aaron Brault, Sheboygan County Conservation and Planning Department Director

At issue:
Multi-purpose marsh building
Bottom line:
Next step for marsh


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