Friends ready to make marsh building happen

HAVING DEDICATED THE TALLEST wooden observation tower in the state at the Broughton Sheboygan County Marsh Park in 2010, the Friends of the Marsh could have been excused to sit back and rest on their laurels.

After all, the 80-foot tower took years of determined effort and fundraising to bring the dream to fruition.

The tower proved to be a magnificent addition to the park, offering a marvelous view of the largest restored wetland area in the Lake Michigan/Lake Superior watershed.

It has been immensely popular, drawing visitors and hosting a number of events, including a wedding.

That accomplishment would have been enough to fill the resume of many an organization or group, but not the Friends of the Marsh.

With the tower completed, the group turned their attention to creating a multi-purpose educational building to serve and expand one of the marsh’s major functions – to educated young and old alike to the wonders of nature it offers.

The Friends are more than halfway to their goal of $2.3 million to build the facility and they’re preparing to make their final fundraising push with the goal of breaking ground next spring.

The new building will be a marvelous addition to the marsh park.

For starters, it will be a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) building, thanks to the generous help of LEED experts from the Kohler Co. — a fitting status in a park that celebrates nature and the environment.

For campers, there will be a dedicated area for showers and toilets – something that’s desperately needed for the many people who utilize the park throughout the camping season.

The main feature of the building will be an 800-plus square-foot multi-purpose room with an attached kitchen.

The multi-purpose room is designed with tremendous flexibility and amenities that will make it usable for classes, lectures, meetings, parties and many other events.

It will be a boon to Camp Y-Koda’s educational mission at the marsh, which is currently confined to a donated trailer that is not usable in winter weather and is in dire need of replacement.

Y-Koda will be able to offer the up-close, hands-on teaching on the many facets of the marsh park that is has provided to schools and the general public in a greatly enhanced fashion and at more times. That will help ensure that the mission of the marsh, to preserve nature and enhance its appreciation, will be filled even more.

Display areas will be available in both the multi-purpose room and the central entry area of the building, which will also enhance the educational mission of the marsh.

All in all, the new multi-purpose educational and meeting building will be a great addition to the marsh and a worthy next project for the Friends group.

All that’s needed is for the people and businesses of Sheboygan County and the surrounding area to step up and lend their support.

For more information, or to donate, contact the Friends of the Marsh at P.O. Box 201, Elkhart Lake 53020, on the web at, or by phone at (920) 876-4312.

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