August 19th . . . the day construction of the boardwalk across the wetland at Baldwin-Woodville’s Giezendanner School Forest began. August 30th . . . the day it was completed and ready for use. The boardwalk spans 320 feet of swamp and features a bump out area for classes to gather. It is solidly constructed and should serve the students and the community for many years. The system that the school forest committee decided on is the same as the one used at Horicon Marsh. It utilizes swamp pans that are set on the surface of the swamp. Construction involved moving 43 5’ x 8’ panels into place (a sloppy and messy process) and setting up 84 swamp pans. Once the panels were in place, decking and curbs needed to be installed. Lots of boards were hauled and then screwed in place.
Fortunately, Dane Rasmussen agreed to head up the construction and put in numerous hours assisted by other volunteers. Many thanks to Dane, Carolyn Iverson, Jack Rasmussen, Nathan Thompson, Jay Custer, Ed Lyons, Dane Adams, Tom Rasmussen, Bruce Ashlin, Kevin Kroening, Gus Kroening, Riley Gough, Calvin Gough, George Gough, Julie Lund, Wes Brooks, Sam Niebeling, Joe Anco, and Andi Forrest from Custom Manufacturing. A huge thank you to BRG (Builders Resource Group in Woodville) sending out their Moffett and John to help with unloading the trailer.
Already people of all ages are walking across the wetland with dry feet! Hopefully they are noticing the special features of this habitat: native Broad-leafed Cattails instead of the invasive ones, Joe-Pye Weed, Sneezeweed, Turtlehead which can just be pollinated by bumblebees, and Sedge hummocks. The Sedge hummocks indicate a lack of water pollution. The longest trail at Giezendanner is Earl’s Loop which follows the perimeter of the property, now it can be used throughout the year rather than just during the winter when the swampy area is frozen! Looking forward to having classes this fall make use of it. B-W’s Giezendanner School Forest is located at 2424 30th Avenue and is available for hiking during daylight hours.
In memory of Deb Rasmussen, who served on the Baldwin-Woodville School Board for many years and was a fierce advocate for the creation of the school forest, the boardwalk is named after her.