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Waupaca trail gets boardwalk

Donation made improvements possible

By Angie Landsverk

A segment of Waupaca’s River Ridge Trail often known for being muddy now has a boardwalk.
A $5,000 donation to the Friends of Waupaca Parks from the estate of Tom Godfrey made it possible.

The donation was earmarked for the River Ridge Trail.

Aaron Jenson, Waupaca’s parks and recreation director, said the donation was a surprise.

He sought input from Carol Elvery and Mark Saunders about which sections of the trail needed improvements.

Elvery and Saunders are involved in the River Ridge Trail.

Saunders is paid by the Friends of Waupaca Parks to do maintenance work on the trail.

Jenson said both Elvery and Saunders agreed the Brainard’s Bridge trail segment needed improvements.

The segment, which is on the north side of the Waupaca River, is highly used and often times muddy, Jenson said.
He turned to WisCorps for assistance with the project.

“We’ve worked with WisCorps in the past on a number of projects,” Jenson said.

Founded in 2009 as a nonprofit conservation corps and based in La Crosse, WisCorps engages young adults, ages 18-25, in direct conservation projects on public lands across the state and upper Midwest.

A WisCorps crew installed approximately 60 yards of boardwalk on trail toward the end of summer.

The project cost about $5,100, with the Friends of Waupaca Parks kicking in the additional $100, Jenson said.

“It’s a great improvement. There’s been lots of comments already,” he said. “Within the first week, we had a number of people who used it comment on how it improved this section of the trail.”

Jenson said a similar type of boardwalk was installed on a section of the River Ridge Trail in the natural area.

Since the Brainard’s Bridge section of the trail is near a residential area, this boardwalk is wide enough for strollers, he said.

“It’s awesome to get these donations,” Jenson said. “People don’t realize how much effort and time go into maintaining these trails.”

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