(Mayville) Phase One of the Gold Star Memorial Trail is now open to the public. The ten-foot wide paved trail – so named to honor local fallen veterans – extends two miles from Mayville’s Theiler Park to the Horicon Marsh Visitor Center, running along County Highway TW and State Highway 28. It took roughly five years and $670-thousand dollars in grants and donations to complete Phase One. Gold Star Memorial Trail Project Manager Bill Ehlenbeck says despite some winter weather delays the barricades were officially removed and the finishing touches were put in place around Thanksgiving. He added he is thankful to everyone who contributed their time, resources and support. Andrew Johnson is with the Gold Star Memorial Trail says there will be a grand opening for Phase One on June 1st which will recognize major donors and the Gold Star families among other activities. The ceremony will begin around 10am. The ultimate goal of the trail is to connect Mayville to Beaver Dam. Ehlenbeck says that phase of the project is currently in the planning stages. For more information about the project, visit www.goldstarmemorialtrailwi.org.
Photo caption: Two Gold Star families who initiated the effort to use the “Gold Star” theme to build a non-motorized trail honoring all fallen military service members from Wisconsin, celebrate the completion of construction of phase one of the Gold Star Memorial Trail. Construction on the trail started on February 27 and was completed Wednesday, November 21. From left are Greg and Barb Gassen, parents of Pfc. Jacob Gassen, KIA November 29, 2010 and Laura and Andrew Johnson, parents of 1st Lt. David Johnson, KIA January 25, 2012.