7/10/17 – Organizers are hoping donations of time, materials and money will help chip away at a cost overrun in the first phase of the Gold Star Memorial Trail. The ten-foot wide paved trail – which would honor local fallen veterans – would initially extend two-miles from Mayville’s Theiler Park to the Horicon Marsh Visitor Center, running along County Highway TW and State Highway 28. The group successfully raised $650-thousand dollars for the first phase by a December 31 deadline but learned about unexpected expenses during the design phase this spring. It was determined that four boardwalks will need to be built on the trail in wetland areas and a rock retaining wall will need to be built along part of the trail on State Highway 28 to ensure that it would not be washed out during large rains. Bill Ehlenbeck with Dodge County Parks and Trails says the new expenses have driven the project cost estimate $250,000 higher than originally planned. A Gold Star Family is the name given to those who have lost a loved one while defending our country. Andrew Johnson, whose son was killed in combat overseas, is hoping to obtain stone for the retaining wall and lumber for the boardwalk at reduced costs or through in-kind donations. Johnson says the group is also seeking additional grant funds and is looking for volunteers to help build part of or all of the 550-feet of boardwalks needed. The draft design plan is now awaiting permits from the DNR and DOT. Ehlenbeck says all costs are still an estimate and the county will know better cost determinations when the project is bid out.
For more information, to volunteer or arrange an in-kind donation, you can contact Bill Ehlenbeck at Dodge County Parks at 920-386-3702. Financial donations can be made to the Friends of Dodge County Parks, PO Box 72, Juneau WI 53039. Online at: http://goldstarmemorialtrailwi.org/