Thank you for all the support! Monday, March 21st the WRTO along with the DOT, DNR, Dept of Tourism, City of Boscobel, and local politician Travis Trannel gathered for a ceremony to honor the groundbreaking for Phase 1 of the Wisconsin River Trail which will run from the current Sand's Creek end to the the Von Haden Boat Landing.
Each office spoke individually reflecting on the importance of such projects and the pure enthusiasm and support the WRTO board and area community members have shown towards this project.
Denise Fisher (WRTO Co-Chair) delivered a speech that was heart warming and determined. It is as follows:
"Like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., I have a dream…..too. Our dream was voiced out loud in a coffee shop in Boscobel on a cold day in January of 2014. It’s amazing when a dream is spoken that, even when it seems like a daunting task, others see your vision and want to share in that dream as well.
This trail became the dream of the Board members behind me, and, after talking with Boscobel’s city staff, they agreed to support and sponsor the grant that is changing our community and our region. This grant is the DNR Knowles Nelson stewardship grant.
When I come home from California, I can’t get HERE fast enough. As I drive around the corner and see the Boscobel Bridge, there are no words to describe the sense of peace I feel to get to spend time with the family and friends that made me who I am. This is home. These are my people, and this is God’s country.
The land in this area is unique and we are terribly spoiled by the natural beauty that surrounds us. To be able to share this beauty with others, to open up new opportunities for safe access to the river, exercise, physical and mental health, tourism, and our local economy, is a cause for celebration. This trail is honestly a game changer in our community and our region.
They say it takes a village to raise a child. Do you know what it takes to build a trail? It takes a Department of Transportation, Department of Natural Resources, city staff and council, non-profit organizations, Department of Tourism, support from our legislators and governor, county, townships, businesses, Chamber of Commerce, and positive minded people willing to believe and put the extra time, energy, and funding into a project to make a walking/biking trail a reality. Together, this crew we have assembled here today? Together….we have created a trail!
The board and volunteers behind me? We’re all common people doing an uncommon thing. None of us, alone, will ever leave any significant inheritance for our children, but together, as a board and group of volunteers, we can do something even better. We can leave a trail. A legacy trail that will only be improved upon and built onto. This is our legacy, our inheritance, and we want to thank you for all being here today to celebrate with us, and playing an integral part in making this trail a reality.
The WRTO would like to thank Cheryl Housley from the DNR for ALL of her assistance in helping this first time grant writer succeed. Without this grant award, this trail would still be just a dream. Thank you to Mike Reynolds, Boscobel city engineer, for all of your extra efforts, being available day and night, and helping us plan the trail for the future of our children and grandchildren. Thank you to Mayor Steve Wetter, Arlie Harris, Ben Wood, Vicky Grimesey, and the wonderful Boscobel city council for always believing in us and supporting us as a city entity, Jeremy Krachey of TEAM Engineering, our Wauzeka-born and raised project engineer, Francis Schelfhout from the DOT for your expertise and assistance in creating a trail that is above all safe to travel on. And thank you to all the DOT and DNR people who have worked behind the scenes to answer questions and work out issues we have come across.
When people ask me how in the world did we get the DOT and the DNR in the same room to discuss the issues of putting a trail in and around DNR land, on DOT right of way, my answer was….we just asked. We could not be happier with the collaboration and assistance that we have received from our DOT and DNR employees, who started out as acquaintances, and became our working friends. On a side note, I’m positive there are a few of the above mentioned that are sad that they ever handed out their cell phone numbers, but for us, we’re totally indebted.
As I am sure you all know, this is the beginning of a 20-mile hiking/biking loop from Boscobel to Woodman, across the Wisconsin River into Wauzeka, and back to Boscobel. While I know this is a challenging task, and the first of its kind in the state, I’d like to challenge you to replace the thoughts that “We Can’t” to “Why Can’t We?” Together, let’s do something amazing!
In closing, I just want to say I’m proud to be from Boscobel. Proud of the great job the board behind me has done, and so proud to be standing here with ALL of you today. If this is a dream, I’m glad you’re all in it with me and I sure hope no one pinches me awake right now. We hope you continue to support us as we strive to build the Wisconsin River Trail."