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April 2014

19

AmeriCorps group helps on Eagle Trail

A group of nine AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps) volunteers descended on the Eagle Nature Trail between the Alice Baker Library and Eagle Elementary School on Oct. 27. Although the day was chilly, the workers stayed warm dragging seemingly endless piles of brush and wood out of the overgrown area around the trail in the ongoing trail project, which began in 2009.

All work is done by volunteers with donations, according to Jean Weedman, who helps coordinate the trail project. More than $10,000 in donations and hundreds of volunteer hours - 325 hours this summer alone - have been logged on the project, Weedman said.

"The volunteers will be helping to clear invasive species such as buckthorn and honeysuckle shrubs, mandated under Wisconsin law for all property owners," Weedman explained.

The AmeriCorps volunteers had been in the area for three weeks working on projects in Milwaukee and at the Nature Conservancy property, the Meyer Preserve, ending their 10-month tour of duty with NCCC on the Eagle trail. Jerry Ziegler, land steward for The Nature Conservancy in Southeastern Wisconsin, helped to arrange this volunteer day at the trail.

AmeriCorps members came from Colorado, Maryland and Michigan but they all came with the purpose of serving the community.

"Though recreating a prairie on this land - which originally had prairie as did much of this area - will take several years, the final result will be a lovely connection between the elementary school and the library, an outdoor learning space, a beautiful walk for local citizens and a restored critical habitat for species like salamanders, dragonflies, butterflies, etc.," said Weedman.

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