Project Will Make Pond Accessible to All
The Navarino Nature Center will install a boardwalk that will go from the nature center and over a near-by pond, thanks to the local fundraising efforts. The project, estimated at $214,000, will allow visitors to enjoy the area surrounding the nature center. But, more importantly, it will be a trail accessible to all, including those who are handicapped. “The hope is that with this we can keep everybody engaged with the programs we are doing,” said Tim Ewing, director of the Navarino Nature Center.
Fundraising efforts have been underway and Ewing said construction could begin later in the summer, when water levels are low. “If everything falls into place, it will be really nice,” he said.
The boardwalk, about 360 feet long, includes 20-foot diameter observation platforms overlooking the pond. The nature center will work with Miron Construction, who will donate some of the labor towards the project. They break ground in July.
ThedaCare, through the Shawano Community Health Action Team, donated $500 recently toward the project. Ewing said all donations will help the project become a reality. “It takes a community to get this done,” he said. “I am grateful for every donation we can get toward this. I think it’s a great thing for the ThedaCare donation. This will be something that will be a great asset to everyone. It will give them a little peace of mind and get them out to where they can experience something they may have only read about or seen on TV.”
The nature center plans to open three habitats—pond, prairie and forest – for programs. “We’ve had a few groups out here the last couple years,” he said. However, those with a wheelchair have not been able to fully enjoy the programs. “With the pond program, if they’re in a wheelchair or walker, they are basically sitting at a picnic table, watching everybody else,” said Ewing.
The new trail will be hard packed gravel, beneficial to those with wheelchairs. “We take so much for granted,” said Ewing. “If I want to go out there, I can just go out there and do it. For others, this infrastructure will help to increase that accessibility to where they will become more engaged and do things in nature.”
ThedaCare™ is a community health system consisting of seven hospitals: Appleton Medical Center, Theda Clark Medical Center, ThedaCare Medical Center-New London, Shawano Medical Center, Riverside Medical Center, Berlin Memorial Hospital and Wild Rose Community Memorial Hospital. ThedaCare also includes ThedaCare Physicians, ThedaCare Behavioral Health, and ThedaCare at Home. ThedaCare is the largest employer in Northeast Wisconsin with more than 6,800 employees. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!