Sept 19 – Work Project Summary and Pictures

GBTU has had a Trout Educational Trial across from the NEW Zoo (next to the zoo parking lot) for nearly 30 years. The location is excellent as the zoo sees countless visitors every year. Any organization would be grateful to showcase their efforts here. (Check out the History of the GBTU Educational Trail).

Like anything else; the trail, signs, displays and fencing have aged.

Since June 12th GBTU has been actively engaged with the Reforestation Camp (Clay Garett) and Brown County Program and Natural Resource Coordinator Jason Petrella in an partnership to upgrade and cleanup the trail. As part of this work the Reforestation Camp (Clay) has committed to re-roof the leaking covered bridge beginning the trail, Brown County (Jason Petrella) has agreed to work to restore the ponds (the county did pond weed treatment for the first time in several years as a first step) and GBTU has pledged to upgrade the trail.

At our first virtual Board of Directors (BOD) meeting (August 6th) we created a GBTU Trout Educational Trail Committee. We have around 10 members on the committee. We held our first committee meeting virtually on August 20th. During the meeting we decided on a theme proposed by Paul Kruse. BOD member, and past GBTU President, Randy Rake, volunteered to design the new signs. Prior to the meeting work Project Chair Paul Kruse scheduled this work project day. Randy provided a sign template a few days later that, after being tweaked by committee suggestions, was given committee and BOD approval.

It was now time for the dirty work !

On September 20th 11 GBTU volunteers gathered together at the trail to begin the first steps in the process…removal of the old structural displays, degraded split-rail fence and removal/stump treatment of common and glossy buckthorn that had overgrown on Haller’s Creek’s banks. The crew included Paul Kruse, Jim VandenBranden, Dave Ostanek, Jon Ostank, Maya, Pat Hill, Jeff House, Peter Tilleman, Bill Holton, Doug Seidl and Adrian Meseberg. Since TU National has a Covid-19 guideline preventing chapter’s from providing lunch…work project chair Paul Kruse came up with a creative way to reward our hard-working weekend warriors with gift cards to Burger King, McDonalds and Subway.

This project is BIG for GBTU and our clean coldwater mission. As stated previously, this is an extremely high traffic, high visibility area. The potential for Haller’s Creek and the connecting ponds is huge. For several years the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WI DNR) stocked “keeper” trout here. This provided an urban trout fishery for the Green Bay area. With a renewed trail and reworked ponds the skies the limit.

The following pictures tell the story of our workday. It was wonderful to see chapter member faces we haven’t in a long time. While there are several pictures (35)…we felt it was important to show the whole story of what our volunteers did this day…especially in the mist of a pandemic. It is remarkable !

Finally…it is very important to thank our veteran GBTU chapter members who were responsible for securing this location and creating the Educational Trail to begin with. Their vision and work was/is amazing ! The story is incredible. The work they had to do in securing permits, building the bridge, developing the trial, the signs, the fencing, the structural displays and much more is unimaginable. THANK YOU. Our current goal as a chapter is to continue the work and not to let your efforts “die on the vine.”

Follow our work day in the pictures below…

Work Project Sign points the way to the work
GBTU Work Project Trailer is on sight
Beautiful picture of Eagle Creek on the the back of our work trailer
Brown County Program and Natural Resource Coordinator Jason Petrella and GBTU Work Project Coordinator Paul Kruse ready to see the coordinated efforts begin
Volunteers make their way through the covered bridge to the Educational Trail
Awesome example of social distancing while working to remove the old split-rail fence
The Ostanek brothers (Dave and Jon) flexing their muscles
Our youngest volunteer, Maya, carried more then her own weight !
Pat Hill and Jeff House working the old, fallen fencing near the beginning of the trail
Longtime member and former GBTU BOD rep, Bill Holton, made us all smile with his much-missed smile
It’s not a GBTU work project without Peter Tilleman’s ear-to-ear grin
Dave Ostanek must be a physical education teacher…wait a minute…he is…nice example Dave
Jim VB shows how to get a job done…wait a minute…is that wheel barrow capable of handling 500lbs ?
They don’t make ’em like they used to…The Packer City Soft Water van hauled several loads to to predestined location by the County/Reforestation Camp
Split-rail fence before (this picture does not do justice to how run down the fence was. the inner posts were remove prior. Several were rotted out.)
Split-Rail fence removed
Former GBTU treasurer, and frequent work project attendee, Jeff House works to remove the fence crossing the creek
Jeff finds some support from Paul Kruse
The fence removed
Port fence crossing removal. Haller’s Creek is open
Farming practice display is ~30 years old and, because of high water levels, getting too close to Haller’s Creek
Pat Hill, Maya, Jim VB and Bill H work to remove the display
Once we removed the fencing we realized the concrete was ~6 and the barn and silo were part of it…this will have to be revisited…possibly with a sledge hammer
A before picture of one of the favorite displays…the lunker structure
After pic of the same lunker structure
Yeah…there was more work to do. The orange tagged common and glossy Buckthorn needed to be removed and treated
Peter Tilleman goes to work on the tagged Buckthorn
BEFORE…Buckthorn to be removed
AFTER…Buckthorn removed
Doug S cuts the smaller Buckthorn with a pair of loppers
Buckthorn stumps
Buckthorn stumps treated with Buckthorn Blaster
A clean picture of Haller’s Creek
What a beautiful creek !
Here’s hoping GBTU catches you in the web of the outstanding work we do…the choice is yours !!