Next at the Marsh: Friends of the Marsh Group Launching Effort to Build New Education Building

Feldner, Emmitt B. The Plymouth Review, August 26, 2014.

They gave everyone a view from the top at the Broughton Sheboygan County Marsh Park, now they want to educate everyone about the park.

The Friends of the Broughton Sheboygan Marsh are ramping up their fundraising efforts to build a $660,000 environmentally-friendly multi-purpose educational and meeting facility at the marsh.

The group will be working closely with Steve Schmitt of Jos. Schmitt and Sons Construction, the same construction manager/fundraiser who oversaw construction of the Friends-sponsored 80-foot wooden observation tower at the marsh.

The tower, the tallest wooden observation tower in the state, opened in late 2009.

This is definitely another feel-good project, coming off what was a very successful project with the marsh tower. We were very happy to be part of that," Schmitt said.

Friends President Lil Pipping said the group has not done any major fundraisers for the project yet, other than to send out information to donors to the tower project.

"We wanted to get information and facts to share with the public together first," she explained.

"We want to get the word out there, to show this project is moving forward," Schmitt added.

The Friends are close to $50,000 in seed money for the project, according to Pipping.

The group hopes to break ground next spring for the project, which will take six to eight months to complete, Schmitt said.

The first step will be to tear down the existing storage shed near the marsh lodge, which the county is expected to do sometime this fall.

The new buildings will be in roughly that location. As part of the project, the county will be doing some infrastructure work and road relocation in that area of the park.

Both Pipping and Schmitt are excited that the building will be a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) building.

LEED experts from the Kohler Co. are part of the effort to make the building a totally green structure. "The goal is to try and make it kind of a net-zero building," Schmitt commented.

Kohler's participation is part of a long list of local companies and businesses who are pitching in on the project with in-kind services or products.

The design team list includes Legacy Architecture, Plymouth Foam, Lentz Engineering Associates, Arch Electric, and many more.

"I'm really proud about all the local people and all the local business in the county who have stepped up," Pipping stated.

One wing of the building will include separate, dedicated showers and toilets for the campground at the park, along with bathrooms and office space for the educational building.

In the other wing will be an 800-plus square-foot multi-purpose room, supported by a kitchen.

The central entry area can support displays and events as well.

The building will be used by Camp Y-Koda to offer classes year-round, which it can not do now.

It will also be available, Pipping noted, for meetings, events and other uses for the county and interested local groups.