Deer Park Prairie Boardwalk

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DPP Boardwalk – The Complete Story

The winter months are upon us.  This is a time when the prairie shoots die back and the roots go dormant.  Something similar happens with prairie education programs.  So, I thought I would focus this monthly report on the boardwalk.  It was so exciting to see final touches being added and the last of the boards painted at December’s workday.  A huge Thank You to Katie Sallean, Charles & Betty Lundquist, Charles Barfield and Chuck Duplant!  My students are able to set their fears of walking into the prairie aside so they can focus on learning!

In the beginning, during the spring of 2020, I got a call from Katie Sallean.  Her brother, Charlie Lundquist had passed, and since he loved Deer Park Prairie, she wanted to build something there to honor him.  “Well, we need a boardwalk” I suggested.  She loved the idea.  After months of discussion, planning and design, construction began in October of 2020.

Lumber was purchased and the table saw was set up to cut the boards.   

Charles Barfield, a recently retired super-volunteer and Deer Park resident, took the lead.  The next January, the cinder blocks were placed and boards were cut and screwed in. 

By March of 2021 it was warm enough for Charlie and Katie’s parents, Charles and Betty, to come out and help.

June of 2021

August 2021 – the dedication plaque was installed and the first of two platforms were built.  These outdoor ‘classrooms’ will have a 50% shade pergola.

March of 2022 – Painting begins as we move closer to 500 feet.

September 2022 – The side railings are installed.  The end is in sight!

December 2022 – Our winter ponds appear as the second ‘classroom’ gets its final touches.  Final length is 600 feet of meaningful learning!

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