Ongoing Projects

2017 Work Days are Underway!  Join in the fun!

Work days typically begin on Saturdays around 8:00 A.M.  Check the left margin of any page for specific information for each week.  The more the merrier!  Watch this space for information on specific projects to be undertaken in 2017 as we continue to make the Pearl Island Recreational Corridor even better - and signs of the bridge have already materialized in Putnam Park!!

Watch this space for information on the 5th Annual Gala

fundraiser!  You won't want to miss it!

June 28, 2016 Work Day at Headgates Park was Great!

Clearing brush
On Saturday, June 27, the usual core volunteers were joined by members of the Brodhead Jaycees to clear and level the area around the pit toilet and shelter house at Headgates Park.  Using a machine to move the dirt and a job well donedrag to smooth it out, plus a lot of hand raking, the area was transformed.  The final touch was planting grass seed, and Sunday's rain was just what it needed.  This project has turned a previously ignored area into an attractive area for having picnics and launching boats.

dirt moved


Weather doesn't Deter our Intrepid Volunteers!

Getting readyIf you can believe it, the "usual" crew of Pearl Island volunteers worked on several December, 2014, Saturdays to install a pit toilet and build a shelter atWork Headgates Park!  More and more amenities for users of the Pearl Island Recreational Corridor have been completed, from benches at scenic spots along the race, containers for trash and recyclables, piers to assist boaters of all stripes as well as the pontoons that ply the race during "Embrace the Race" events, to these new structures at the headgates. They will never give up until the corridor is the most inviting spot in the area!

Building the shelter
ShelterJeff on Roof

A dedicated core of 4-5 people worked through the cold winter last year and have not stopped! The main task has been to clear brush and dead trees from the area along the race. Watch the left side of any page on the Chamber website for notices of work days, times, and locations. On Saturday, May 31, volunteers accomplished the major task of removing a large oak tree that had fallen into the race.  Heavy equipment and a boat were needed to tackle this job. Check out the photos below, and if you haven't already volunteered, consider doing so.

City truck with boom John Winters with his boat
 John Winters   Jeff Peterson  Taking the rope to the tree
 Line is secured  Rich Vogel watching the action
 MIssion accomplished  Ready to pull it out
 w ftngDan OLson cutting up the tree

Plans and Projects Planting natives on the bank

The Pearl Island Recreational Corridor (PIRC) project is a work in progress that will be ongoing for a number of years. Much has been accomplished and much is yet to be done, but already the area has become much more attractive for hiking, biking, fishing, canoeing, and kayaking. Volunteers recently planted 650 native plants, donated by Applied Ecological Services of Brodhead, on the bank of the race at Putnam Park.  Many more such plantings will be done in the future and will serve not only to beautify the area, but also to stabilize the banks and control run-off into the race.

Following is a partial list of planned PIRC components:

  • Covered bridge over the race at Putnam Park
  • Nature trails and elevated boardwalks with observation decksNew pier near headgates
  • Benches and picnic areas
  • Improved waterways for canoeing and kayaking
  • Fish cribs to improve fish habitat
  • Restoration of shoreline along the Race, including native plantings and piers

Below is a map of the entire area, showing the planned features

Pearl Island Map 

Work Days Continue into Fall and Winter 

 Clearing along the raceThe dedicated members of the Pearl Island Team who have been directing the work of clearing brush along the race, Rich Vogel, Jeff Peterson, and Jerry Elmer, don't let little things like freezing cold weather deter them!  They had organized work days every Saturday, continuing through November and December.  Much work has been completed along the race, and the pit toilet at Headgates Park has been installed!  Jerry has also overseen the assembly of several benches and the construction of bases on which to put them. 

Clearing race 2  Assessing the situation
 Picking up brush the hard way Picking up the brush