Cummins boardwalk

In July volunteers of Cummins Community Involvement Team put in 110 hours of time to build the boardwalk on the Yahara River.

People who enjoy walking through the Yahara River Trail might notice a new addition behind Stoughton Hospital.

In July, volunteers from Cummins CIT “treecycled” more than 600 native ash trees from the city that were infected with the deadly Emerald Ash Borer disease, using the wood to build a boardwalk along the trail.

“We turned what was a negative thing — losing over 600 years — to really a positive thing for the community and for years to come,” said director of public works Brett Hebert.

The project — a partnership between the city and Cummins — spanned three days and 110 hours, with volunteers using 180 feet of boardwalk frames to create a t-shaped extension of the existing boardwalk that looks out to the river.

The new boardwalk provides a 7-foot observation deck for private nature viewing, with a design that meets guidelines for construction in wetland environment and does not disrupt the natural habitat, according to a Cummins news release. In the future, organizers hope to add treecycled benches.

“We hope that this model for use of urban timber can be utilized in other Midwest regions, and that local residents can benefit from this donation for many years to come,” Cummins group leader Tyler Lorenz wrote the Hub in an email.

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