The formed in 2005 to help protect and promote the Marsh. The Friends set their sights, literally, skyward.
In 2006, soon after formally becoming an entity, the Friends started to raise money to construct the State of Wisconsin’s tallest wooden observation tower. The kickoff began by hoisting local media and interested citizens up 100’ in a fire truck bucket. Fundraising started by collecting spare change in buckets at local events. However, progress soon began in earnest when many large donations from local foundations and employers became a reality.
In 2008, the Friends applied for and were granted official non-profit status to help further the fundraising efforts, but soon after, the economic downturn of the time period took its toll on donations. Fortunately, the local construction company, Jos. Schmitt & Sons, found it in their heart to build the Tower with the promise of the Friends repaying them as they could.
With much fanfare, the Tower opened to the public Christmas Day 2009 and stands at an impressive 80’ above the surrounding landscape offering expansive views of the jewel that is the Broughton Sheboygan Marsh Park & Wildlife Area.
Today, the Friends are embarking on yet another mission to improve the educational facilities and meeting space at the Marsh. The goal is to construct an environmental friendly multi-purpose building to house the environmental education classes and activities run by the YMCA Camp Y-Koda Outdoor Skills & Education program. The Friends have worked with an architect to prepare renderings and a layout plan of the proposed facility. The fundraising effort begins!
*Note that donations can be for Tower maintenance and/or for the new multi-purpose building.