David and Carol Marquardt have volunteered at Wyalusing State Park since fall of 2002. They began by questioning why one of their favorite hiking trails (Flint Ledge) had been closed for over two years. The answer was that heavy rains had washed out and over the trail, budget cuts prevented having manpower to clean up and reopen the trail. Fall of 2002 and spring of 2003 were spent reconstructing Flint Ledge Trail, supporting the downhill side of the trail with 2×8’s and re-bar and digging out the up side to create a level trail surface.
In fall of 2003, the Marquardts began working on the Sugar Maple Nature Trail which suffered from erosion and years of neglect. They inserted water bars at a 45-degree angle across the trail every 25 to 40 feet as needed to divert water off the trail, leveled the hiking surface and finished the trail with a layer of gravel. When they arrived in April 2004, the Park Superintendent asked if they would mind working on areas more visible and utilized by the elderly and handicapped visitors.
The Park is high on the bluff and has three significant viewing areas over the Wisconsin and Mississippi Rivers that were built by the CCC many years ago. Years of budget cuts and lack of personnel left the blacktop walkways and rock stairways and to these viewing areas in sad shape and made it difficult for less agile visitors to the Park to get from the parking lots to these look out points. The rock stairway to Treasure Cave, one of the Park’s most visited areas, was almost dangerous. The Marquardts repaired walkways with either cold patch or field stone, removed the dangerous portion of the rock stairway to Treasure Cave, stabilized that base and re-cemented the stairs, and created railroad tie stairs on the return trail from Treasure Cave to Point Lookout.
Since the summers are too hot for this type of physical labor for the couple, they are looking forward to returning to Wyalusing after Labor Day for six to eight weeks (weather permitting) of trail work.
David is an active member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Burns Post #388 and Honor Guard participating at military funerals, helping as needed for Bingo and the monthly Steak Fry, preparing the VFW Burns Post # 388 quarterly newsletter, operating the food stand for the VFW for the Wausau Kayak and Canoe events and helping operate the food stand for the week of the Wisconsin Valley Fair. He is also on the Board of Directors for the Wausau Kayak and Canoe Association and Wausau Youth Baseball helping both organizations as needed.
Carol is member of the VFW Auxiliary but her participation is directly related to David, working at the food stand for the Kayak and Canoe events and for the Fair, helping at the Steak Fry when needed and helping with the newsletter. Carol also volunteers with Comfort Care and Hospice Services in Wausau.