STEVENS POINT (WAOW) -- Nearly 80 years ago Moses Creek in Stevens Point was transformed into a ditch to drain wetlands to create farmland. Today, the creek has a new lease on life and given the community a prime example of ways we can conserve the environment, and build for the future.
Wednesday's grand opening green-ribbon cutting ceremony marked Moses Creek Restoration Area's official dedication. It's a project years in the making that has community and University of Wisconsin—Stevens Point officials smiling.
"It's fantastic. When you think about $1.3 million all funded by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation? It's a great example of tax dollars doing something to benefit all of Central Wisconsin" according to University of Wisconsin—Stevens Point Chancellor Bernie Patterson.
Schmeeckle Reserve makes up 70% of the University's campus and is used as an outdoor classroom in the school's curriculum.
Though the Stevens Point community and University will get to enjoy this land, it didn't directly cost them one penny. The Moses Creek rejuvenation work was paid for by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.
"The US 10 project is an important backbone to the state but any time you work on big projects you have some impacts on the natural environment" Wisconsin Secretary of Transportation Mark Gottlieb said at the ceremony. He cited the project as an example of ways the state can lessen environmental impacts but still improve transportation infrastructure.
Wisconsin requires construction projects like the US 10 realignment to offset its negative impacts by protecting and strengthening natural habitats.
Stevens Point is anticipating seeing benefits in lessening the impact of floods, now that natural floodplains have been restored to the area.
"It has a practical application for the storm water point of view and tremendous recreational benefit for the entire city" said Stevens Point Mayor Andrew Halverson.
Online Reporter: Rob Duns