La Crosse, WI (WXOW) – Students and community members alike gathered at Chad Erickson Memorial Park to celebrate the opening of a trail connecting local students with nature on Friday.
The Chad Erickson Connector Trail will run from the park to State Road Elementary in La Crosse.
Funded through the City of La Crosse Parks and Recreation Department, the trail is paved and accessible for people of varying ability levels.
Aiming to instill an understanding of the various ecosystems found in the Coulee Region.
“There’s also some great stuff to learn about wetlands and stuff that this trail cuts through,” as Brandon Carey, Forest Management Coordinator for the La Crosse Parks and Recreation Department describes.
“There’s also some good education to learn about invasive species and non-native species that are actually growing in this area, and we can get kids out there working on removing them and being stewards for the land,” Carey adds.
Organizers hope the trail also teaches students how to properly utilize the many trails around the Coulee Region.
“There are wetlands that this trail cuts through and if you mosey off the trail at all you’re going to be into those wetlands and they’re pretty fragile. So staying on the trail, making sure you’re not littering or anything. Keep to the right side of the trail, if there’s a bike behind you or you’re coming up on a bike make sure to inform the people in front of you,” Carey finishes.
After the ribbon cutting, students had a chance to break in the trail as they walked back to school together.