It used to be that you could only only look a this marsh on Lake Wingra from a distance. The woods and shoreline were overgrown and inaccessible. Invasive species like purple loosestrife and buckthorn were overwhelming native plants. Now a wood chip path through the woods and a boardwalk along the marsh provide access to the local plants and birds.
Bringing The Edgewood Community Earthwalk and Learning Environment (PDF) was a lengthy process that took more than a decade from inception and planning to completion. It was built with the help of Edgewood students, faculty, and volunteers from the community, with the financial assistance of several local foundations.
The Edgewood Community Earthwalk, consisting of woodland paths and boardwalk linking the woods and marsh on Lake Wingra to the campus community, is a collaborative project among the Edgewood Campus School, Edgewood High School, and Edgewood College. The mission of The Edgewood Community Earthwalk and Learning Environment is closely linked to the mission of Edgewood and the Sinsinawa Dominicans, which strives to develop “a community of learners.” We wish to develop an outdoor learning center where all three groups of students and teachers can “foster open, caring, thoughtful engagement with one another and an enduring commitment to service, all in an educational community that seeks truth, compassion, justice, and partnership.”The walk through the woods and marshland makes for a meditative, beautiful walk -- especially this time of year, when the promise of spring has not yet delivered the expected color. The browns and beiges of the cattails and other marsh vegetation are beautiful in their own way, and what the scene lacks in brighter colors it makes up for in the variety and music of all the bird calls, the surest sign of spring of all.