The dedication of a new boardwalk in the Cache River State Natural Area Friday culminates several years of effort by a class of middle-schoolers.  The boardwalk connects a parking lot to the wetland area in the Section 8 Woods Nature Preserve near Cypress in Johnson County. It was damaged in a flood in 2008, and has been closed since.


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Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon says it was a middle-school class from Creal Springs that made the new boardwalk happen. “There’s a group of middle school kids, the Wetland Warriors, who saw this problem and while groups of grown-ups were trying to figure out what to do, the kids basically said let’s get it done,” Simon said.   The students got a $20,000 grant from the Disney Planet Challenge, and $15,000 was spent on the new boardwalk. Other groups contributed as well to the total cost of $68,200:


  • Friends of the Cache River Wetlands - $25,000
  • Wetland Warriors - $15,000
  • Southern Illinois Audubon Society - $10,000
  • Illinois Nature Preserve Commission - $8,800
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency - $4,400
  • Illinois Department of Natural Resources - $5,000


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