Wonewoc residents band together for the greater good
I normally write my stories in third person, but this one would be better versed in first with a dash of third. My wife and I have been spending our weekends and some weekdays traversing the Driftless area, visiting events, meeting people, and listening to issues important to them.
Recently, I wrote a short piece on a group (members of the Kickapoo Croquet Club) kayaking the Kickapoo River. It was brought to our attention via a Facebook post on our teaser, that Wonewoc had a canoe rental business as well, unbeknownst to us. But hey, we are always looking for leads on cool stories.
In our adventures last Saturday, I told my wife Amanda that we would swing through Wonewoc and visit Beyond Boundaries LLC, a business catering to canoe, kayak, and bike enthusiasts alike.
Little did I know that an amazing opportunity would drop right into my lap…two stories in one stop.
Upon arriving in this amazing small village located Southeast of Elroy, Wisconsin, we located Beyond Boundaries on Center street (Hwy33) on the South end of downtown.
We were greeted by owners Miah and Brandi Jones, that told us they had been out back with a few friends cleaning up, removing garbage and natural debris that had been placed by last fall’s and this spring’s flooding.
As we waited for the rest of the crew to come up from out back, we had a chance to tell the Joneses how we came to hear about their business. Shortly after, we met a group of amazing residents led by Village President Colleen Beier.
Shelby Fruit, Heather Wehrmann, Shane Huebel, Miah and Brandi Jones, Jayce Hollard, Brian Thompson, Sarah Olson, Jerrod Ertel, Jayce Hollard, Miah Jones, Jessie Fry, Gary Olson, though a bit tired, dirty, yet satisfied, greeted me and my wife with big smiles and handshakes.
Here we go. Back in April, some people contacted President Beier about doing some extra cleanup of some flood debris that still existed, even though some cleanup had been done before. Some told Beier that if she would put something together, they would be interested in such an event.
Obliged, Beier did just that and posted a Facebook event, asking people to come out and help clean up. She stressed they would get wet, muddy, and dirty.
Beier shared with us that there was a pond located behind the Joneses’ business where a lot of debris landed. “Today that was our big goal.”, she said and continued, “We got all that cleaned out. There were lots of stuff, including oil cans and other things that are bad for the environment. We were looking to get that out of there before it becomes a problem for the animals and people.”
With such vigor to bring people together not just as Village President, but as a resident, I asked Bier what makes Wonewoc unique and special to her. Beier replied, “I’ve always been from the area, my grandparents grew up here, I have family here. It’s my kind of town. Sometimes you visit a town and you just know if you fit in or you don’t. I’ve just always enjoyed coming back to Wonewoc, back to home.” She stressed that she didn’t know if there really was anything specific about Wonewoc, and said it is just a “feeling”.
With some flooding visiting Wonewoc again this spring, Beier noted that the flooding wasn’t too bad, but with her and her husband living right on the river she stated they were very cautious, recognizing that just a few inches of rain can bring it (the Baraboo River) up very quickly and also brings a little anxiety after the damaging floods the village experienced last fall. “I don’t think, for people’s mental well-being, I don’t think we could have handled another big flood in the spring. Thank goodness we’ve avoided that. It does make you feel bad for all the people that are affected by flooding, because you know how really bad it can be.”
With the help of the community, this part of the Baraboo River is ready for canoes and kayaks to be rented from Beyond Boundaries LLC.
For you curious readers out there that don’t miss a thing, the second story on this stop about Beyond Boundaries LLC will be published soon.