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Cache River boardwalk reopened 

The Southern Illinoisan
May 12, 2012

CYPRESS — A flood-damaged boardwalk along the Cache River was officially reopened Friday.

The Section 8 Woods Nature Preserve wooden boardwalk, at Cache River State Natural Area, had been damaged by flooding in 2008 and 2011. Floodwaters in 2008 forced the 475-foot-long boardwalk to be lifted out of the ground, causing major damage.

Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon and Illinois Department of Natural Resources Director Marc Miller were among the state officials at the celebration. Also there were the “Wetland Warriors,” a group of students from Creal Springs School who had committed $15,000 from a grant they received to the project.

“Thanks to these students and our partners here in the Cache River basin, the repairs to the Section 8 Woods accessible boardwalk can be celebrated today,” Miller said in a statement. “We all have been thrilled and inspired by the Creal Springs students’ commitment to research and to understanding the importance of protection and stewardship of the Cache River Wetlands.”

Simon echoed that sentiment.

“I applaud the Creal Springs School students’ commitment to protection and restoration of the Cache River Wetlands, and to the many others who assisted in this collaborative project,” she said in a statement. “This boardwalk makes it possible for Illinois citizens young and old to enjoy some of our state’s wonderful natural resources.”

The project to repair the boardwalk was started by IDNR, Illinois Nature Preserves Commission, Friends of the Cache and Southern Illinois Audubon Society. Along with the Wetland Warriors, those groups also contributed financial support.

The preserve includes cypress-tupelo swamp and a floodplain forest, and the boardwalk provides a trail that ends with a view of a state-champion water tupelo tree.

The boardwalk is on Illinois 37, 3.5 miles south of Cypress.