HOWARD, Wis. (WFRV) – Ken and Judy Sikora remember when the Duck Creek Quarry was just a hole in the ground.
“We moved here in 72 and there was, you could feel the blasting tremors through the house,” Ken told Local 5. “They went as deep as they could.”
Judy added, “And then it started filling in with water.”
The couple was thrilled when the quarry was transformed into a swimming hole.
But they saw an area that still needed improvement: the elevated land between the walking path that runs along the quarry and the road.
“We would ride by here every day and just see all of this old brush and a messy-looking area,” Judy explained. “So we thought, we should clean that up so everyone can see this. It looks like a big, beautiful lake.”
Taking matters into their own hands, the Sikoras asked village leadership if they could clean up the public land and plant some flowers.
“Little by little they said, ‘Yeah, do whatever you want,'” Ken said.
Whatever they want just happens to be planting native wildflowers.
“They survive the droughts, the lack of rain, and they’re more beneficial to the butterflies, our native bees, and then I have honey bees,” Ken said when explaining the benefits of native wildflowers.
Planting and maintaining the oasis for pollinators is a lot of work.
“We were cutting down phragmites, cutting down buckthorn, getting it cleaned for spring, just the two of us,” Judy said.
So far, that’s how the plan has been carried out: just the two of them.
“We’re going to maintain it because we started it, we’re looking for help if anybody’s interested,” Ken said.
Help to leave this little corner of the world better than it was.
“Just trying to live by example,” Ken said. “Plant native plants.”
If you’d like to help the Sikoras in their mission, contact officials with the Village of Howard. They can get you in contact with the couple.