Janesville52.6°

Volunteers clear Riverside Golf Course

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ANN MARIE AMES
February 7, 2010
— Running a chainsaw isn’t quite the same as swinging a golf club.

But that didn’t bother the dozens of volunteers working Saturday morning to clear broken pine limbs from the city of Janesville’s Riverside Golf Course.


Officials estimate the course’s trees sustained close to $40,000 in damage from an early December storm that piled ice on top of heavy, wet snow in the area.


“The more we get into it, the worse it looks,” said volunteer coordinator John Husen.


About 50 volunteers headed out early Saturday morning, and Husen expected more volunteers to come and go during the day.


City park department Foreman Brian Brieske on Saturday was working to get a complete estimate of the damage, which he will present this week to City Manager Eric Levitt.


He described the tree damage as “very extensive.” As the volunteers cleared fallen branches from the ground around the trees, the damage above the ground became more apparent, Husen said.


Course Superintendent Joe Schneider said 263 trees—most of them white pines—were significantly damaged in the storm.


The volunteers used chainsaws to cut large limbs into manageable pieces. They piled branches and sticks into rows so they can be easily tossed into the city’s wood chippers.


That will clear the way for crews to come in with heavy equipment and address the damage high in the trees, Brieske said.


Depending on the extent of the damage and the weather in the next few weeks, the city could have to get bids for all or some of the heavy work, he said.


City crews could get busy plowing streets or doing other seasonal labor, Brieske said.


The heavy work must be done soon while the ground is frozen so the heavy equipment doesn’t damage the golf course, he said.


“We’re pressed for time and we’re pressed for funds,” Brieske said.


Brieske, Schneider and Husen were impressed by the large number of volunteers who showed up to cut and haul damaged tree limbs.


“This group could reduce the cost of the project,” Brieske said.


“This turnout of volunteers is great. It doesn’t happen a lot, and it’s nice to see.”



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