Your Town Marshfield: Couple turns junkyard into nature preserve

MARSHFIELD, Wis. (WSAW) -- Floyd Hamus and his wife Pat have spent plenty of time at the nature preserve and recreation area that bears their family name.

"We're here about four to five days a week. Maybe for an hour, sometimes more," Floyd said.

Their dedication has made the Hamus Nature Preserve and Recreation Area into what it is today.

But it wasn't always that way.

When Floyd purchased the land in 2003, it was being used as a junkyard for farmers and looked vastly different.

"They had their rocks and stuff they picked off the fields. They were right in this general area here and they just threw them all in there and all kinds of brush grew up through them. You found everything from a refrigerator to an old stove to the cover of a casket," Floyd said.

The land was purchased by Marshfield Utilities from Floyd in 2004, with the promise that he would develop the land in to a nature preserve that was both educational, and accessible.

"We want it so that everyone can come," he recalled.

Visitors can fish in the areas various ponds, or walk more than two miles of trails. The trails take walkers through forests, wetlands, and wildflower prairies.

While it's taken countless hours of work, Floyd said it's been worth it to work with others in the community to create a place people can enjoy.

"It was a fun thing to do between my wife and I and our decisions and it worked out great and we get a lot of people here."