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  • Grace Milanowski

Monday Morning Camaraderie

The PCA is fortunate to have four regular trail maintenance volunteer crews every week during the growing seasons spring through fall. The Monday morning crew is well known for being exceptionally hard workers, but are great at making sure they have fun at the same time.

Every Monday from April through November, the group meets at the shed bright and early at 8 a.m. Clay Shaffer, PCA Deputy Coordinator and team leader, Wayne Tillotson determine tasks for the crew. This usually includes anything that requires “heavy lifting,” like removing downed trees from the stream, blowing debris off the entirety of the trail, installing benches, kiosks or signs, watering newly planted trees and shrubs, brush cutting restoration project areas and doing the bulk of invasive honeysuckle removal in fall and winter.

L-R: Clay Shaffer, Spider Fromader, Gordy Gimski, Jeff Becker, Bob Gates, Tom Loeffelholz, Joe Miller, Scott Budd, Gene Weber. Not pictured: Wayne Tillotson, Wayne Schambow, Steve Beisner, Dave Carnahan, Mark Schell

This group was also instrumental in our garage expansion project as they helped with preparations and moved all the equipment into the new space. Members Wayne Tillotson (of All Phase Electric) and Wayne Schambow did all the electrical work.

Members of the Monday crew say they enjoy the variety of tasks they do every week and getting to use different tools and equipment. Above all, the camaraderie and their ability to give back to the Platteville community keeps them coming back week to week.

Spider Fromader started volunteering with the PCA in 2014 after there was a lot of damage to clean up from the tornado in Platteville. He says, “Hearing people thank us keeps all of us excited about the work, and we don't consider it work but time to get together. Lots of teasing and laughing goes into making what we do fun and with many hands lots of good things are accomplished.”

Scott Budd joined the group in 2020 as a way to socialize during retirement. He also wanted to learn more about native and invasive plants. He says he enjoys the physical part of their work, and “feels good about improving something that benefits the community.”

The friendship formed in this group is apparent to anyone who joins them on a Monday morning. Despite the inevitable jokes and teasing between them, these guys have each other's backs through and through. Just recently, the majority of the group gathered on a Friday afternoon to help a fellow crew member, Dave Carnahan, who has been battling cancer with his fall leaf cleanup in the backyard. Dave says, “People should know how unselfish this group is.” And the PCA wholeheartedly agrees- thank you to the Monday morning crew for all their hard work over the years!

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