Crews building recreation trails at La Crosse County Landfill

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WEAU) -- La Crosse County's landfill is getting an additional use.

“A landfill is not just a big hole in the ground,” La Crosse County Sustainability Coordinator Nick Nichols.
Nick Nichols says only 50 of the landfill’s more than 350 acres are used to hold garbage.

In 30-50 years that landfill is expected to be full, and converted back to public use.
He said the waste department doesn’t want all that extra space to go to waste 
“We have a limited amount of space, we have a limited amount of natural resources, and it's important for us to preserve what we have,” said Nichols.
That’s why the department enlisted the help of WisCorps to build recreation trails there.
“It's really comfortable to run on to walk on, to bike on in the winter. We hope to see cross country skiers and snow-shoers out using the trail too,” said WisCorps Operations Director Willie Bittner.

WisCorps is a non-profit organization based in La Crosse that works with 16-25-year-olds on conservation projects around the state.
WisCorp is actually camping out at the landfill.

They've been here since Tuesday morning, and will be here until Friday night.

Some people we talked with said they think the trails are a good idea.

“So many college students, and La Crosse in general is just a very athletic area,” said Carol Vang.

“I think it's great that new trails are being built here and there around the city,” said Alfredo Nevoa.

“It's always nice to run new places when you run out of trails that are already here,” said Trevor Smith.
The project costs about $12,000 per half mile stretch.

Most of it will be paid for with landfill fees.

Some it will be paid for with money from timber on the land sold during a sustainable harvest.
It will take 10 to 15 years to finish the 4-5 miles of trails.
There's one trail by the landfill's office that's available to use.

People might be able to start using the trails in the landfill's forest in 3-4 years.
There's also a landfill in southern Wisconsin that was converted into a mountain biking trail.

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