Welders helping Paddlers!

welding canoe racks

Thirteen students from the 2018/19 Jackson Regional Center Welding program, together with their instructor Steve Henderleiter, recently completed the fabrication of canoe/kayak/paddle board racks for the Washington County Parks Department. This service learning project took 52 hours total to complete 3 sets of racks soon to be installed at Glacier Hills, Ackerman’s Grove, and Leonard J. Yahr County Parks; ready for paddling fun this spring and summer!

Each rack will hold 6 canoes, kayaks or paddleboards. Eric Hyde, Washington County Parks Manager, said, “these racks turned out great! We are so excited! It was a perfect partnership with MPTC for students to have this learning experience and fabricate the racks for the parks. So many people are going to enjoy paddling this summer with the whole new rental program we are launching! We are giving each student and Steve a county park pass and T-shirt to say thank you! This plan worked out really well. We used a basic rack design from Minnesota and we also got a conservation/recreation grant from the DNR to help fund the project, along with a good deal from our West Bend Fleet Farm, McNeilus Steel and Acme Galvanizing.”

Anne Lemke, Experiential Learning Coordinator, was on hand to celebrate the students service achievement. Anne said, “wow what a great service learning project! Students reflected on the teamwork it took to build these racks. They told me it was almost like putting a puzzle together, starting with 21 foot pipes, studying a blueprint, then cutting, coping, drilling and welding. Quite a few nights they were here til almost midnight working on the racks after classes. This is a wonderful achievement they can all add to their resumes and showcase to their family and friends for years to come!”

Pictured above from left to right: Washington County Parks Manager Eric Hyde, Thomas Wiesen Jr of West Bend, Connor George of Fond du Lac, Kelly Becker of Slinger, Jerry Russell of Grafton, Cole Baumgartner of West Bend, Noah Doak of West Bend, Cole Schuette of Slinger, Thomas Strom of Kewaskum, Austin Scheid of West Bend, Matt Berlin of Mequon, MPTC Welding Instructor Steve Henderleiter.

For more information on Moraine Park, visit morainepark.edu.

Written by Anne Lemke
Student Community Impact Coordinator