Joanne Ellarson and Steve Brandt work as a team on a boardwalk retrofit project.
Photo credit: John Helling
The goal of every Mobile Skills Crew event and local Trail improvement effort is to create and maintain a sustainable footpath that fosters new discoveries and broadens our collective connection to the outdoors. Over the course of five rainy, and sometimes stormy days, at last week’s Polk County MSC event, we did that, and more.
Wendell Holl (left) and Jerry Pfeiffer dive into muddy boardwalk work.
Photo credit: Joanne Ellarson
Thanks to the efforts of 119 volunteers, over the course of 3,268 hours, an amazing amount got accomplished:
- 630 feet of technically demanding wood structures were either built or refurbished;
- four new Dispersed Camping Areas were opened for use;
- two trail reroutes were completed;
- two miles of trail signage were refreshed; a trailhead kiosk was installed; and,
- numerous hazard trees were cleared.
The cook shanty was kept warm by the efforts of the crew who prepared three square meals a day. In addition, 11 sawyers attended a chainsaw certification course.
Randy Kalal capably hauls a board, to be used to construct a new 20-foot-long bridge, to the work site.
Photo credit: Tracy Menchaca
Perhaps, what best exemplifies the impassioned enthusiasm, of those striving for Trail excellence, is this snapshot. Picture a thousand feet of wide, muddy, rutted forest road, beat up after many trips moving materials and tools with an ATV and UTV. Now picture six tired volunteers, at the end of a very long week, mustering the energy to wield McLeod’s, with the purpose of reshaping the holes and ruts, in order to return the road to a like-new condition.
Barron High School Conservation Club makes work look fun as they help clear brush from the trailhead.
Photo credit: Stephanie Eastwood
Special Thanks to:
- Dean Dversdall for providing an idyllic base camp location;
- The Frederic Lions Club for providing picnic tables;
- Herb and Cork Lundberg for use of their shed and UTV to store and haul materials, and for the bevy of brownies;
- The Imperial Lion Troupe and Mark Lutz, direct from the Twin Cities, for delightful entertainment celebrating not only this event but the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival, a major Vietnamese and Chinese holiday celebrating the rice harvest.
To gain a larger sense of the work accomplished during the MSC project, you may click here for more photos.
To gain a better sense of the areas where the numerous projects took place last weekend, click here for a map.
Thank you, volunteers!
We appreciate you!