“Expert Ice Age Trail (IAT) maintenance and stewardship has a quality of invisibility that allows hikers and runners to relish their aesthetic experience rather than constantly watching their feet. That stunning river view? It’s been kept open by regular brush trimming. That forest floor carpeted with blossoming native Bloodroot? It’s the result of a labor of love, not a happy accident.” – Christi Lee, Volunteer Writer for the Ice Age Trail Alliance
The following are types of trail maintenance work done by our chapter volunteers. Outside of Mowing, these efforts are organized by our Trail Coordinator, Pat Witkowski. Some types of maintenance have enough volunteers while others need more. For those wishing to volunteer, Pat can direct you to the activities most in need of assistance.
With close to 25 miles of Trail that need to be mowed several times throughout the spring, summer, and fall months, we can always use extra help with mowing duties. We supply the equipment, including the trailer, but a vehicle with a hitch is necessary. If you think you may enjoy running a brush mower and have a few hours to spare, please consider this volunteer opportunity. The time commitment depends on the weather and how much rainfall we experience. Training is provided. Email Dave Van Thiel, or call him at 262-367-0185 if you want to be part of this amazing crew.
Trees often fall following heavy rains and/or winds. We work hard to remove those that land on the Trail as soon as possible. We have plenty of work for individuals who are certified sawyers. The National Park Service offers training to those who would like to become certified. Contact Pat/262-490-3515 or John if you are certified or would like to learn about these training opportunities.
Segment Stewards regularly monitor and hike a portion of a segment. Their personal observations about trail conditions such as such as downed trees, boardwalk issues or vandalism are reported to Pat so that they can be addressed quickly.
Blazes and segment signage are important on the Ice Age Trail. Much of this work is refreshing the current blazes and signage with a fresh coat of paint. Sometimes foliage needs to be trimmed back to give hikers a clear view. Occasionally signposts need to be replaced. The Blazing Babes do all of this and more!
If you are someone who enjoys more physical work, we have something for you! These volunteers meet on Monday evenings after their day jobs and work on the Trail until sunset. We have boardwalks, puncheons, kiosks, and benches that need to be constructed and/or repaired. There are trail sections to be rerouted and built, low areas filled in, storm damage to clear. The list goes on and on. The Mudders provide important weekly improvements that keep our segments in great shape!
Trail Improvement Days
“Trail improvement” tackles a variety of maintenance tasks. Some of these include removing invasive species, repairing puncheons and boardwalks or working on trail reroutes.
Volunteer opportunities are available to both veteran and new volunteers for these one-day maintenance activities. Our Chapter also coordinates with local scouts, organizations and businesses providing volunteer opportunities to their members and employees. Information for upcoming Trail Improvement Days that are open to the public can be found on our Chapter Calendar.
Community Organization Volunteer Opportunities
Many area schools, businesses, and other organizations look for opportunities for their members to give back to the community. We are happy to work with these groups on an individual basis for a volunteer project. If your organization is interested in participating in land stewardship projects, please contact Pat/262-490-3515. Boy Scouts interested in these opportunities can contact Mark to set up a project.