IAT-U Educated and Empowered Volunteers

Ice Age Trail Alliance, Ice Age National Scenic Trail, IAT-U, Mobile Skills Crew

Participants of the Trail Maintenance and Stewardship class smile in spite of the intense heat. Photo by Tim Malzhan.

104 volunteers gamely gathered, from across the state and beyond, during four sweltering, sticky summer days, to learn new skills, refresh existing skills, and deepen their commitment to the Ice Age National Scenic Trail.

By leaps and bounds the most comprehensive training curriculum offered since the term “Ice Age Trail University” (IAT-U) was coined in 2008, the Mobile Skills Crew mantras of “Educate and Empower” and “Trail Building is People Building” shone brightly as 20 – yes, twenty!! – volunteer leaders stepped up as trainers.

Ice Age Trail Alliance, Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Mobile Skills Crew, IAT-U, Ice age Trail University

Participants learn about chainsaw safety at IAT-U. Photo by Dave Caliebe.

Special Thanks to:

  • Volunteer trainers Pat Witkowski, Leah Bradley, Mark Struve, Andrew Bent, Andrew Hanson, Wendell Holl, David Lonsdorf, Tom Wise, Ann Green, Barbara Johnson, Judy Rose, Chris Miller, Sheri Ritz and Jessica Woodward; Brigit Brown (WDNR staff); Jim Olive (Chainsaw Safety Training Specialists); First Aid/CPR Specialists; and Tim Malzhan, Dave Caliebe, Luke Kloberdanz, Alaina Dedo (IATA staff).
  • Project support volunteer leaders Al Sulzer, Dolly McNulty, Barb Unger, Barb Voight, Ardis Virnig; and, Brad Crary (IATA staff).
  • NPS and Dan Watson for Base Camp location, funding and support.
  • Alliant Energy for financial assistance.
Ice Age Trail Alliance, Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Mobile Skills Crew, IAT-U

Members of the Wilkie clan with James Wilkie on the right. Photo by Tim Malzhan.

Special Guests:

We were honored to have descendants of the Wilkie clan visit us. The significance of this visit begins back in 2002 when the Wilkie family sold their 157-acre farm to the National Park Service for conservation and Ice Age Trail purposes. Hearing the stories underscored the love and thoughtful vision the Wilkie family had for the land. This remarkable history served to further deepen the Alliance’s commitment to establishing a premier segment of Ice Age Trail through territory that will be akin to Wisconsin’s first National Park.

Ice Age Trail Alliance, Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Mobile Skills Crew event, IAT-U, Ice Age Trail University

Participants of Tread 101 practice the finer points of tread construction. Photo by Dave Caliebe.

Training Resources:

To support all the fantastic learning and to deepen your knowledge, we’ve gathered a number of the presentations and attending course material and made it available here. Check back over the next couple of weeks – we’ll be adding to this list.


We return to the magnificent Walla Hi Segment in Manitowoc County, July 19-22 to construct a difficult ½-mile of new trail to make complete the off-road connection to and from the park.  Project tasks include substantive technical stone work, boardwalk construction, invasive plant removal, brush cutting and trail signage installation.  All aboard!!

Happy Trails,
The IAT-U Project Team

Photo credit:
Header: Tim Malzhan
Chainsaw Safety: Dave Caliebe
Wilkie family: Tim Malzhan
Tread: Dave Caliebe


Use the promo code iceage18 and sign up for a share of Sitka’s premium, sustainable seafood harvest at www.sitkasalmonshares.com.

Sitka will donate $25 to the Ice Age Trail Alliance and they’ll give you $25 off too! Then they’ll deliver your seafood share directly to your door.

2018 Mobile Skills Crew Sponsors:

This project was made possible, in part, by these generous sponsors who stepped up to support the Trail Program in 2018.

Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Ice Age Trail Alliance, REI CO-OP corporate partner, Mobile Skills Crew program 2017 Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Ice Age Trail Alliance, Corporate Friends, Sitka Salmon Shares