Winter is an excellent time for cutting and burning. Snow cover offers relatively safe burning of brush piles, and the cold temps prevent sawyers from overheating.
Right in our backyard, your selfless dedication created a lasting legacy. We spend our lives working toward achievements in which we take pride. If we’re fortunate, we may create something that lives beyond us. In this case, a signature segment contributing to the health and happiness of people we may never meet.
Be proud of the work you’ve done and what you’ve helped accomplish.
Calls of “Coming through!” rang out as hikers passed through the work area. The heavy hiker traffic caused frequent but not unwelcome interruptions. “Holy sh*t!” one hiker exclaimed. “I was here a couple of days ago, and this wasn’t here.”
The stage is set, and with October rapidly approaching, we await the final act in the Reimagining of Ringle saga.
By Luke Kloberdanz, Director of Philanthropy for the Ice Age Trail Alliance
Recently, the Alliance joined in partnership with an iconic brand, New Glarus Brewing Company and its Only in Wisconsin Giving, Inc. Charitable Foundation. Established in 1993, the New Glarus Brewing Company’s philosophy is based on individuality, cooperation, and the employment of 100% natural ingredients to produce world-class, handcrafted beers. Like the Ice Age National Scenic Trail, which meanders exclusively throughout the state, the New Glarus Brewing Company proudly claims their beers are brewed “Only in Wisconsin”.
Beginning on Friday, April 30 – National Arbor Day – 60 volunteers came together to plant 5,500 young trees on the Ice Age Trail Alliance-owned Brownrigg-Heier Preserve. Volunteers (some coming from three hours away) donated 730 hours to help improve the earth in an effort extending beyond their lifetimes.
Over three official days (and one unofficial), 31 volunteers donated 615 hours to build four structures totaling 450 feet. Ahead of the project, efforts by the Waukesha/Milwaukee County Chapter generated momentum with pre-built boardwalk frames. The on-site crews, composed predominately of chapter members, maintained the pace with their skillful construction. They also remained undeterred by the fickle weather, which alternated between snow squalls and spring sunshine. Continue reading
In May, after an unsettling absence, volunteers reconnected with the Ice Age Trail. Your skills and efforts were needed – and appreciated – more than ever. With our productive start to the year in the rearview mirror, we regrouped and accomplished quite a bit – and did it safely. Thank you for everything you did this year, and in the previous decades, to create one of the Midwest’s best hiking trails.
2020 Trail Layout & Design Training
Sustainable trail layout and design (TL&D) is the difference between trails that last and those that don’t. This training is for committed trail workers who want to be an ongoing participant in the Ice Age National Scenic Trail’s development and stewardship.
Training outcomes will directly contribute to a proposed 17-mile reroute. Field work entails evaluating physical, biological, recreational and cultural attributes, identifying positive and negative control points, and methodically documenting findings and observations.
Rain or shine, we’ll explore sustainable TL&D concepts in and out of doors.
This event take’s place Wednesday October 21 through Saturday October 24 in the Blue Hills of Rusk County. A base camp will be at Murphy Flowage Recreation Area, near Birchwood, WI. After a 1/2-day training session, participants will divide into small crews to assess designated areas up to 5 square miles in area.
Crews will have minimal support while in the field. There is little to no cell reception. The Rusk County Forest is vast with few roads, access points. Terrain is rocky, uneven, and wet.
Participants must be able to commit to at least three days as described below.
TL&D as a process is strenuous hard work, physically demanding and requires perseverance in the field. A successful candidate for this training will be selected from a list of skill sets to include some of the following:
- Ability to bushwhack up to 5-7 miles per day, with pack and equipment
- Ability to use both compass and clinometer effectively
- Experience reading/interpreting topo maps
- Backpacking experience is required
- First Aid/CPR certification is desired
- A commitment of a minimum 3.5 days is required
- Extensive trailbuilding experience at Mobile Skills Crew events is a must
Completing “Trail Safe” (link) is required. Trail Safe! consists of eight video lessons, each ranging in length from 18 to 40 minutes long. Viewing the entire eight lesson series will take approximately three hours. Watch them over the course of multiple days, or “binge watch” in three hours—it’s up to you—but please watch them in numeric order from Lesson 1 through Lesson 8.
Applications are accepted until Friday, September 25.
It was a much-needed respite from the unsettled “real” world. Bad news only came when your name was called to help move rotten granite. Continue reading
Mobile Skills Crew Event
Marathon County (Central Wisconsin)
October 5-11, 2020
Each task was sizeable but proved no challenge for the crews. Veteran trailbuilders brought new volunteers up to speed under their careful tutelage. A strong team formed to knock out the work, while wearing masks and following COVID-19 safety protocols.
The final product, a 269-foot-long boardwalk, includes a bump-out designed as a wheel-chair passing zone and look-out platform for hikers wishing to slow down and listen to the springtime chorus of frogs.
- anxiety, like when dancing after not having done so in a long while;
- change, as when seeing with new eyes a way to navigate new norms;
- gratitude, like when an old friend breaks silence with laughter.
NOTICE: Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the concern for the health of volunteers and staff, we have postponed this project until further notice.
Our priority is to keep everyone safe. Please stay tuned for further information.
Just a few weeks after Earth Day, the Ice Age Trail Alliance and volunteers will be hand planting 5,500 native trees on the Alliance owned Brownrigg-Heier Preserve. These trees will replace 8-acres of recently harvested Pine plantation, converting the area to a more natural and sustainable forest, with species estimated to have increased adaptive capacity to changing climate.
No previous experience is necessary. There will be roles for all ages and abilities.
Your contribution is welcome for any part of the event or the entire project. The project begins on Thursday, May 7 and concludes Saturday, May 9. Planting activities begin each day around 9:00 a.m. and conclude by 3:00 p.m.
What to Bring:
- We recommend a long-sleeve shirt and pants for trail work.
- Plan for variable weather – bring warm layers and rain gear.
- Sturdy hiking or work boots (no tennis shoes) and leather work gloves.
- Day pack, water bottles, insect repellent, sunscreen and a hat.
We love dogs, but we ask that you not bring them to this event. Woolly mammoths are welcome.