Trail Improvement, University Ridge-Madison Segment, Dane County

Photo Credit: Cameron Gillie

Friends,

It’s time to head out to University Ridge to continue the trail improvement work we’ve been doing over the past 14 months.  The results of our work are gratifying–I walked the west woods today to the Woods Rd. trailhead  The look and feel of the trail is such a wonderful improvement!  It soothes the soul…

We have only 385 feet of trail left to finish phase 1 of this project.  Wow!  

What: Clear invasive brush to improve forest health, reveal the area’s natural beauty and enhance the hiking experience.  We will pile the cut brush for winter burning.  Note: We will not be burning brush piles on Feb. 18.

Hand tools will be provided.

Chain sawyers (NPS certified): Sawyers are very welcome and much needed.

When: Sunday, February 18,  9:00 AM to 2:00 PM.   

Where:  University Ridge Golf Course.  Enter through the main gate at 9002 County Hwy. PD, Madison.

Park in the large parking lot near the clubhouse.  See map.

What to wear/what to bring: Please dress appropriately for the weather.  There is plenty of thorny gooseberry, prickly ash and buckthorn, so keep your skin covered.  Leather gloves are a must.  Bring plenty of water, snacks and lunch.

Homework:    There are several attachments to this event.  Please take a few minutes to read them. This info will help you identify black cherry (good), common buckthorn (bad) and burning bush (bad).  You’ll also learn the basics of constructing a proper brush pile.  Trust me–poorly-built brush piles are a huge time-waster when it’s time to burn them.

Volunteers in Parks (VIP) program:  The National Park Service asks that all volunteers file, on a yearly basis, a Volunteer Service Agreement form.  In the unlikely event of an injury, a VIP’s medical expenses are covered by the federal government.  Go to:  https://www.iceagetrail.org/wp-content/uploads/packet-individual-301a-exp-10_2024.pdf 

Courtesy:  If you are going to arrive late or cannot come as planned, I understand.  Please afford me and your fellow volunteers the courtesy of a phone call, text or email to me as early as possible.  Thank you.

If you plan to help on February 18, please reply to this message.  This is very important so I can plan for enough tools and supplies.  It also allows me to communicate with you, should plans change due to weather, etc.

Questions?  Call, email or text me.  I hope to see you Sunday morning!

Happy Trails

Link to work site location: Map for next trail improvement day

Building & burning brush piles (handout)

Black cherry v buckthorn

Burning Bush shrub winter id.

 

Ice Age Trail Crew – Trailbuilding – Wildcard! Location TBD

Ice Age Trail Alliance, Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Ice Age Trail, Ice Age Trail Crew, 2024 Trailbuilding SeasonWhat You’ll Help Do:

Save the date! Join us for the year’s final project. The location and project are determined as the season draws to a close. We may revisit a segment to finish remaining to-do list items or tackle an emerging need somewhere else on the Trail.

Project Area Map (coming soon!)

All Talents and Abilities Welcome!

There’s a role for volunteers of all ages and abilities. And no experience is necessary to participate in MSC events. Friendly Alliance staff and certified volunteer crew leaders provide hands-on training to get you started immediately.

Registration:

 

 

 

Schedule:

Your contribution of time and energy is welcome for any part of the event.

The event begins Thursday, October 24, and concludes on Sunday, October 27. Trail construction activities begin each day around 8:00 a.m. and typically wrap up by 4:30 p.m. On Sunday, work ends by noon.

 

Meals and Checking in at Base Camp/Volunteer Check In Information:

Volunteers should report each day to Base Camp (TBA at registration).

A light breakfast will be provided, along with dinner, for volunteers staying overnight.

What to Bring:

  • Your lunch for each day you are on site.
  • Long-sleeve shirts and pants for trail work; mud boots if you have them, may come in handy.
  • A hat, gaiter, and head net.
  • 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, sunscreen, and insect repellent.
  • Gear for camping if you’re staying overnight. (If you prefer, you may arrange lodging in area hotels, too.)

Questions?

Please contact the Trail Team via email (TrailTeam@iceagetrail.org) or the Ice Age Trail Alliance office (800-227-0046).

We hope to see you!

Learn more about Alliance-sponsored Ice Age Trail Crew events: 2024 Season at a Glance

Ice Age Trail Crew – Trailbuilding – Northern Blue Hills Segment, Rusk County

Ice Age Trail Alliance, Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Ice Age Trail, Ice Age Trail Crew, 2024 Trailbuilding SeasonWhat You’ll Help Do:

At last, it’s time the Dreamer Route became reality. Join tread and corridor clearing crews for the first of many events working in this geologically significant area. We’ll also finish up bridge and boardwalk work on the Hemlock Creek Segment.

Project Area Map (coming soon!)

All Talents and Abilities Welcome!

There’s a role for volunteers of all ages and abilities. And no experience is necessary to participate in MSC events. Friendly Alliance staff and certified volunteer crew leaders provide hands-on training to get you started immediately.

Registration:

 

 

 

Schedule:

Your contribution of time and energy is welcome for any part of the event.

The event begins Wednesday, October 2, and concludes on Sunday, October 6. Trail construction activities begin each day around 8:00 a.m. and typically wrap up by 4:30 p.m. On Sunday, work ends by noon.

 

Meals and Checking in at Base Camp/Volunteer Check In Information:

  • Volunteers should report each day to Base Camp (TBA at registration).
  • A light breakfast will be provided, along with dinner, for volunteers staying overnight.

What to Bring:

  • Your lunch for each day you are on site.
  • Long-sleeve shirts and pants for trail work; mud boots if you have them, may come in handy.
  • A hat, gaiter, and head net.
  • 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, sunscreen, and insect repellent.
  • Gear for camping if you’re staying overnight. (If you prefer, you may arrange lodging in area hotels, too.)

Questions?

Please contact the Trail Team via email (TrailTeam@iceagetrail.org) or the Ice Age Trail Alliance office (800-227-0046).

We hope to see you!

Learn more about Alliance-sponsored Ice Age Trail Crew events: 2024 Season at a Glance

Ice Age Trail Crew – Trailbuilding – Greenbush Segment, Sheboygan County

Ice Age Trail Alliance, Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Ice Age Trail, Ice Age Trail Crew, 2024 Trailbuilding SeasonWhat You’ll Help Do:

Enjoy early autumn color in the Kettle Moraine State Forest – Northern Unit as you craft brand-new tread. Help create a new route for the Ice Age Trail south of Hwy 23, moving it from a paved multi-use trail onto a beautiful landscape of deep kettles and big trees.

Project Area Map (coming soon!)

All Talents and Abilities Welcome!

There’s a role for volunteers of all ages and abilities. And no experience is necessary to participate in MSC events. Friendly Alliance staff and certified volunteer crew leaders provide hands-on training to get you started immediately.

Registration:

 

 

 

Schedule:

Your contribution of time and energy is welcome for any part of the event.

The event begins Wednesday, September 11, and concludes on Sunday, September 15. Trail construction activities begin each day around 8:00 a.m. and typically wrap up by 4:30 p.m. On Sunday, work ends by noon.

Meals and Checking in at Base Camp/Volunteer Check In Information:

  • Volunteers should report each day to Base Camp (TBA at registration).
  • A light breakfast will be provided, along with dinner, for volunteers staying overnight.

What to Bring:

  • Your lunch for each day you are on site.
  • Long-sleeve shirts and pants for trail work; mud boots if you have them, may come in handy.
  • A hat, gaiter, and head net.
  • 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, sunscreen, and insect repellent.
  • Gear for camping if you’re staying overnight. (If you prefer, you may arrange lodging in area hotels, too.)

Questions?

Please contact the Trail Team via email (TrailTeam@iceagetrail.org) or the Ice Age Trail Alliance office (800-227-0046).

We hope to see you!

Learn more about Alliance-sponsored Ice Age Trail Crew events: 2024 Season at a Glance

Ice Age Trail Crew – Trailbuilding – Plover River Segment, Marathon County

Ice Age Trail Alliance, Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Ice Age Trail, Ice Age Trail Crew, 2024 Trailbuilding SeasonWhat You’ll Help Do:

South of Highway 52, this much-loved and well-traveled segment is ready for a few upgrades. Help build puncheon, solidify tread with granite boulders, and maintain the existing tread to withstand many future boots.

Project Area Map (coming soon!)

All Talents and Abilities Welcome!

There’s a role for volunteers of all ages and abilities. And no experience is necessary to participate in MSC events. Friendly Alliance staff and certified volunteer crew leaders provide hands-on training to get you started immediately.

Registration:

 

 

 

Schedule:

Your contribution of time and energy is welcome for any part of the event.

The event begins Wednesday, August 14, and concludes on Sunday, August 18. Trail construction activities begin each day around 8:00 a.m. and typically wrap up by 4:30 p.m. On Sunday, work ends by noon.

 

 

Meals and Checking in at Base Camp/Volunteer Check In Information:

  • Volunteers should report each day to Base Camp (TBA at registration).
  • A light breakfast will be provided, along with dinner, for volunteers staying overnight.

What to Bring:

  • Your lunch for each day you are on site.
  • Long-sleeve shirts and pants for trail work; mud boots if you have them, may come in handy.
  • A hat, gaiter, and head net.
  • 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, sunscreen, and insect repellent.
  • Gear for camping if you’re staying overnight. (If you prefer, you may arrange lodging in area hotels, too.)

Questions?

Please contact the Trail Team via email (TrailTeam@iceagetrail.org) or the Ice Age Trail Alliance office (800-227-0046).

We hope to see you!

Learn more about Alliance-sponsored Ice Age Trail Crew events: 2024 Season at a Glance

Ice Age Trail Crew – Trailbuilding – John Muir Park Segment, Marquette County

Ice Age Trail Alliance, Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Ice Age Trail, Ice Age Trail Crew, 2024 Trailbuilding SeasonWhat You’ll Do:

Elevate hikers’ enjoyment of the Alliance-owned Muir Preserve by building a boardwalk and loop trail, setting up the Trail for future growth. In addition, crews will help scout more Trail options in Marquette County.

Project Area Map (coming soon!)

All Talents and Abilities Welcome!

There’s a role for volunteers of all ages and abilities. And no experience is necessary to participate in MSC events. Friendly Alliance staff and certified volunteer crew leaders provide hands-on training to get you started immediately.

Registration:

 

 

 

Schedule:

Your contribution of time and energy is welcome for any part of the event.

The event begins Wednesday, July 17, and concludes on Sunday, July 21. Trail construction activities begin each day around 8:00 a.m. and typically wrap up by 4:30 p.m. On Sunday, work ends by noon.

Meals and Checking in at Base Camp/Volunteer Check In Information:

  • Volunteers should report each day to Base Camp (TBA after registration).
  • A light breakfast will be provided, along with dinner, for volunteers staying overnight.

What to Bring:

  • Your lunch for each day you are on site.
  • Long-sleeve shirts and pants for trail work; mud boots if you have them, may come in handy.
  • A hat, gaiter, and head net.
  • 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, sunscreen, and insect repellent.
  • Gear for camping if you’re staying overnight. (If you prefer, you may arrange lodging in area hotels, too.)

Questions?

Please contact the Trail Team via email (TrailTeam@iceagetrail.org) or the Ice Age Trail Alliance office (800-227-0046).

We hope to see you!

Learn more about Alliance-sponsored Ice Age Trail Crew events: 2024 Season at a Glance

Ice Age Trail Crew: Maintenance Sweep

Save the date. Location TBD.

What You’ll Do: 

Summer’s ongoing challenge: summer storm damage and overgrown Trail as brush crowds the tread. Join a small crew eager to wield clippers, mow, and bring order to the mayhem.

All Talents and Abilities Welcome!

There’s a role for volunteers of all ages and abilities. And no experience is necessary to participate in MSC events. Friendly Alliance staff and certified volunteer crew leaders provide hands-on training to get you started immediately.

Registration

Coming soon!

What to Bring 

• Please bring your own lunch for each day you are on site.
• Long-sleeve shirts and pants for trail work; mud boots if you have them, may come in handy.
• 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, a hat and gaiters.

Questions?

Please contact the Trail Team via email (TrailTeam@iceagetrail.org) or the IATA office (800-227-0046).

We hope to see you soon!

Happy Trails,

The Maintenance Sweep Team

Learn more about Alliance-sponsored MSC events: 2024 Season at a Glance

Ice Age Trail Crew: Maintenance Sweep

Save the date. Location TBD.

What We’re Doing

Summer’s challenge: unchecked brush and fast-growing grass. Join a small crew ready to tackle the undergrowth along the Trail corridor and mow tread.

All Talents and Abilities Welcome!

There’s a role for volunteers of all ages and abilities. And no experience is necessary to participate in MSC events. Friendly Alliance staff and certified volunteer crew leaders provide hands-on training to get you started immediately.

Registration

Coming soon!

What to Bring 

• Please bring your own lunch for each day you are on site.
• Long-sleeve shirts and pants for trail work; mud boots if you have them, may come in handy.
• 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, a hat and gaiters.

Questions?

Please contact the Trail Team via email (TrailTeam@iceagetrail.org) or the IATA office (800-227-0046).

We hope to see you soon!

Happy Trails,

The Maintenance Sweep Team

Learn more about Alliance-sponsored MSC events: 2024 Season at a Glance

Ice Age Trail Crew – Training – Crew Leader Skills, Dane County

Ice Age Trail Alliance, Ice Age Trail, Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Ice Age Trail Crew, TrailbuildingWhat You’ll Do:

Learn the skills you need to lead the next Trailbuilding generation. If you participated in past years’ Trailbuilding events and are ready to take the next step, please submit a short application (see registration section below).

Project Area Map (coming soon!)

Registration:

Submit your application to Chad DuChateau, Director of Trail Operations, by May 17.

Email chad@iceagetrail.org (preferred) or mail your application to Ice Age Trail Alliance, 2110 Main Street, P.O. Box 128, Cross Plains, WI 53528.

The Trail Team will follow up with more details once your application has been reviewed.

 

Schedule:

The event begins Thursday, June 20 and concludes on Sunday, June 23. Sessions begin each day around 8:00 a.m. and typically wrap up by 4:30 p.m.

Questions?

Please contact the Trail Team via email (TrailTeam@iceagetrail.org) or the Ice Age Trail Alliance office (800-227-0046).

Learn more about Alliance-sponsored Ice Age Trail Crew events: 2024 Season at a Glance

Ice Age Trail Crew – Training – IAT-U, Dane County

Ice Age Trail Alliance, Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Ice Age Trail, Ice Age Trail Crew, 2024 Trailbuilding SeasonWhat You’ll Do:

Learn new skills from experienced staff and expert volunteers. Ice Age Trail University (IAT-U) classes will be announced at a later date – stay tuned!

Project Area Map (coming soon!)

All Talents and Abilities Welcome!

There’s a role for volunteers of all ages and abilities. And no experience is necessary to participate in MSC events. Friendly Alliance staff and certified volunteer crew leaders provide hands-on training to get you started immediately.

Registration:

Coming soon!

Schedule:

Your contribution of time and energy is welcome for any part of the event.

The event begins Thursday, June 6 and concludes on Saturday, June 8. Sessions begin each day around 8:00 a.m. and typically wrap up by 4:30 p.m.

Meals and Checking in at Base Camp/Volunteer Check In Information:

  • Volunteers should report each day to Base Camp (TBA at registration).
  • A light breakfast will be provided, along with dinner, for volunteers staying overnight.

What to Bring:

  • Your lunch for each day you are on site.
  • Long-sleeve shirts and pants for trail work; mud boots if you have them, may come in handy.
  • A hat, gaiter, and head net.
  • 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, sunscreen, and insect repellent.
  • Gear for camping if you’re staying overnight. (If you prefer, you may arrange lodging in area hotels, too.)

Questions?

Please contact the Trail Team via email (TrailTeam@iceagetrail.org) or the Ice Age Trail Alliance office (800-227-0046).

We hope to see you!

Learn more about Alliance-sponsored Ice Age Trail Crew events: 2024 Season at a Glance

Ice Age Trail Crew – Trailbuilding – Hemlock Creek Segment, Barron and Rusk Counties

Ice Age Trail Alliance, Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Ice Age Trail, Ice Age Trail Crew, 2024 Trailbuilding SeasonWhat You’ll Do:

Help upgrade the Trail near the popular Murphy Flowage Recreation Area. Replace deteriorating bridges and boardwalks, refresh signage, and maintain tread.

Project Area Map (coming soon!)

All Talents and Abilities Welcome!

There’s a role for volunteers of all ages and abilities. And no experience is necessary to participate in MSC events. Friendly Alliance staff and certified volunteer crew leaders provide hands-on training to get you started immediately.

Registration:

 

 

 

Schedule:

Your contribution of time and energy is welcome for any part of the event.

The event begins Wednesday, May 15, and concludes on Sunday, May 19. Trail construction activities begin each day around 8:00 a.m. and typically wrap up by 4:30 p.m. On Sunday, work ends by noon.

Meals and Checking in at Base Camp/Volunteer Check In Information:

  • Volunteers should report each day to Base Camp (TBA after registration).
  • A light breakfast will be provided, along with dinner, for volunteers staying overnight.

What to Bring:

  • Your lunch for each day you are on site.
  • Long-sleeve shirts and pants for trail work; mud boots if you have them, may come in handy.
  • A hat, gaiter, and head net.
  • 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, sunscreen, and insect repellent.
  • Gear for camping if you’re staying overnight. (If you prefer, you may arrange lodging in area hotels, too.)

Questions?

Please contact the Trail Team via email (TrailTeam@iceagetrail.org) or the Ice Age Trail Alliance office (800-227-0046).

We hope to see you soon!

Happy Trails,

The Hemlock Creek Segment Project Team

Learn more about Alliance-sponsored Ice Age Trail Crew events: 2024 Season at a Glance

Ice Age Trail Crew: Maintenance Sweep

Save the date. Location TBD.

What You’ll Do: 

Winter takes its toll along the Ice Age Trail. Be a part of a small crew dedicated to making the Trail ready for spring hiking—most likely will involve removing fallen trees or broken branches. So, sawyers and swampers are especially needed!

All Talents and Abilities Welcome!

There’s a role for volunteers of all ages and abilities. And no experience is necessary to participate in MSC events. Friendly Alliance staff and certified volunteer crew leaders provide hands-on training to get you started immediately.

Registration:

Coming soon!

What to Bring 

• Please bring your own lunch for each day you are on site.
• Long-sleeve shirts and pants for trail work; mud boots if you have them, may come in handy.
• 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, a hat and gaiters.

Questions?

Please contact the Trail Team via email (TrailTeam@iceagetrail.org) or the IATA office (800-227-0046).

We hope to see you soon!

Happy Trails,

The Maintenance Sweep Team

Learn more about Alliance-sponsored MSC events: 2024 Season at a Glance

Thank You for a Successful 2023 Trailbuilding Season

Nearly 15-miles of brand new Ice Age Trail!

Photos by Patrick Gleissner, Dave Caliebe, and Rick Gamble.
Photos by Patrick Gleissner, Dave Caliebe, and Rick Gamble.
Two words – New Trail – describe the Ice Age Trail Alliance’s 2023 Trailbuilding Season!

Nearly 15 miles of brand-new Ice Age National Scenic Trail took shape, creating a banner year.

The season’s true superstars were the 1,031 volunteers who donated 24,725 service hours, an impressive amount!
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Trail Improvement, Madison Segment, Dane County

Photo Credit: Cameron Gillie

When: Saturday, November 18,  9:00 AM to 2:00 PM.   

Where:  University Ridge Golf Course.  Enter through the main gate at 9002 County Hwy. PD, Madison.  Park in the large parking lot near the clubhouse.  See map.

Parking Please park in the area shown on the attached map.

What to wear/what to bring: Wear a hat, long-sleeved shirt, long pants, socks and lightweight boots.  There is plenty of thorny gooseberry and multiflora rose.  Leather gloves are a must.  Bring plenty of water, snacks and lunch.

Volunteers in Parks (VIP) program:  The National Park Service asks that all volunteers file, on a yearly basis, a Volunteer Service Agreement form.  In the unlikely event of an injury, a VIP’s medical expenses are covered by the federal government.  Go to:  https://www.iceagetrail.org/wp-content/uploads/Packet-Individual-301a-IATR-Staff_508-1.pdf

Courtesy:  If you are going to arrive late or cannot come as planned, I understand.  Please afford me and your fellow volunteers the courtesy of a phone call, text or email to me as early as possible.  Thank you.

Questions?  Call, email or text me.

Happy Trails

Link to map: University golf course map 11-18-23

A Road Walk Becomes a Walk in the Woods!

The final MSC Trailbuilding project for 2023 in Cross Plains brought a record number of volunteers and service hours.

A group of volunteers gather in a circle at the Cross Plains Segment for a morning meeting prior to the Trailbuilding event.
A record breaking number of volunteers gathered for the final 2023 MSC Trailbuilding Project in Cross Plains. Photo by Amy Lord.
The five-day trailbuilding project from October 18 – October 22 along the Cross Plains Segment of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail ticked a lot of boxes: Enthusiastic volunteers, great weather, even better food, vibrant autumn color, an evening watching UW-Madison’s women’s volleyball on the big screen (literally), and pumpkin carving! As a bonus, volunteers built 3.1 miles of tread, including a 0.6-mile white-blazed loop trail.
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A 15-Year Project Receives Finishing Touches

The concluding Rib Lake MSC Trailbuilding Project, a volunteer celebration, and a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the re-opening of the Rib Lake Segment.

152 volunteers donated 4,388 service hours to the final Rib Lake MSC project, allowing for the grand re-opening of the Rib Lake Segment! Photo by Dave Caliebe.
152 volunteers donated 4,388 service hours to the final Rib Lake MSC project, allowing for the grand re-opening of the Rib Lake Segment! Photo by Dave Caliebe.
“This MSC event was about putting on the finishing touches to a 15-year project,” said Dave Caliebe, Trail Program Manager. “Although Bob Rusch knows more about this than I do, the entire week felt like the final kick runners muster when approaching a marathon’s finish line.”

152 volunteers donated 4,388 service hours to reach the home stretch: The Ribbon Cutting ceremony on the morning of Sunday, October 1st, followed by a hike along the rerouted and reopened Rib Lake Segment
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The Rejuvenation of the Eastern Terminus

Volunteers work together to move a large dolomite slab. Photo by Patrick Gleissner.
Volunteers work together to move a large dolomite slab. Photo by Patrick Gleissner.
“I love working on the Ice Age National Scenic Trail because what we do today will live on after we are gone,” said Cheryl Gorsuch, Lakeshore Chapter Coordinator. “It will provide our children and grandchildren with a legacy of connecting with nature and preserving the land for future generations.”

And since the Eastern Terminus is either the start or end of a 1,200-mile adventure, it’s fitting that seasoned volunteers worked alongside children with many years ahead of them. Together, the generations revitalized an important stretch of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail.
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Meet the Wisconsin Conservation Corps Crew Who Spent their Summer on the Trail

Three Wisconsin Conservation Corps members help with trail maintenance.
Wisconsin Conservation Corps crew members help with trail maintenance on Ice Age Trail segments in Taylor County. Photo by Mark Ormsby.
The Ice Age National Scenic Trail and its volunteers got an assist this summer from five Wisconsin Conservation Corps crew members, who helped build and maintain the Trail:

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A Charmed Event: The Final Iola Ski Hill Segment MSC

A group of volunteers sit and stand by a brand new stone staircase on the Ice Age Trail.
Volunteers proudly pose by a brand new stone staircase at the MSC Iola Ski Hill Trailbuilding event. Photo by Dave Caliebe.
Some MSC events occur beneath a charmed star like the third and final project of the Iola Ski Hill Segment’s reroute. It started with an outstanding and fun group of people coming together – 101 volunteers donated 2,237 service hours. This number included several volunteers from the June 2023 Crew Leader Training class.
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IAT-U Provides In-Depth Learning Opportunities

Hands-on classes spruce up an iconic segment.

Two purple coneflowers in a green prairie capture the focus of a camera lense.
Over four days, volunteers dedicated time to learn the ins and outs of Trailbuilding and maintenance. Photo by Jeff Frazer.
The boyhood land of John Muir, eminent naturalist and conservationist, provided inspiration and a scenic backdrop for Ice Age Trail University (IAT-U) activities on July 12-16, 2023. And the Ice Age National Scenic Trail’s John Muir Park Segment offered an ideal setting for IAT-U’s outdoor classrooms, along with good weather: blue sky, plenty of sunshine, and the occasional breeze.
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Trail Improvement, Madison Segment, Dane County

Photo Credit: Cameron Gillie

I’m planning a trail improvement day at University Ridge golf course.  We’re going to make a huge improvement at the Woods Road trailhead!  In a few hours we will transform this area from buckthorn jungle to an attractive Ice Age NST trailhead.
What: Clear invasive brush to improve forest health, reveal the area’s natural beauty and enhance the hiking experience.  Pile the cut brush for winter burning.
Chain sawyers: We can use gas chain saws in this area.  Your help will be much appreciated.  Battery-powered saw?  We love you too!
When: Sunday, July 23,  9:00 AM to 2:00 PM.   
Where:  University Ridge Golf Course.  Enter through the main gate at 9002 County Hwy. PD, Madison.
Parking Please park in the area shown on the attached map.  PLEASE DO NOT PARK ON WOODS ROAD–THE SHOULDER IS NARROW AND STEEP.  TRAFFIC MOVES FAST ON THIS ROAD.  INSTEAD, PARK SAFELY IN THE AREA SHOWN ON THE ATTACHED MAP.
What to wear/what to bring: Wear a hat, long-sleeved shirt, long pants, socks and lightweight boots.  There is plenty of thorny gooseberry and multiflora rose.  Leather gloves are a must.  It is tick season.  Wear outer clothing treated with Permethrin.  Tick-borne illness is no fun!  Bring plenty of water, snacks and lunch.
Volunteers in Parks (VIP) program:  The National Park Service asks that all volunteers file, on a yearly basis, a Volunteer Service Agreement form.  In the unlikely event of an injury, a VIP’s medical expenses are covered by the federal government.  Go to:  https://www.iceagetrail.org/wp-content/uploads/Packet-Individual-301a-IATR-Staff_508-1.pdf 
Courtesy:  If you are going to arrive late or cannot come as planned, I understand.  Please afford me and your fellow volunteers the courtesy of a phone call, text or email to me as early as possible.  Thank you.
If you plan to help on July 23, please reply to this message.  This is very important so I can plan for enough tools and supplies.  It also allows me to communicate with you, should plans change due to weather, etc.
Questions?  Call, email or text me.  I hope to see you on July 23!

Happy Trails

Link to details: July 23 workday map

Trail Improvement, Madison Segment, Dane County

Photo Credit: Cameron Gillie

We’re going to continue the series of University Ridge workdays on Sunday, July 9.  It’s no National Trails Day, but it is apparently Nunavut Day.  We will finish clearing buckthorn and honeysuckle from a patch started on Monday, June 12, and resume working northwards near the clubhouse.
What: Clear invasive brush to improve forest health, reveal the area’s natural beauty and enhance the hiking experience.
When: Sunday, July 9, 9 AM to 2 PM.
Where: University Ridge Golf Course.  Enter through the main gate at 9002 County Hwy. PD, Madison.  See the attached map.
What to expect:
We will cut, move and pile brush & small trees.
As noted on the attached map, we will be tackling two work areas.  Depending on turnout, we expect to start a crew in each area immediately after roundup.  (Otherwise, in case of a small turnout, we’ll work as one crew to finish work area 1 and then move to work area 2.)
Parking:
Please park in the back of the parking lot near the clubhouse.  We’ll round up and distribute tools there, and then a small group (3-5 people) will depart for Work Area 1.  The remaining group will tackle Work Area 2 near the clubhouse.
** The course is open and golf season is in full swing, so be aware that many golf carts will be moving about on the paths throughout the day.
What to expect / what to wear / what to bring:
All hand tools will be provided.
– Safety glasses and disposable ear plugs will be available – if you have your own ear/eye protection, please bring them.
– Wear a hat, long-sleeved shirt, long pants, socks and lightweight boots.  There is plenty of thorny gooseberry and multiflora rose, as well as poison ivy and some wild parsnip in open areas.  Leather gloves are a must.
– It is tick season.  Wear outer clothing treated with Permethrin.  Tick-borne illness is no fun!
– Bring plenty of water, snacks and lunch.

Volunteers in Parks (VIP) program:  The National Park Service asks that all volunteers file, on a yearly basis, a Volunteer Service Agreement form.  In the unlikely event of an injury, a VIP’s medical expenses are covered by the federal government.  Go to https://www.iceagetrail.org/wp-content/uploads/Packet-Individual-301a-IATR-Staff_508-1.pdf

Courtesy:  If you are going to arrive late or cannot come as planned, I understand.  Please afford me and your fellow volunteers the courtesy of a phone call, text or email to me as early as possible.  Thank you.

If you plan to help on July 9, please contact me (see info below).  This is very important so I can plan for enough tools and supplies.  It also allows me to communicate with you, should plans change due to weather, etc.

Intense Heat Fails to Wilt Good Spirits

Ice Age Trail Alliance, Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Ice Age Trail, Storrs Lake MSC, Rock County, Rock County Chapter, MSC event 2023
A team of MSC volunteers build an 856-foot boardwalk in blistering heat. Photo by Riley Dupee.

Storrs Lake Segment MSC
June 21-25, 2023

To combat the intense 90-plus-degree heat, project hosts – the Rock County Chapter – provided buckets of iced beverages and handed out cooling towels to each participant. Small pop-up tents offered important (but minimal!) shade during lunch breaks. And crews guzzled gallons of Gatorade.

Nonetheless, 51 stalwart volunteers donated 1,181 service hours to build an 856-foot boardwalk during the 5-day MSC project.

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A Genuine Team Effort Expands the Trail!

Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Ice Age Trail, Chaffee Creek Segment, Pleasant Lake easement, Land Protection
A setting sun lights up the sky, celebrating the brand-new mile of Ice Age National Scenic Trail. Photo by Riley Dupee.
MT Summer 2023-p11-11_Land Conservation highlights_Pleasant Lake Management District_Locator Map)

Wins Delivered for Many Participants.

Article author: Tricia Baker, guest writer and member of the Waukesha/Milwaukee County Chapter
Thanks to a genuine team effort, the Chaffee Creek Segment in Waushara County just got one-mile longer. Explore this section of Ice Age National Scenic Trail using summer’s extra daylight hours. And, while you saunter, ponder the collaboration that delivered key wins for so many people – including you!

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2023 Trail Steward of the Year: John Kolbe

Ice Age Trail Alliance, Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Ice Age Trail, Trail Steward of the Year
John Kolbe, 2023 Trail Steward of the Year, is flanked by members of the Trail Team: Dave Caliebe, Trail Program Manager (L) and Chad DuChateau, Director of Trail Operations (R). Photo by Cameron Gillie (aroundwisco.com)

John Kolbe, a resident of Delafield and member of the Waukesha/Milwaukee County Chapter, was named Trail Steward of the Year. The Ice Age Trail Alliance staff bestowed this honor during the Awards and Recognition Ceremony at the Annual Conference and Membership Meeting in Sheboygan in April 2023.

The Trail Steward of the Year award recognizes a volunteer whose work contributes in an extraordinary manner to Trail management and development.

These contributions include:

  • Strengthening landowner and/or partner relations;
  • Trail layout, design, and construction;
  • Significant trail maintenance and stewardship efforts.

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