July 2013 Ice Age Trail Dispatch

Ice Age Trail Dispatch

July 2013

Annual Pot Luck Picnic and Chapter Meeting at Chippewa Moraine

An annual tradition for our chapter is to enjoy a potluck supper in July at the Chippewa Moraine, overlooking the forest and South Shattuck Lake from atop the ice-walled lake plain that the Interpretive Center occupies. This year's picnic is this coming Monday evening, July 15, and we will begin serving promptly at 6 PM. Bring your own utensils and beverages, and a supper item to share.

After we have the business of the picnic squared away, we'll take care of some chapter and trail announcements and business items. We'll try to keep it short, but there are lots of chapter and trail activities we need to review for late summer and fall.

Don't miss this chance to catch up with friends and enjoy a beautiful summer evening, with a spectacular view of the Chippewa Moraine.

Corridor Open Houses Planned; Volunteers needed

Chapter volunteers have been busy on many evenings this summer, meeting with town and city boards and the Chippewa County Board to unveil our two proposed possible planning corridors for expanding the Ice Age Trail eastward from Cornell to the Taylor County line. Actually this is a big step in a planning process that's been going on since 2005. This phase comes to a head with our public open houses at the end of July. We will be sending letters to every landowner affected in the proposed corridor options, and inviting them to the open houses to learn about the Ice Age Trail, why it matters to them, and how the trail might be routed in their vicinity. They will also be invited to consider being a part of the project.

The open houses will be held on Saturday, July 27, at 12 noon at Cornell High School, and on Thursday, August 1, at 5 PM at Stanley-Boyd High School. At the open house, National Park Service planners will explain the corridors and the planning process, and Rod Gont, naturalist at the Chippewa Moraine, will give a short talk about the glacial features that highlight each of the two corridor options. Public feedback will be solicited, via comment sheets, interviews, or web input. We'll be looking for residents' ideas on trail routes, as well as hearing from landowners who want to know more about having the trail on their land. Public input is important at this stage, from landowners, area residents, and trail users who may have knowledge and opinions about the route decision.

In early 2014, based on this process, a selection of one of the two corridors (or a combination) will be made, and more specific route planning will take off from there. 

Our chapter is the host for the the open houses, so we need volunteers to attend both as hosts (to register people, serve refreshments, answer questions) as well as to enjoy the presentation. If you want to help at either presentation, or to bring refreshments, please email the chapter (chapter@iatchippewa.org).

Thanks to the volunteers who have attended the town and county meetings, including those who have taken part in presenting our story to the boards.

Chippewa Moraine Interpretive Center Hours Change

Beginning July 1, the hours at the Chippewa Moraine's Obey Interpretive Center have changed. The center is now open from 8:30 AM to 4 PM, Tuesday through Sunday. The change was necessitated by budgetary limitations. We understand this change was selected rather than turn away school groups which come throughout the school season.

Coming Up in August: Nawakwa Trail Reroute Work, Sunday Hike, Trail Maintenance   

While we usually try to relax and enjoy summer during July, progress has been occurring on the Nawakwa area trail reroute in preparation for the big September trail building week, September 11-15. The route has been completely flagged and approved, and we are ready to begin the first stages of brushing and removal of structures. We have a regular trail improvement day planned for August 24, but we will try to plan other days as well. The goal is to maximize the distance of new trail that the trailbuilding crews can complete, with a goal toward completely switching over to the new route.

In addition to the regular and special workdays (to be announced), our regular monthly Sunday hikes are also planned for August 4 and September 1