May 2016 Trail Dispatch

Ice Age Trail Alliance

Chippewa Moraine Chapter

Ice Age Trail Dispatch

May 2016

May Trail Improvement Day Planned For Saturday May 14

Join us this Saturday for our May Trail Improvement Day with an unusual twist. We will spend the day on the first step in constructing new trail structures by recycling old structures. We’re grateful to Camp Nawakwa for donating the old lumber for reuse on the trail.

We’ve changed the previously announced meeting place, so please note that we are meeting at 9 AM at the Obey Interpretive Center at the Chippewa Moraine on Hwy M east of New Auburn. We’ll carpool to the work site from there. We’ll be working into the afternoon, so bring a lunch, but your help is still appreciated even if you can come for just the morning.

Wear long sleeves, pants, and socks; sturdy work shoes; be prepared for ticks and mosquitos; and bring work gloves, water, lunch, and a snack. Bring safety glasses if you have them. If you have wrenches, a power drill, pry bar and hammer, bring those as well.

Please confirm your intent to attend the workday so we can plan for you and make your time worthwhile and productive by emailing Jerry Sazama.

Chapter Meeting & Celebration!, This Coming Monday, May 16

Our May chapter meeting will focus on recognizing and celebrating the volunteer contributions of our members. We have several special awards to present, including years of service, our local In-The-Mud honorees, and another special award. Most of all we’ll celebrate all of our volunteer-friends and the work we all do to make the trail happen.

It is also a great opportunity to celebrate the Centennial of the National Park Service.

Honorees will include Mary Skalecki and Jerry Sazama (In-The-Mud awards); Carol Johnson and Donna Pachaud (10 years of service), Richard Smith, Pat McKearn, Kate Lindsay, and Sally Lewis (20 years of service); and Richard Smith (Lifetime Achievement); and YOU!

Join the celebration (and a few items of business) at 6:30 PM Monday, May 16, at the Chippewa Falls Public Library, 105 W Central St, downtown Chippewa Falls. 

National Trails Day Hike, Saturday, June 4

National Trails Day is an annual day of celebration and service on our nation’s trails sponsored by American Hiking Society. This year we will celebrate locally by moving our usual Sunday hike to Saturday morning, and enjoy a premier section of our local Ice Age National Scenic Trail. Plan to meet at the Obey Interpretive Center at the Chippewa Moraine at 9 AM. Bring a friend, a lunch or snack, water, and your preferred insect protection for mosquitos and ticks. It’s a good idea to wear long pants, sleeves, and full length socks as well. JoAnn Parks will facilitate the group, so you can contact her if you have questions or want to let her know you are coming (not required).

Trail Building and Maintenance Work Planned for Taylor County in May

On May 18-22, the IATA Mobile Skills Crew swings into full operation in nearby Taylor County to target a neglected section of trail. It’s not so far, and a great opportunity to pick up some state-of-the-art trail maintenance techniques and skills. This is the project that your votes last fall got funds from Michelobe Ultra. Does that get your attention? For more information and a registration link, check here.

Warrior Hikers Return Late in May

Two 2014 Afghanistan veterans will be hiking the Ice Age Trail as part of the Warrior Hike program, which saw its first hikers on the Ice Age Trail last year. The two hikers are Michael Maziarka of LaCrosse and Miles Vining of Bloomington, Indiana. They will be met and hosted by the Bloomer VFW Post 6175 on Friday May 27, as they progress eastward through the county.

Trail Safe!

A new safety initiative from the National Park Service offers participants online self-study videos that examine the objectives taught in the Park Service Operational Leadership training. It’s an approach that focuses on the mindset needed to work safely, not a cookbook on how to use a tool. Take a look at the NPS IAT website and scroll down to the Trail Safe! feature to find the link. Start at the beginning and complete the Training Verification Roster back at the Trail Safe! home page, and you’ll receive a pin and other info from NPS. Also be sure to keep track of your time spent and report it to the chapter to be sure we capture your volunteer hours. Questions about the series can be directed to Dan Watson.


Speaking of the National Park Centennial, what comes to your mind when you think of the National Parks? Old Faithful? El Capitan? Glacier Park? Chances are it is NOT the Ice Age Trail, and yet the IAT is Wisconsin’s very own National Park, and best yet, it is right here in our own back yard.

The NPS centennial motto says, “Find Your Park!”.

Where to Find IATA and Chapter Event Information

The go-to place to find current information about all our chapter events as well as IATA events everywhere is the calendar at the IATA website, The Calendar link is at the upper right corner of the page, or bookmark To find our chapter-specific events, either choose Chippewa Moraine from the dropdown menu under Event Category and click the “Find Events” button, or just bookmark this page:

Chippewa Moraine Chapter Events

See you on the trail,

Richard Smith

Chippewa Moraine Chapter Chair