June 2020 Dispatch

Ice Age Trail Alliance
Chippewa Moraine Chapter

Ice Age Trail Dispatch

June 2020

Volunteers Are Returning to Trail Maintenance Projects

Limited trail maintenance projects have been happening this month, including repairs to flooded trails and bridges, trail mowing, downed tree removal, and the chapter tool garage renovation. The new activity has resulted from new volunteer opportunities being permitted by the National Park Service. The park service oversees the safety procedures we follow, as well as insures that any injuries are treated at no cost to the volunteer. 

Because of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, we remain conservative in our approach, however. Our work activities are limited to very small work groups (usually 2-4 persons), driving separately to work sites, cleaning tools, etc. As a result, we have not scheduled any large group workdays, instead focusing on contacting active volunteers and recruiting for specific smaller projects. This work is largely undertaken by the chapter’s maintenance coordinator, Jerry Sazama. If you are anxious to help, send him a message to let him know if you are not on his list already.  

The first requirement before anyone can undertake volunteer activity is to have an approved Volunteer Service Agreement. All members and volunteers have been contacted about completing this form, but if you have not already done so, please do it immediately so you will be available when the need arises. 

Volunteer Service Agreement 1-2-3-4

  1. First, please read and familiarize yourself with these three documents:
    National Park Service Letter from Eric Gabriel, Superintendent
    IATR-VIP Risk Assessment Tool
  2. Next, please fill out the fillable Volunteer Services Agreement Form 
    (You can just enter your name in the signature, as long as you email the form from your own email address.)
  3. Now, be sure and save the completed form to your computer. Open the copy on your computer to make sure it is filled out! Now attach it to an email and send it to Dan Watson: Daniel_Watson@nps.gov.
  4. Finally, after you receive the signed form back from Dan, please forward it to your local chapter: chapter@iatchippewa.org. We want to know you are ready to go, and record your emergency contact information.

Trail Dashboard

  • Trail Condition: Very Good
  • Trail Closures: None
  • Posted Detours: Horseshoe Lake, Picnic Lake, Hwy CC/250th Ave
  • Remember to be respectful and keep your distance!
  • Obey Interpretive Center: Closed
  • Backpack Camp Sites at Obey Center: Closed
  • Picnic Lake and Harwood Lake Trail Camp Sites: Open
  • County Forest Dispersed Camping: Open, but not at trailheads (such as Deer Fly Trail).
  • Shuttle Availability: Not Available
  • Chapter Hikes: None Scheduled
  • Chapter Meetings: None Scheduled

Tool Storage Garage Upgraded

Our chapter tool storage garage has undertaken a serious upgrade this spring including a new secure entry door and entry area, new concrete flooring, and serious reorganization. This upgrade follows the demolition of the old house next to the garage last winter.

Saving the garage from demolition itself is another story, and credit is due to park manager Dave Hladilek and chapter volunteer Dave Lundberg, who worked together to arrange for the demolition within the allocated budget. 

The old entry door had been compromised due to age and a few break-ins and was no longer secure, so Bruce France and Norm Card obtained a replacement and installed it. Next, almost ¼ of the existing concrete was seriously heaved, so Bruce and Norm removed and replaced the concrete floor, along with a new entry step and approach and sealing the foundation against animal invaders. Next on their list is grading to redirect rainwater away from the garage opening. Their contributions to this project are definitely in the Mammoth category!

Meanwhile, Jerry Sazama has reorganized the tools, designing a home for each on or along the walls.

Finally, we obtained a agreement from the DNR toward our long-term use of the building, which is located on a private drive off of 145th St next to the Chippewa Moraine Maintenance garage. 

The garage now provides secure storage for our mowers and trail maintenance tools as well as the ability to use power tools to pre-cut lumber, etc.

Cornell Dam Relicensing

The Cornell Hydro Dam is in the process of being relicensed, and as part of that relicensing, the City, the NPS, and the IATA have been encouraging the regulators to provide additional recreational support for the Cornell area. Specifically, we have been looking for an upgrade to the Millyard Park, where the Stacker is located, to enable better facilities for long and short-term hikers, including acquiring land currently used for truck parking to allow a riverside trail segment that will be part of the IAT.

Every voice helps, and a questionnaire has been made available for user input. You can download that form here. The deadline is June 30, just a week away. If you are familiar with the Cornell location, consider answering the parts of the form that are relevant.

See you on the trail (eventually),

Richard Smith

Chippewa Moraine Chapter Chair


The Ice Age Trail

A Walk Through Time