December 2023 Dispatch

Ice Age Trail Alliance
Chippewa Moraine Chapter

Ice Age Trail Dispatch

December 2023


The Annual Meeting took place on Monday, November 20th at the Chippewa County Courthouse.  Reports were given on our well-attended hikes and various presentations that were held, our busy trail maintenance season (which included the big cleanup of winter damage on 5 segments in Rusk and Barron County, construction of a new bridge at Brunet Island State Park, and a half mile reroute at Horseshoe Lake, and many other projects), and the updating of our blazing from Firth Lake thru Chippewa Moraine (to meet new IAT standards).  Our chapter hiking challenge patches (CHIP off the old MORAINE) have been popular and we have sent out 99 patches this year.  Vicki Christianson has been re-elected to another 2 year term as Chapter Coordinator.  Tom Kolb has been re-elected to another 2 year term as Chapter Treasurer.  All other officers will be up for election in 2024.

The Financial Report was given, and the Proposed 2024 Budget was presented and approved.  The Chapter is donating $5000 (out of $20,000 needed) to keep the Obey Center open during the 2023-2024 school year.  The Alliance is also donating $5000.  Earlier in July, the DNR scheduled the Obey Center to be closed from Oct. 2nd to May 15th.  With the donations from our chapter and the Alliance, the Obey Center is able to remain open and hold their classroom programs for schools in the Chippewa Valley.  


The Obey Center will be open from 9:00 - 3:00 throughout the year on Wednesday thru Sunday.    They will be hosting classroom groups on Wednesdays and Thursdays as scheduled.  Rod Gont is looking for people to volunteer with the classroom groups throughout the school year.  These visits run from 9:00 to 2:00.  Time is allotted for lunch.  Rod needs one volunteer with each school group to work with Jeanette in the Obey Center while he is working with the students outside.

Volunteer work includes:

1. Staffing the front desk:  greeting non-school visitors and answering their questions, selling IATA and park merchandise

2.  Help Jeanette with the Exhibit Search.  Students are divided into 3-person teams.  They receive a worksheet.  They have to travel to different stations within the displays and look for answers to questions.  The volunteer has an Answer Key for the worksheet, and they check the students answers.

3.  A volunteer may be scheduled to lead a hike.

Email or call Dave Hladilek if you are interested in volunteering.  If you volunteer, Rod will contact you to find out when you are available.

Contact Dave Hladilek at  or call him at 715-967-2800.  Dave needs to do a background check because you would be working with school children.  He needs your name, email, and phone#.

NOTE:  Volunteers for the Ice Age Trail need to have a signed Volunteer Agreement from the National Park Service.  If you do not have a volunteer agreement, you will need to get one from Dan Watson at the Wisconsin office of the National Park Service.  See the article below for instructions on getting the agreement.


Over a year ago, the Northwest WI Girl Scout Council announced the sale of Camp Nawakwa in NE Chippewa County.  The Ice Age Trail travels through the camp on the south side of Picnic Lake.  A non-profit group was formed on November 14, 2022, called Our Nawakwa, with the goal of purchasing Camp Nawakwa and continuing its purpose as a place for youth to be engaged with the out-of-doors.  They have a Board of Directors and working committees.  They have engaged community youth partners, and designed a business plan to become financially sustainable.  They have been able to raise funds for the purchase of the camp, and their offer has been accepted.  They will take ownership in early January.  We have been partnering with the Girl Scouts at Camp Nawakwa, and will continue to do so with Our Nawakwa.  

You can find Our Nawakwa on Facebook.  Their website is  You can email them at



The calendar is out for IATA trail projects for 2024.  Go to  for information on the upcoming trail events.


For those of you who are interested in taking Chainsaw Training, they have scheduled 4 trainings for 2024.  These will fill up fast, so sign up as soon as the trainings become available.

To learn more about becoming a sawyer/swamper, go to   There are some changes posted on the page, so check it out even if you are already certified.

Training Dates and Places:

April 27-28   Interstate Park

May 18-19    Samsel Sawmill (Waushara County)

Sept. 21-22  NPS  Cross Plains

Sept. 28-29  Kettle Moraine State Forest (Waukesha County)

NEW Volunteer Agreement Links

As we approach the new year, check out the new links for renewing your Volunteer Agreements.  Please use the new links I have posted for the Volunteer Agreement and the email address for sending it in to Dan Watson.  

All new volunteers need  to have a completed Volunteer Agreement for the National Park Service in order to participate in our trail improvement days or to volunteer at events. They have a new form on the Alliance Website.  

To access the new  Volunteer Agreement, here is the link:      Please fill out the fillable form and email it to   

NOTE:  Fill in all the  required boxes.  The fillable boxes are on everything except the signature line.  You can type your name and date in the date box next to the signature line.  Save the document to your computer and then send it to Dan Watson as an attachment.  Or print off your completed document, sign it, and mail it to Dan Watson.   Dan’s address is on the directions page that comes with the form.  

When you send in the Volunteer Agreement to Dan Watson, he will sign it and return it to you.  Please print a copy for yourself or save it in your files.  Email me at to let me know that you have received your new signed Volunteer Agreement.

Chapter Calendar 2024

These are our annual events.  Watch for upcoming events and additions  (in red) to this calendar in the monthly newsletters.  

Feb. 10          Candlelight Ski and Snowshoe at Brunet Island

Feb. TBD      Snowshoe Hike with the Girl Scouts at the Obey Center

March 18      Chapter Meeting

April TBD      Monthly Trail Maintenance- Chippewa Moraine/Harwood Lakes

April 18-21    Annual Conference - Wisconsin Dells- Ho Chunk

May 1              Natural Resources Foundation Hike - Chippewa River Segment (Closed hike)

May 5              First Sunday Hike 1:00  Chippewa River Segment

May 18           Trail Maintenance Day

May 20           Chapter Meeting

June 1            National Trails Day Hike 9:00  Firth Lake

June 15         Trail Maintenance Day

June 20         Solstice Hike with Girl Scouts - Nawakwa

July 15           Chapter Meeting and Picnic - Mill Yard Park

Aug. 4             First Sunday Hike 1:00  Obey Center

Aug. 17          Trail Maintenance Day

Sept. 4           First Sunday Hike  1:00  Harwood

Sept. 16        Chapter Meeting

Sept. 21        Trail Maintenance Day

Oct. 5             Parade of Colors Hike - 9-11  Obey Center

Oct. 19          Trail Maintenance Day

Nov. 18          Chapter Annual Meeting

See you on the trail!

Vicki Christianson
Chippewa Moraine Chapter Coordinator


The Ice Age Trail
A Walk Through Time