February 2024 Dispatch

Ice Age Trail Alliance
Chippewa Moraine Chapter

Ice Age Trail Dispatch

February 2024


The Alliance is holding its annual conference at the Ho-Chunk Hotel and Conference Center in Baraboo. The conference runs from Thursday, April 18th to Sunday, April 21st. Registration just opened. Go to 2024 Annual Conference & Membership Meeting to register for the hotel and the conference.  


The Alliance has purchased a new piece of property within our eastern corridor. This beautiful undeveloped 76 acre property is now called the Otter Lake Preserve. It contains high relief hummocky glacial topography, including a kettle lake, a marsh, and a stream, as well as several small ice-walled lake plains.  It is a hilly property that will connect 365th Street to County H at the southeast end of Otter Lake. It will take several years to get trail established, and once it is done, it will be a beautiful piece of trail to hike. Thank you to Jared Wildenradt (8 time IAT hiker) for bringing this property to the attention of the Alliance.


Dan Watson will be holding the annual NPS Volunteers in Parks Program Updates session on Wednesday, March 6 at 6:30 pm on Zoom. Dan will discuss the new Swamper Video, where to send Volunteer Agreements, Chainsaw Program information, a 2023 program recap, and more.

You can find more info and registration here: IAT-U Virtual: NPS Volunteers-In-Parks Program Updates (2024) - Ice Age Trail Alliance


The OUR NAWAKWA nonprofit group completed their purchase of the Camp Nawakwa property in January.  Their plan is to maintain the camp to provide outdoor experiences for youth.  For the past several years, we have been partnering with the Girl Scouts to hold a snowshoe hike. We are holding our event with the Girl Scouts again this year, and we will be the first group to hold an event with “Our Nawakwa”.  

Mother Nature has not been good to us this year, but we hold out hope for enough snow to snowshoe by the end of February. If not, we can hold it as a winter hike. We will need 3 or 4 hike leaders for the event. If you have snowshoes, and would like to participate in this snowshoe hike, please contact Vicki Christianson at chippewamorainechapter@iceagetrail.org to volunteer. The volunteers will arrive at noon with a sack lunch.The hike will begin at 1:00. More information will be sent to our registered volunteers prior to the event. Hope to see you there.

If you want to know more about "Our Nawakwa", you can go to their Facebook page. On Facebook, search for Our (Camp) Nawakwa. Check out the post from Sherry Jasper that was posted early morning on January 31. It starts out: “This is a great one for people to share”. Her post gives a terrific overview of their plans and goals for the camp.


In 2024, we will take over maintenance of the trail that lies in the Chippewa Moraine National Scientific Reserve. This includes the entire Chippewa Moraine segment, and the western 1.5 miles of the Harwood segment. This will add 9.5 miles of trail work for the chapter. We have added trail adopters to this section of the trail who will monitor the trail and do minor trail cleanup. In April, we will have a major trail maintenance day to clean up winter damage to the Harwood Lakes and the Chippewa Moraine segments. We will need a full crew to accomplish this. If you are not on our trail crew (with a Volunteer Agreement-see below), consider joining our trail crew this year. There is something special about building and maintaining the trail.  You will never look at the trail with the same eyes again after participating in a work project and learning what it takes to keep  our trails in top condition.  


The calendar is out for IATA trail projects for 2024. Go to https://www.iceagetrail.org/wp-content/uploads/2024-Season-at-a-Glance-Trailbuilding-and-Habitat-Improvement_SAVE-THE-DATE_12-01-23.pdf for information on the upcoming trail events.


As we enter 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 volunteers need  to have a completed Volunteer Agreement for the National Park Service each year 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: https://www.iceagetrail.org/wp-content/uploads/Packet-Individual-301a-IATR-Staff_508.pdf  Please fill out the fillable form and email it to iatr_vip_ice_age_trail@nps.gov

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 NPS as an attachment. Or print off your completed document, sign it, and mail it to the NPS. The address is on the directions page that comes with the form.  

When you send in the Volunteer Agreement to NPS, they will sign it and return it to you. Please print a copy for yourself or save it in your files. Email me at chippewamorainechapter@iceagetrail.org to let me know that you have received your new signed Volunteer Agreement.


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

Feb. 24         Snowshoe Hike with the Girl Scouts at Camp Nawakwa

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