Gunflint Green Up focuses on Gneiss Lake Trail at Chik-Wauk Museum

The 5th annual Gunflint Green Up event will be held on Saturday, May 5 on the Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center grounds. Volunteers will focus on planting and releasing trees along the newly re-established Gneiss Lake Trail.
The first Gunflint Green Up event was in the spring of 2008, when volunteers and officials from the U.S. Forest Service gathered to replant the area of the Gunflint that had been burned by the Ham Lake Wildfire in 2007. Over the years, the event has been modified to include releasing the previously planted trees—cutting away undergrowth to let the sunshine in and allow the young trees to grow tall.
This year’s event will help re-establish the Gneiss Lake Trail, a 1.5-mile trail that once ran from Chik-Wauk Bay to the Granite River. The trail was closed after the July 4, 1999 blowdown storm because of all the fallen trees. The Ham Lake Wildfire burned through the Gneiss Lake Trail area and burned many of the fallen trees. This winter, the U.S. Forest Service gave the Gunflint Trail Historical Society permission to clear and maintain the trail to Blueberry Hill, about half a mile. Green Up participants will plant and release seedlings along the trail.
Volunteers have different options this year. Gunflint Lodge is the primary sponsor of the 2012 Gunflint Green Up and the lodge offers accommodation and meals or just meals. To look at Gunflint Lodge’s options, call (800) 328-3325 or visit www.gunflint.com. Information on Gunflint Green Up is on the home page.
Participants may also attend at no charge and do not need to pre-register. Just gather at Chik-Wauk Museum at 28 Moose Pond Drive at 10 a.m. on May 5 to be assigned a task. Volunteers not registering through Gunflint Lodge are asked to bring their own water, lunch and equipment such as shovels, planting bars, pruners, nippers and handsaws. Organizers add, “No chain saws please.”
For more information about how to take part in this year’s Gunflint Green Up, contact the Gunflint Trail Historical Society at (218) 388-9915 or info@chikwauk.com.