Projects in Progress Update
The Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway Association (PBSBA) has always been known in the area as an energetic organization, but this summer they may have surprised even themselves with the number of projects done since the snow finally melted in late spring.
- Podcast: Seven local voices and the booming big Paul Bunyan voice of local voice artist, Dave Skyberg, combined to create a 35 minute podcast, available as one entire listening session, or in seven individual downloads of 3 to 7 minutes each. With major sponsorship from KLKS Radio, the podcast became available online this spring in time for the busy summer traveling season.
- Governor’s Fishing Opener Tour Bus: Media representatives covering the Governor’s Fishing Opener were treated to a narrated tour of the Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway on May 9, 2008. Pine River Chamber director and Byway board member, John Wetrosky, and Byway board member, Lynn Scharenbroich, set up the tour and provided the narration of byway highlights. Adding glimpses of area history to the narration were long-time area residents Addie Johnson and Irene Myres.
- Exhibit Room Enhancements: Added to the Paul Bunyan Exhibit Room at the Crosslake Corps of Engineers administrative building were 1) listening station with CD of the podcast stories about the Byway 2) information sheets about the specific exhibits. A Byway Site sign was also added at the campground entry turn.
- By-The-Way Players live performances: For the second season, a day in the life of Ben Knebel, Ideal Township’s mailcarrier from 1930-1969, was showcased through the talents of several local actors, directed by Gary Hirsch. Daren Blanck brought Ben Knebel to life in 20 free outdoor performances in Crosslake and Pine River.
- Sustainability Plan: Kathy Moore of Moore Consulting, working under a federal byways grant, developed a five-year Sustainability Plan and, in September, began implementation of year one of that plan aimed at significantly boosting local awareness of the byway and its positive contributions to the area from the health and wellness aspects of the byway walking paths to the economic significance of the enhanced tourism draw of this nationally designated byway route.
- Webisode: (in progress) This three minute glimpse of the many features and faces of the Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway is known as ‘Paul and Babe’s Favorite Sites Along the Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway’. Filmed in late summer and narrated by the voice of Paul Bunyan, Dave Skyberg, the webisode will be available on Minnesota’s state tourism website, www.exploreminnesota.com, under the ‘My Favorite Minnesota’ section in early fall, thanks to support from Whitefish Area Lodging Association, Minnesota Power, Crow Wing Power, KLKS Radio and the Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway Association.
- Paul Bunyan Footprints: (in progress) Seven of the Byway’s fourteen jurisdictions are participating in this project, spearheaded by the Byway Association and the City of Pequot Lakes Parks Department and mayor, Cathy Malecha. The 5’ x 14’ concrete footprints will be poured this fall at public property location, such as parks, chosen by each participating city or township. The footprint size is based on the Paul Bunyan boots on display at the Pine River Chamber of Commerce. Eighty percent of the project cost is sponsored by the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe. Remaining costs are covered by the participating jurisdictions and the Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway Association.
If you’d like know more about these projects and find out what’s coming up next, contact the Byway Association for more information.