A 'Natural' Collaboration
Four interpretive panels were installed last Wednesday, December 13, along the Wetlands Walk at Veterans Walking Trail. The panels carry information about wetlands succession, wildflowers and grasses of this shrub swamp, and descriptions of trees and wildlife found in this central Minnesota site.
To determine which stories to tell about this portion of the Veterans Walking Trail, representatives of the Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway Association met with DNR staff at the site this spring. Pam Perry of the DNR’s non-game program and DNR botanist, Janet Boe, identified indigenous wildlife and site plants and shared information on the history of uses of some of them. The PBSBA then took that information and transcribed it into four photo-illustrated interpretive panels. Many photos were taken at the site itself by JM Plein Consulting.
The panels were attached to 4x4 wood posts by Crosslake resident, Mike Holst, who frequently assists the Byway Association with construction and maintenance related projects. The PBSBA then brought the prepared posts to volunteer, Dave Badger, who rallied fellow American Legion members to help install the four panels at previously identified locations along the Wetlands Walkway.
Badger, along with the Sons of the American Legion and other local volunteers, have devoted many hours of time at the Veterans Walking Trail over the past four years. They’ve grubbed out trails, cleared fallen trees, built the wetlands walkways itself and donated funds to cover grant matches and other expenses connected to the projects at this site.
The Veterans Walking Trail is located in Jenkins Township on the north side County Road 16 three miles east of the Highway 371/ 16 intersection between Pequot Lakes and Jenkins. A nice parking area is available at the trailhead, thanks to some earlier assistance from Crow Wing County.
The walking trail, including the Wetlands Walk and its four new panels, is available free to the public year ‘round. The Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway Association continues to work on other projects to further enhance this already delightful site. To learn more about the Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway Association’s work and how you can help, click here for more info or contact PBSBA chair, Lynn Scharenbroich at 218-543-4714 or email.