Rewarding connections with area schools

The Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway Association, like most organizations, has a variety of organizational objectives, but perhaps one of the most rewarding - students from kindergarten to high school are included in the Byway Association’s outreach.

Following the Christmastime loss of long-time board member and inspirational supporter, Linda Ulland, the Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway Association (PBSBA) board established a scholarship in her memory. At the May 16, 2012, Pine River-Backus Awards Ceremony, the PBSBA’s $1000.00 Linda Ulland Memorial Scholarship was presented to high school senior, Erika (Jade) Krueger by PBSBA co-chair, Mike Schwieters. Mike noted, “ The Byway Association received applications from several students in both the Pequot Lakes and Pine River-Backus school districts. Choosing one from such a strong field was difficult. Congratulations to Jade as the first-ever recipient of the Linda Ulland Memorial Scholarship.”

In addition to the May scholarship event, this spring also marked the second year that the Byway Association has been involved with the Crosby Schools Kindergarten Field Trip Day. Students spent the day at the Crosslake Corps of Engineers Campground.  Following lunch, they enjoyed Paul Bunyan stories in the Paul Bunyan Exhibit Room located in the Corps’ Administrative Building. Dressed as Paul Bunyan and flanked by the world’s largest Paul Bunyan Rag Doll, Byway board members Rod Nelson and Mike Schwieters, read stories and gave out Paul Bunyan cookies to the kindergartners.

Last spring the Crosslake Corps Campground’s playground was the site of a different kind of school/Byway connection. The Pequot Lakes High School Art Club, under the direction of Dave Guenther, had worked for some months with the PBSBA to create the Bunyan-family photo cut-outs. The ‘place-your-face here’ cut outs have proven a popular photo spot since the moment they were installed.

And, in 2010, elementary students in the Pequot Lakes district participated in an illustration contest co-sponsored by the PBSBA and KLKS Radio. Working in groups to illustrate the Byway’s signature holiday poem, ‘No Ox Can Fly’, the winners earned a January, 2011, trip to the KLKS studio and an on-air interview with radio personality, Bob Bundgaard. They also won a classroom visit from Paul Bunyan who read Bunyan stories to the students and provided Paul Bunyan cookies.

If your school would like to develop a partnership with the Byway, call Lynn at 218-543-4714 or Mike at 218-543-4125.

News Category: 
Published Date: 
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Published By: 
Brainerd Dispatch