Waiting for the Green Up

     Not only are we waiting for the trees to green up but we’re also waiting for the Gunflint Green Up.  This year’s Green Up happens after the Ham Run Half-Marathon and 5k Fun Run so you’ll have to plan on spending the first two weekends in May on the Gunflint Trail.  There’s still time to make reservations so come on up and see us.

Gunflint Green Up May 7-8, 2010

On the Gunflint Trail Scenic Byway


Grand Marais, MN — The third annual Gunflint Green Up will take place May 7-8 on the Gunflint Trail Scenic Byway in northeastern Minnesota. Gunflint Green Up is a festive family-friendly event, and features tree releasing in the woods, informative talks and guided walks, food, music, and dancing.


During the past two Gunflint Green Up events, volunteers planted 100,000 seedlings in areas affected by the Ham Lake Fire of 2007. The focus of Gunflint Green Up 2010 is tree releasing. The woody vegetation growing around the little pine trees planted in the past two years needs to be clipped away to remove competing foliage and allow sunshine to reach the trees.


Release locations include the vicinities of Trail’s End Campground, Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center, Kekekabic and Magnetic Rock Trails, Round Lake public landings and the Iron Lake Campground. These are all public lands and participants will be able to visit the trees in the years and decades to come.


Event committee chair Nancy Seaton says, “Gunflint Green Up has always been more than the sum of its parts.  The trees, the woods, the music, the food, the information — they’re all multiplied with the sharing with friends, the return of neighbors, the return of spring.  It’s just a great time to be out in the woods looking for new growth and the promise of what’s to come.  Whether you focus on what’s to come this year or you daydream and imagine the forest in the next 50 or 100 years, it’ll make you smile.”


Friday afternoon walks and talks include a guided hike on the new Centennial Trail and a preview of the Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center. On the hike, led by Steve Robertsen, USFS Naturalist, participants will learn about the Ham Lake Fire of 2007, the Paulsen Mine of the 1890s and the PAD & W railway — all situated along the length of the Centennial Trail. The presentation and discussion about the Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center will take place at the Gunflint Conference Center. The museum will be open this summer, with a grand opening planned for July 4, 2010.


Friday night’s dinner will be held at The Big Tent at Gunflint Lodge, and will be accompanied by music from the Pincushion Warblers.


Following dinner on Friday night, boreal owl researcher Bill Lane will give a presentation entitled “Owl in a Night’s Work.” For more than 20 years, Bill has been conducting nocturnal owl surveys in northeast Minnesota each spring. Since he started in 1987, he has experienced the night, its landscapes, and its denizens with a passion that remains as powerful in 2010, as it was in 1987. He has also, in that time, seen owl virtually disappear from the boreal forest.


Saturday’s events begin at 9:30 a.m. with a short training at the various sites, covering tree release instructions. Along with their team leaders, participants will hike to sites with equipment in tow. Registrants are requested to bring loppers and nippers.


Participants registered for the entire event (or if they have chosen these as ala carte options) receive a box lunch, and are invited to the evening Thank You Dinner and dance at the Big Tent. Dinner will be accompanied by music from The Silvertones. Dancing follows dinner with the Trail’s End Band providing the music.


Early May is a time of great temperature swings on the Gunflint Trail. Participants should come prepared for all temperature options by dressing in layers. A complete list of “What to Bring” can be found on the Gunflint Green Up web site.


Participants can register for the Gunflint Green Up online at www.GunflintGreenUp.com. The registration fee of $45 per individual or $100 per family (1- 2 adults and their children 16 years of age and younger) includes Friday dinner, evening presentation, Saturday tree releasing, box lunch, dinner, dance and t-shirt. (Ala carte options are available for individual meals and t-shirts; a release-only option is available at no cost, but requires registration to receive directions to the assigned staging area.)


The 2008 Gunflint Green Up was awarded The Explore Minnesota Tourism Sustainable Tourism Award and The USDA Forest Service Eastern Region Honor Award Connecting Citizens to the Land.


The Gunflint Green Up committee is made up of representatives from the Gunflint Trail Association, Gunflint Trail Scenic Byway, USDA Forest Service, and private residents.


Register at www.GunflintGreenUp.com.


For more information on the Gunflint Green Up contact Nancy Seaton, event Chair, at 218-388-2275 or by email at hjo@boreal.org.