2023 SHTA Volunteers of the Year
November 30th, 2023
Thank you so much to this year’s Volunteers of the Year! Because we have so many wonderful volunteers we needed to name more than one.
Josh Gary’s commitment to keeping the Superior Hiking Trail in great shape for all hikers is evident in his completion of over 100 hours of volunteer time each of the last three years. Josh is the kind of volunteer that works on the Trail consistently, but in addition is especially eager to jump in when a project needs a little extra help. He has donated not just his time but his own equipment, allowing SHTA to use his woodshop to prep material for building Trail structures. He uses his own weed whip to clear many miles of Trail through the Duluth section of the SHT. Josh’s leadership skills and good humor helps him connect with other volunteers, keeping them coming back, too. Josh can always be counted on to make the Trail a better place for all.
Karisa Mueller has been instrumental in collecting the various assets on the Superior Hiking Trail. To date, she has collected 25% of the assets reported in our Trail-wide asset inventory effort. This effort is crucial to our Master Planning process where we are working to quantify the true cost of maintenance on the Trail and schedule the replacement of built structures in coming years. This is the first time we have attempted to collect information on all of the built assets in our 300 mi of Trail, and Karisa has played a key role. In addition to her extraordinary efforts with the asset inventory, Karisa also participates in Trail maintenance events in Duluth. We are grateful to Karisa for her above and beyond efforts for the SHT. And upon receiving this award, Karisa wanted to make sure to recognize Nathan Wilbur, who assisted her with the asset inventory.
Bruce Ueland found joy in hiking the Superior Hiking Trail. He decided to give back to the Trail by volunteering. He started off by adopting the White Pine campsite and volunteering on work parties in Duluth. He’s since increased his participation in Trail maintenance by becoming a volunteer crew leader on multi-day events. But Bruce’s most amazing feat on the Trail is his extraordinary work this year in re-booting the SHT guided hike program. Bruce planned all of this year’s guided hikes and was the lead naturalist & guide on most of them. In addition, he coordinated all the other guides helping with the hikes. Thank you, Bruce, for stepping up into this much needed work!
Barbara Budd, SHTA Volunteer and Education Coordinator