SHTA Launches New ‘Trail Stewardship Team’ Effort

July 8, 2020

This spring, the SHTA launched a new volunteer effort we’re calling “Trail Stewardship Teams” which aims to augment and build upon the efforts of our trail adopters to ensure the SHT gets the love it deserves. These teams have been tasked with lopping and trail clearing, but we hope to help them complete more duties, like trail plumbing and tread maintenance, once they get rolling.

Two inaugural teams have been formed: the Beaver Bay Lopping Task Force (led by Mike Ward, with help from fellow adopters Christine Olson, Sam Olson, and Joe Calaguire) and the Primo Lutsen Group (led by adopters Scott and Mary Lagaard and Will Nordmark). Both teams made their first outings on the Trail in recent weeks and reported back on what they were able to accomplish together.

From the Beaver Bay Lopping Task Force:

This weekend was the first trail work outing for the Beaver Bay Lopping Task Force, an experimental volunteer group that is part of the Superior Hiking Trail Association’s new Trail Stewardship Team concept. We are kind of like a chapter system, kind of like a club, volunteer team, etc… and we focus on lopping (cutting brush) in a 6 foot wide, 8 foot tall corridor between Split Rock north to Silver Bay.

Eight of us split up and lopped for seven or eight hours, covering almost all of our 15 miles. When small trees are touching you, or branches hit you in the face… yeah that’s what we focus on! Plenty of lopping was done… the vegetation is growing strong out there!

The BBLTF is one of two Trail Stewardship Teams and I really hope we can expand this concept to cover all 300 miles.

~Mike Ward

From the Primo Lutsen Group:

On Saturday, June 27th, fourteen volunteers of what is now called the Primo Lutsen Group arrived at the Lutsen spur parking lot to meet and plan an assault on the Oberg to Lutsen trail segment. Mindful of virus precautions and working from each end, many miles of this lovely segment were cleared of brush and windfall. Maybe the best part, after the beauty of the trail, is that the Primos met at the nearby North Shore Winery for an outdoor group meal. Even better, more plans were made to gather again to clear more trail!

Thanks to help from the SHTA, the Winery, places of lodging, and other helpful support people, the day was judged a success. Expect to hear more from the intrepid Primo Lutsen Group in the future!

~Scott Lagaard

We’re grateful for their efforts to care for the Trail! Watch for more great work from our Trail Stewardship Teams in the coming months.

Interested in volunteering with SHTA? Head to the Volunteer page to learn more, or visit our Volunteer Portal to sign up.