Superior Hero Tale: Aria Silberglitt

Our Superior Hero Tales series highlights the work of our amazing volunteers. This month we are very excited to introduce you to Aria Silberglitt, right. Photo by SHTA intern Peyton Haug.

February 29th, 2024

Aria said her favorite tool is the McLeod, pictured here. Photo by SHTA Intern Peyton Haug.

Mitzvah—a foundational duty in Judaism to do and spread good —is what inspired 12-year-old Aria Silberglitt to attend the Superior Hiking Trail Association’s Introduction to Trail Work class in the Demonstration Forest on June 3, 2023. An advocate for the environment, Aria was the youngest volunteer on the Trail last summer.

“Becoming a bar or bat mitzvah in Judaism is sort of like becoming an adult in the community, and one of the things you have to do is a mitzvah project,” said her father, Ben Silberglitt. “So she’s doing a mitzvah for the world.”

When asked why she chose to spread goodness to the SHTA specifically, Aria said, “I wanted to do something to help the planet. I don’t know, but I think [trail work] helps other people enjoy stuff that may lead to them helping the planet. I had so much fun.”

A highlight for Aria was learning about tools used in trail work, specifically the McLeod, which is a two-sided blade with a rake and a flattened hoe that is used to dig and smooth out the soil.

Aria and her parents, Ben Silberglitt and Amy Treeful, live in the Twin Cities but take several trips to northern Minnesota every year, visiting the North Shore, BWCA, and of course the Superior Hiking Trail. The family volunteered together twice more in 2023 at the Mystery Mountain Trail Renewal Project and later attended a Corridor Clearing and Blazing weekend to help cut brush.

Aria also included the SHTA in her post-Bat Mitzvah celebration. Photo courtesy of Ben Silberglitt.

This winter, Aria also included the Trail in her bat mitzvah by sharing information about the SHTA and requesting donations for the Trail at her post-bat mitzvah celebration. To date, Aria has raised $468.26 so far!

As she gets older, Aria looks forward to returning to volunteer trail work, especially after learning about the annual all-women and femme-leaning non-binary volunteer weekend: “Oh, heck yeah!” she said.

When Aria isn’t on the trail, her summer days are jam-packed with camps and hobbies including Dungeons and Dragons, unicycle riding, skateboarding, crafting, gaming, and even writing a 20-plus-chapter fantasy novel.

We are grateful to Aria and her family for their support, and doing a mitzvah for our entire trail community. From all of us at the SHTA, mazel tov and thank you, Aria!

By Peyton Haug, SHTA Intern