Northland College senior Willie Cox, pictured above,  presented recommendations for the greenhouse at Forest Lodge in Cable, Wis., to USDA Forest Service officials as part of his Inclusive Outdoor Education course. Cox is majoring in outdoor education, with an emphasis in wilderness leadership.

Cox and his peers, in all,  presented a 20-page proposal to Daryl Dean, architect for the USDA Forest Service, and Jason Maloney, director of Forest Lodge and the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center, on campus February 4 regarding accessibility of historic buildings at Forest Lodge which is part of the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest.

As part of their coursework, students spent the first three weeks of class touring and measuring the Forest Lodge buildings, looking over blue prints, and researching accessibility laws and historic building preservation guidelines.

Their task was to identify accessibility challenges and to recommend solutions which meet or exceed Architectural Barrier Act Standards and comply with Historic Preservation Guidelines.

Nine students broke into three teams to review three high priority buildings—the greenhouse, guest house and boat house. The teams presented their findings and made recommendations on how to achieve accessibility while preserving the historic character of each building.

“I am so proud of the students for undertaking this challenge with earnestness and professionalism,” said Cindy Dillenschneider, professor of outdoor education. “The challenge was not an easy one and they have generated a number of creative and workable solutions.”

Jason Maloney, director of Forest Lodge and the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center and Daryl Dean, architect for the Forest Service, listened to the presentations and then said they would be taking the recommendations to the leadership of the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest in March.

“These are real life solutions for the Forest Service and couldn’t come at a better time,” Maloney told students.

Several of the recommended solutions will likely be incorporated into building projects at Forest Lodge later in 2016.

“As renovation of the Forest Lodge facilities takes place and programs are established, people of all ages and abilities will come to Forest Lodge to be inspired to solve environmental challenges through research, education, arts, literature and civic engagement,” Dillenschneider said.

The Mary Livingston Griggs and Mary Griggs Burke Foundation in St. Paul awarded a $10 million endowment to Northland College last year to support freshwater research at Northland College and at the former estate of the Burke family, known as Forest Lodge.

The Forest Service manages the Forest Lodge property, located on a headwater of the Mississippi River forty miles south of campus, in partnership with Northland College.

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