Northland College Assistant Professor of Geoscience Dave Ullman and four students worked alongside other volunteers for a weekend in October to help continue the 1200-mile Ice Age National Scenic Trail.
“Northland students have a passion for their study of the natural world, while also seeking out ways to have a positive impact on the broader community,” Ullman said. “Volunteer projects like the one with the Ice Age Trail provide the opportunity to bridge those interests.”
The students—junior Hannah Figgins, majoring in sustainable community development, Amanda Haddock, an Ecoleague exchange student from Dickinson College, and sophomore Abigail Gentry and senior Ryan Raschke , both majoring in natural resources with an emphasis in ecological restoration, volunteered on their own time and in the middle of mid-terms.
More 175 volunteers contributed 3,262 hours to clearing brush, cutting new trail, building rock walls, creating a two-mile section of trail along the Chippewa Moraine segment near Firth Lake in Chippewa County.
The Trail is a thousand-mile footpath—with two hundred miles more to go—that highlights the unique landscape, sculpted by glaciers more than 12,000 years ago.
Managed by a partnership among the National Park Service, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and the Ice Age Trail Alliance, the trail highlights iconic geology features first studied in this region—such as moraines, drumlins, eskers, kettles, and tunnel channels.
Starting near Green Bay on the eastern side of the state, the trail dips down and around Madison, then heads back north of Wausau then moves westward toward the western border of Wisconsin.
Ullman says he hopes this is just the beginning of a longer relationship, connecting students to the Ice Age Trail project.
Photos were taken by Cameron Gillie.