Out & About
The 2013 summer guide to Northwestern Wisconsin
A Publication of the Inter-County Cooperative Publishing Association
Enjoy the Wisconsin outdoors!
Out & About - June 2013
There’s plenty to see and do in Burnett and Polk counties Perfectly posed
A perfectly posed wood duck was photographed near Danbury by Herbert McNeely. Photo submitted
A western tanager visited the home of Mike and Brenda Marek of Luck for one week recently. The species is about 1,000 miles away from its home range, and the Mareks had several people from the Luck community show up to see it. “This must be the loneliest bird in Polk County,” said local resident Brook Waalen, who was one of the many residents who showed up to see the bird. The Mareks sent the photos to the Wisconsin Ornithology Department to get a confirmation of the species, which is typically found in western North America. – Photo by Mike Marek
Wobbly legged Cecilia Olive took this photo of a woodchuck that recently visited her yard on Swenson Road in rural Siren. – Photo submitted
COVER PHOTO: Caitlin Rose of Los Angeles, one of the AmeriCorps workers who were in the area recently as part of a Build-A-Thon project to help build and rehabilitate homes, took this stunning sunset shot of fellow workers watching the sunset from Luther Point Bible Camp in rural Grantsburg. Likely a far cry from the sunsets in LA. - Photo submitted
This newborn fawn, just a couple of hours old, appears to be looking for its mom as it tries to keep its balance in a field of grass just north of Frederic. - Photo by William Johnson
Out & About - June 2013
Things to see and do June
13 – Siren – Music in the Park at Crooked Lake Park, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. 14 – Danbury – Dinner at the Fort, 5:30 p.m. wine/appetizers; 6:30 p.m. gourmet dinner. 715-866-8890, theforts.org 14 – St. Croix Falls – Music on the Overlook, 6:30 p.m. 14-15 – East Farmington – Fun Daze 14-16 – Frederic – Family Days. Parade, treasure hunt, pancake breakfast, antique tractor show, Miss Frederic pageant, kiddie parade, softball tournament, art medley and petting zoo. 15 – Frederic – Historical society strawberry shortcake at Soo Line Depot Museum 15 – St. Croix Falls – “Around the World and Then Some” at Festival Theatre 16 – Balsam Lake – Movie night with the library at the Balsam Lake Rod and Gun Club 18 – Luck – Music in the Park, 6:30 p.m. 20 - Aug. 18 – St. Croix Falls – “Crazy for You” at Festival Theatre 20 – Siren – Music in the Park at Crooked Lake Park, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. 21 – St. Croix Falls – Music on the Overlook, 6:30 p.m. 21-23 – Danbury – Yellow River Echoes: A Living History Fur Trade Experience at Forts Folle Avoine Historical Park. Demonstrations, tours, workshops, competitions and games, wild rice pancake breakfast on Sunday, 8 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. 715-866-8890 21-23 – Milltown – 65th-annual Fishermen’s Party. Parade, craft fair, music, softball tourney, etc. 715-825-2222. 21-23 – Turtle Lake – Powwow at the St. Croix Casino 22 – Osceola – Movies Under the Stars “Footloose” 25 – Luck – Music in the Park, 6:30 p.m. 27 - Siren – Music in the Park at Crooked Lake Park, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. 28 – St. Croix Falls – Music on the Overlook, 6:30 p.m. 29 – Balsam Lake – Balsam Lake Invitational Ski Show at Paradise Landing, 7 p.m. 30 – Osceola – Community Homestead Country Banquet. 5:30 - 9 p.m., communityhomestead.org 30 – Cushing – 75th Settler’s potluck picnic at the Cushing Community Center, 715-488-2320
2 – Luck – Music in the Park, 6:30 p.m. 3 – Osceola – Fireworks train ride, 7 p.m., vil.osceola.wi.us 3-4 – Siren – Siren Freedom Festival. Freedom Five Walk/Run, bed race, kiddie parade, queen’s tea, grand parade, boat parade, pie and icecream social, Siren Lions Club fireworks, brat sale and street dance. visitsiren.com, 715-349-8399 4 – Clam Falls – Fourth of July parade 4 – Webster – Fun Day and Fourth of July parade on Main Street, Webster Fire Department water fights and brat feed, 11 a.m., websterchamber.com, 715-866-7774 4 – Siren – Music in the Park at Crooked Lake Park, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. 4 – Danbury – Danbury Days parade on Main Street in the evening, duck race, sidewalk sales and more 4-7 – Balsam Lake – Sixth-annual Freedom Festival, balsamlakecc.com 5 – St. Croix Falls – Music on the Overlook, 6:30 p.m. 6 – Osceola – Movies Under the Stars “The Hunger Games” 6-Aug. 25 – St. Croix Falls – “The Foreigner” at Festival Theatre 6 – Danbury – Yellow River Folk Music Festival, 11 a.m. - 7 p.m., at Forts Folle Avoine, theforts.org 7 – Danbury – Pancake breakfast at Forts Folle Avoine, 8 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. 9 – Luck – Music in the Park, 6:30 p.m. 10 – Balsam Lake – Story time for toddlers and preschoolers at the Balsam Lake Public Library, 10 a.m. 10 – Balsam Lake – Sunshine Kennels Dogs, read to a dog at the Balsam Lake Public Library 11 – Balsam Lake – Teen Night at the Balsam Lake Public Library, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. 11 – Osceola – Music in the Park, 6 p.m. 11 – Siren – Music in the Park at Crooked Lake Park, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Fog enveloped the Clam Falls Flowage as warmer temperatures arrived in northwestern Wisconsin. – Photo by Jeanine Moody 11-13 – Spooner – 60th-annual Heart of the North Rodeo, live music, parade, BBQ, cowboy church service Sunday, youth activities, 800-367-3306 12 – St. Croix Falls – Music on the Overlook, 6:30 p.m. 12-14 – Centuria – Memory Days, 715646-2300, centuriawi.com 13 – Balsam Lake – Movie night with the library at the Balsam Lake Rod and Gun Club 13 – Webster – Friends of the Larsen Family Public Library book sale, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. 16 – Luck – Music in the Park, 6:30 p.m. 18 – Osceola – Music in the Park, 6 p.m. 18 – Siren – Music in the Park at Crooked Lake Park, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. 19-22 – St. Croix Falls – Wannigan Days. Music, parade, craft show, etc. 715483-0022, wannigandays.com 19-21 – Luck – Lucky Days, parade and events throughout the weekend 19-21 – Grantsburg – 37th-annual Watercross at Memory Lake. IWA drag heats, vintage and youth snowmobile racing, street dances, fireworks, pancake breakfast and more 20-Aug. 8 – St. Croix Falls – “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at Festival Theatre 20 – St. Croix Falls – Timber Swindler Running Race at CyclovaXC 20 – Balsam Lake – Pro Bass Tournament 20 – Osceola – Movies Under the Stars “Wreck-It Ralph” 23 – Luck – Music in the Park, 6:30 p.m. 24 – Balsam Lake – 10:30 a.m. Mike Wohnoutka, illustrator, at the Balsam Lake Public Library 25 – Osceola – Music in the Park, 6 p.m. 25 – Siren – Music in the Park at Crooked Lake Park, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m 25-28 – St. Croix Falls – Polk County Fair 25-28 – Spooner – Washburn County Fair, 715-469-3217 26 – St. Croix Falls – Music on the Overlook, 6:30 p.m. 26-28 – Danbury – Great Folle Avoine Fur Trade Rendezvous - pancake breakfast - demonstrations, competitions and entertainment - Witness firsthand the interaction between two cultures. Hwy. 35 north of Webster to CTH U, west 2.6 miles, 715866-8890 27 – Siren – Burnett County Fly-In Breakfast. Pancake breakfast until 11 a.m. Static displays including: military aircraft, military vehicles, emergency vehicles, classic cars. 5K walk/run and aerobatic performance. Jeremy Sickler, 715-349-7076, firstname.lastname@example.org 27-28 – Frederic – Indianhead Gem and Mineral Show at Frederic High School 28 – Danbury – Pancake breakfast at Forts Folle Avoine, 8 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. 30 – Luck – Music in the Park, 6:30 p.m.
TBA – Webb Lake – Webb Lake Men’s Club Carnival. Dunk tank, midway, concessions, children’s games, teen events, turkey shoot, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m., at Webb Lake Fire Department
TBA – Danbury – The 11th-annual Oktoberfest, German dance and folk music, authentic German beer, brats, sauerkraut, 1–9 p.m., behind Log Cabin Store, sponsored by Danbury Area Lions, Klaus Neider, 715-2443403 1-3 – Webster – Central Burnett County Fair - horse pull, rodeo, demo derby, carnival rides and games, live bands and D.J., dance, exhibits, Bingo, talent show, animals, food and beer garden, call 715-866-7635. 1 – Siren – Music in the Park at Crooked Lake Park, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. 1 – Osceola – Music in the Park, 6 p.m. 2 – St. Croix Falls – Music on the Overlook, 6:30 p.m. 2-5 – Siren – Siren Summerfest and reunion weekend. Crazy Days, sidewalk sales, arts and crafts, queen pageant, car show, etc. 3 – Osceola – Movies Under the Stars “The Avengers” 3 – Luck – FFA Tractor/Truck Pull, noon 3 – St. Croix Falls – Lamar Music Fest 715-483-0022, 715-553-2116, lamarcommunity.org 6 – Luck – Music in the Park, 6:30 p.m. 7 – Balsam Lake – Story time for toddlers and preschoolers at the Balsam Lake Public Library, 10 a.m. 8 – Balsam Lake – Teen Night at the Balsam Lake Public Library, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. 8 – Osceola – Music in the Park, 6 p.m. 8 – Siren – Music in the Park at Crooked Lake Park, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. 8-11 – Lewis – Methodist Church Revival 9 – St. Croix Falls – Music on the Overlook, 6:30 p.m. 9-11 – Lewis – Charles E. Lewis Days, 800-222-7655. 10 – Dresser – Muck Ruckus at Trollhaugen 10 – Luck – Luck Firemen’s Corn Feed, 2 - 8 p.m., 715-472-2805. 10-Sept. 8 – St. Croix Falls – “This Untoward Generation” at Festival Theatre 10 – Webster – Friends of the Larsen Family Public Library book sale, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. 10-11 – Webster – Gandy Dancer Family Days on Main Street. 11 – Danbury – Pancake breakfast at Forts Folle Avoine, 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m. 13 – Luck – Music in the Park, 6:30 p.m. 14 – Balsam Lake – Sunshine Kennels Dogs, read to a dog at the Balsam Lake Public Library 15 – Osceola – Music in the Park, 6 p.m. 15 – Siren – Music in the Park at Crooked Lake Park, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. 16 – St. Croix Falls – Music on the Overlook, 6:30 p.m. 17 – Frederic – Ambulance 975 Fundraiser, chicken dinner 17 – Frederic – Historial society pie and ice-cream social at the Soo Line Depot Museum
17 – Frederic – Frederic art and craft fair, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., by the museum, 715327-4807 17 – Lewis – Youth in the Outdoors at Coyland Creek, 9 a.m. - 2 p.m., 715653-4273 17 – Osceola – Community Homestead pig roast/folk dance 17 – Osceola – Movies Under the Stars “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” 17-18 – Cushing – Cushing Fun Days at the community center, soapbox derby, etc. 17 – St. Croix Falls – Energy fair at the fairgrounds 17-18 – Balsam Lake – Indianhead Muskie Tournament 21 – Balsam Lake – Story time for toddlers and preschoolers at the Balsam Lake Public Library, 10 a.m. 22 – Osceola – Music in the Park, 6 p.m. 22 – Siren – Music in the Park at Crooked Lake Park, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. 22 – Danbury – Garden Tea, Forts Folle Avoine Historical Park, 1 p.m., 715866-8890 for reservations, theforts. org 22-25 – Grantsburg – Burnett County Agricultural Society Fair. Exhibits, demo derby Friday, 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, 6 p.m.; Tractor pull, 6 p.m. Saturday, grantsburgfair.com 24 – Danbury – Antique appraisal at Forts Folle Avoine 23 – St. Croix Falls – Music on the Overlook, 6:30 p.m. 24-26 – Danbury – 38th-annual Traditional Wild Rice Powwow, at the St. Croix Casino Danbury, Tom at 800238-8946 29 – Osceola – Music in the Park, 6 p.m. 30-Sept. 1 -– Siren – Siren Lions Annual Labor Day Garage Sale in Crooked Lake Park 30 – St. Croix Falls – Music on the Overlook, 6:30 p.m. 31 – Balsam Lake – Turtle Crunch demo derby 31 – Balsam Lake – Corn on the Curb Days 31 – Clayton – Benefit tractor/truck pull 31 – Balsam Lake – Movie night with the library at the Balsam Lake Rod and Gun Club
1 – Balsam Lake – Corn on the Curb, 715485-3424 1 – Danbury – Pancake Breakfast at Forts Folle Avoine, 8 a.m. -12:30 p.m. 1-2 – Voyager Village – 34th-annual arts and crafts fair, Voyager Village Community Center, Webster, 715259-3714 6-8 – Osceola – Wheels and Wings Community Fair 15 – Luck – Luck Fall Harvest Truck and Tractor Pull, 800-222-7655 22 – Cushing – River Road Ramble, 800222-7655 or polkcountytourism.com
Out & About • June 2013 Published by the Inter-County Cooperative Publishing Association, Frederic, WI 54837 Manager: Doug Panek Contributing writers/photographers/compositors: Staff members of the Inter-County Leader and the state DNR
Out & About - June 2013
A veteran and his family in crisis
The story of a surviving family
by Gregg Westigard Leader staff writer ST. CROIX FALLS – Sean Knapp is a veteran who served in the Army’s 10th Mountain Division from 1994 to 2000 and was deployed to Bosnia as part of the Peacekeeping Force. Sharlene Prinsen teaches Spanish at St. Croix Falls High School. They have been married since 2001. Sean is a veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder. Prinsen and Knapp have lived through cycles of depression, rage, and fear as they struggled with addiction and mental illness. Knapp and Prinsen and their two children are a surviving family. Prinsen and Knapp are sharing their very personal story in an effort to reach out to other veterans with PTSD and to other families in crisis. Part of that sharing is Prinsen’s book, “Blind Devotion,” published last September, where she relates the years of stress and of love as they came to understand and address the issues that were tearing their lives apart. They are telling the story of their journey in the hope that others will start to follow the path to recovery. Going public about the very personal issues of addiction, depression and mental illness is not easy. It can be even more difficult for veterans who are often a very private group. Many vets are struggling with PTSD, a service-related illness that is not as visible as a missing limb but can be even more difficult to treat because it is not visible until the effects burst to the surface. For Knapp, his PTSD became very public at 1 a.m. on June 1, 2007, when “daddy’s sickness” reached a crisis point. Knapp took a rifle to the woods around his rural Polk County home. The husband and father was once again the Army Ranger trained for combat under fire. The all-
tion,” published by Hazelden, is a personal story and a detailed guide to the many sides of dealing with PTSD, addiction and the many faces of mental illness. There are concise sections on PTSD, depression, treatment, prescription drugs, living with a traumatized loved one and many other topics at the end of each chapter. There is an appendix on coping strategies and an index of topics for quick reference. Knapp and Prinsen give credit for their recovering life to the overcoming power of Christ and his healing power that are working through their lives. They tell that story of their transformation as a personal side to their story, a story they are also sharing.
Sharlene Prinsen and Sean Knapp are sharing their story of a veteran and his family surviving the many effects of PTSD. - Photo by Gregg Westigard night stand-off with the local police and SWAT team, with a helicopter circling overhead, made the local papers. Many things from Knapp’s military years could set off a crisis in his life. The hills of peaceful Duluth could take him back to the cities in Bosnia where the troops were under constant threat of snipers shooting from the hillsides. The sounds of local hunters practicing for the deer season could transport him back to danger areas. Living in a 24/7 combat zone is not forgotten when a veteran leaves the service. Knapp and his family had to understand what was affecting him. Identifying PTSD, as with other mental illnesses, goes through stages. Lack of recognition, rejection, denial and fear can all come before there is an acknowledgement that there is a problem. But even when a person and their loved ones understand that something is wrong, the
next steps are not easy. What will it take to find your way home? That is the question Prinsen and Knapp want to answer for others as they tell their story. They tell that whole story of their years living with PTSD, depression, addiction to alcohol and prescription drugs, and suicide attempts. They tell of financial hardships. They say that the long struggle to find the right path to treatment on the road to recovering a stable life is not easy.
Overcoming blindness A start in that journey begins with overcoming the blindness that can limit a person or a couple from recognizing that there is a problem. Devotion to a person can blind one from accepting the reality that there is a crisis. Prinsen and Knapp tell of the blindness they overcame and are overcoming. The book “Blind Devo-
“Blind Devotion,” a personal story and guide to dealing with PTSD. - Special photo
Oklahoma tornado outbreak reminds everyone to be ready MADISON — People across Wisconsin were broken-hearted over the lives lost and damage caused by the massive tornado in Moore, Okla. on May 20. What can you do? ReadyWisconsin, part of the team at Wisconsin Emergency Management, urges everyone to listen, act and live! “The takeaway from this tragedy is that everyone needs a sense of urgency. When you hear the warnings, take action immediately. It is critical that we’re all ready for severe storms and tornadoes,” says Tod Pritchard, Wisconsin Emergency Management. “You may only have minutes to react and seek shelter. Don’t waste time.” Listen: When severe weather is possible, thunderstorm or tornado watch issued, select a credible source of information and keep in touch with that source until the danger has past. One of the best tools is a NOAA Weather Radio, also known as an emergency weather
radio. Use this time to review your family, school and business emergency plans so everyone knows where to seek shelter. Act: When you hear a tornado warning, tornado seen by spotters on the ground or detected on radar, seek the best shelter you can find immediately. Don’t waste time checking multiple sources of information. You may have only seconds to find a safe place. Live: Your chances of survival multiply by listening and acting quickly. Hopefully the storm will pass with no damage, but don’t risk your life on a hope. Talk to your family about what to do in the event of severe storms and tornadoes. That includes designating a place to take shelter in your home, office and school. Find a spot in your basement where you can take cover under such as a table, workbench or stairs that can protect you from falling debris. You should also cover yourself with blankets or a mattress to pro-
Scout honored for earning Eagle rank
Brett Ryan Kuenkel, 16, of Troop 160, St. Croix Falls, was awarded Scouting’s highest rank of Eagle Scout during a Court of Honor ceremony on May 18 at the Town of Sterling’s Old Settler’s Memorial Church and cemetery. For his Eagle project, (shown at right) Kuenkel constructed new signs at both the Old Settler’s Church and cemetery and the Pioneer Cemetery in the Town of Sterling. Scoutmaster Rick Gearhart presided over the ceremony, and state Sen. Sheila Harsdorf presented Kuenkel with both an official citation and a flag flown over the Capitol. Kuenkel is the son of Aaron and Kristie Kuenkel of St. Croix Falls. - Photos submitted
tect against falling or flying debris. If you don’t have a basement, go to an interior room or closet in the house with no windows. Crouch down low and cover your head. If you are caught outside, seek shelter in a sturdy building. How to help: For those who want to help the Oklahoma tornado victims, please visit the webpages of the American Red Cross or Salvation Army to learn more. Those organizations can then purchase supplies such as food, water and other items to help those in need. For more information on tornado safety and storm preparedness, go to readywisconsin.wi.gov. You can also get statewide tornado watches and warnings by joining us on Facebook or Twitter. — from Washburn County Emergency Management
Farmers markets in Polk and Burnett counties POLK/BURNETT COUNTIES – There are numerous farmers markets held at various times and places in Polk and Burnett counties. They include: The Alpha Farmers Market, located at Burnett Dairy Cooperative, Thursdays, 3-5 p.m. The Grantsburg Farmers Market is located in the parking lot of the Grantsburg Village offices, Mondays, noon-2 p.m. The Siren Farmers Market is located in the senior center parking lot at the intersection of Hwys. 35 and 70, Saturdays, 1-3 p.m. The contact person for any of these markets is Susan Armstrong, 715-349-5846. The Eureka Farmers Market across from KJ’s in Eureka, north of St. Croix Falls on Hwy. 87, is held Fridays, 2:306:30 p.m. The St. Croix Falls Farmers Market is at the library plaza, Saturdays, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Check out wifarmfresh.org for more information. - submitted
Out & About - June 2013
WISCONSIN DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES
CREX MEADOWS WILDLIFE AREA
Crex Meadows GRANTSBURG – Among the boundless natural resources to be found in Burnett County is Crex Meadows Wildlife Area, the largest wildlife area in Wisconsin. Located near Grantsburg, Crex Meadows encompasses 30,000 acres of wetland, prairie and forest. It is home to deer, bear, coyote, beaver and other mammals, along with more than 265 species of birds. Thousands of Canada geese, sandhill cranes, loons, eagles, ducks, grouse, and osprey make their home, at least part of the year, at Crex Meadows. In summer, eagles, osprey and loons are busy raising their young amidst the blooming prairie plants. Management of Crex Meadows has focused on restoring the wetlands and prairies that historically were found in the area. Since its purchase by the Department of Natural Resources in 1946, 29 flowages have been built and 7,000 acres restored. With the exception of a 2,400-acre refuge, the area is open to hunting and trapping. Crex Meadows is considered one of the best waterfowl and sharptailed grouse hunting areas in Wisconsin. Along with hunting, visitors can enjoy birdwatching, hiking, tours and wildlife viewing. Excellent access to the wildlife area is provided by more than 40 miles of road, from which most wildlife can be seen. Self-guided auto tour booklets, bird lists and other pamphlets are available at the Crex Headquarters on CTH D and F. For more information call 715-463-2896. - submitted
Siren Chamber welcomes Crosshairs Pest Solutions
Dan Edaburn and Craig Honeysett of the Siren Chamber of Commerce welcome Christine Broughman of Crosshairs Pest Solutions.
Crosshairs Pest Solutions is owned by Shawn and Christine Broughman, who opened the business in August 2012. - Special photos
SIREN - The Siren Chamber of Commerce welcomed a new member, Crosshairs Pest Solutions, on May 10. Owned by Shawn and Christine Broughman, the business was opened in August 2012. Both owners have a background in pest control, beginning in California. Together they have over 20 years experience with Shawn as an owner/operator and technician and Christine handling accounts payable, reception and route scheduling.
Their Siren office and shop is primarily run by Christine. Crosshairs Pest Solutions is a do-ityourself pest control company. They provide you with the knowledge, supplies and/or chemicals for your target pest at an affordable cost. Chemicals and supplies are also available to local professional technicians at a discounted rate. As a do-it-yourself business, they can save you a lot of money. “Most people have a few mice, ants or
Asian beetles … easily taken care of if you have the knowledge of where, when and how to spray your home, sidewalks, deck, etc.,” says Broughman. “You have the option of purchasing the chemicals or, if you bring your own hand sprayer, we will mix the chemicals for you at a muchdiscounted rate, so you only have to buy what you need.” “We offer free advice on ‘engineering controls’ pertaining to your target pest, i.e. finding and sealing entry points, trimming branches/bushes close to structure, removing ground debris or old wood, just to name a few,” added Broughman. For a major infestation, however, Broughman recommends a call for a local service professional; she can recommend a “great reliable local person.” In addition to home pest control, Crosshairs Pest Solutions offers flea and tick topical spray for dogs and cats “that works wonders” says Broughman. “It is much more affordable and doesn’t poison your animal like other topical products on the market. “We also offer safety equipment like masks, gloves, Tyvek suits, and best of
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Out & About
all, knowledge. There are many questions that must be addressed when combating pests in your home. What evidence are you seeing of pests? Are there small children in the home? Elderly? Pets? What kind? Color structure (light or dark)? All these things make a difference in what type of chemical or control is to be used.” Crosshairs Pest Solutions is located at 22896 Old Hwy. 35 in Siren. To schedule an appointment, ask a question or make arrangements to stop by, please call 715566-4266 or email email@example.com. Information may also be found on their website, crosshairspestsolutions.com. In addition to their pest control business, Shawn currently runs the Pentawood site in Siren. Christine works out of the home with her artwork and other business interests including golf apparel, corporate screen printing and embroidery. “We are enjoying living in the woods and glad we moved from California to Siren in 2010,” noted Christine. - from Siren Chamber of Commerce
Out & About - June 2013
Polk County to host 2014 Governor’s Fishing Opener
Balsam Lake gets the honor for second time, county for a fourth time
by Greg Marsten Leader staff writer ST. CROIX FALLS – While the secret had been out for weeks, the location was officially unknown until more recently as an official announcement on Thursday, May 16, at the Polk County Information Center confirmed that Polk County and, more specifically, Balsam Lake will host the 2014 Governor’s Fishing Opener next spring, May 2-4. “You have to bid for the (hosting),” stated info center director Sue Mathews. “I did that about four years ago.” The fishing opener event is organized by the Wisconsin Indian Head Country marketing group, and is an annual tradition that started in Wisconsin back in 1965 by, then, Gov. Warren Knowles. It rotates around the northern parts of the state each year and has landed in Polk County three previous times: 1983 on Lake Wapogasset, 2001 in Balsam Lake and most recently in 2008, again on Wapogasset. The opener is officially a nonpolitical event, and has become a function of tourism, media awareness and visitation by state officials and businesses over the years. It is regularly attended by gubernatorial staffers, legislators and others at the state level, as well local, regional and media from several states. “It’s a three-day event,” Mathews said, as she outlined the process of bringing the prestigious event to the county once again. “It comes about through our relationship with the (Indian Head) marketing groups.” The word of Polk County once again
The Polk County Information Center and tourism council held a special announcement event Thursday, May 16, in St. Croix Falls, officially noting that Polk County is again hosting the Governor’s Fishing Opener. The May 2-4, 2014, event was awarded to Balsam Lake and is the fourth time it will take place in the county. Pictured (L to R): Mike Evans, former tourism council; George Stroebel, tourism council; Sue Mathews, director of the Polk County Information Center; Geno D’Agostino, Balsam Lake Village president; William F. Johnson, tourism council; Dave Hraychuck, local fishing guide; Glen Jones, Balsam Lake Chamber president; Turner Reaney, tourism council, and Danielle Maxwell-Parker, tourism council. – Special photo hosting the event leaked earlier this spring, but the actual chosen lake remained a secret until recent weeks, and Mathews said the Polk County Tourism Council chose Balsam Lake again, in part, because of its large size, varied shoreline, numerous islands and facilities with the ability to host up to 300 people. The event locations and staging areas are still pending, but Mathews said Paradise Landing has agreed to host the Friday evening banquet, where the governor
and officials are officially welcomed to the area. The location lends itself to the event, due to its multiple dock facilities and accommodations. Mathews said she is still searching for other venues for various events, and has started forming committees to assist with the event, which involves local businesses, chambers of commerce, tourism council and multiple volunteers and fishermen. “It might seem like we’re planning
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early, but people line up weddings and other events early, also,” Mathews said. The event is not a tournament. Tt promotes catch-and-release practices, and involves local fishing clubs as guides and boat hosts. They will give out plaques for several fish varieties and noted catches. “The purpose is not political, it’s about fishing and to highlight Polk County’s natural resources for people who haven’t been here before,” she added, assuring that there is no partisanship involved in the event or any of the planned activities. “It’s gone back and forth between Republicans and Democrats over the years, so there’s no favoritism!” Mathews stressed again that the events are by invitation only, but there is the potential for a huge economic impact as hundreds of visiting media, business and state officials will be spending several days in the region, many of them for the first time. “Keep in mind, this is a big deal,” Mathews said, noting the volunteer efforts of several people, some of whom have been involved in the past and remained involved this time, as well. “There is only one Governor’s Fishing Opener,” she said. “This is the official site. There are counties that would love to have the honor, but it’s right here, once again!” Expect further updates on the event as time passes and some of the plans are solidified. “It’s not all set in stone yet,” she said. Organizers are hoping the spring weather is more seasonal next year than this year, when the event was thrown a loop by almost 2 feet of late ice on the chosen lake. “That can’t happen again, can it?” Mathews joked. “Let’s hope it’s a more typical spring!”
WDNR youth camp fosters outdoor skills at Crex GRANTSBURG – Crex Meadows Wildlife Area has earned a reputation — in some circles at least — as a group of outdoors enthusiasts who are always looking to provide opportunities for youngsters. To help maintain those outdoor traditions and prepare youth for a lifetime of outdoor pursuits, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is offering an outdoor skills camp for youth ages 11-15. This camp gives youth hands-on experience with a variety of outdoor skills including shooting sports, animal tracking, navigating, shelter building and more. Led by WDNR staff, the programs offer the opportunity to learn and try out new skills. No experience is required, just a willingness to try something new. Attendees spend a week participating in a series of programs: Tracks and Traces, Outdoor Survival, Orienteering, Archery and Forestry. The goal of this camp is to foster an awareness, respect and enjoyment of Wisconsin’s natural resources and to promote outdoor activities in a safe and ethical manner. The camp is intended as an introduction to the upcoming 4-H outdoor skills club that will kick off in September. “Kids will have so much fun that they don’t even realize they’re learning environmental lessons,” said Kristi Pupak, wildlife conservation educator. Preregistration is required. The program runs from June 24 – June 28, 4 – 5:30 p.m. Parents are welcome. Crex Meadows Wildlife Area provides a diversity of recreational opportunities, as well as education events and conservation information. For more information on outdoor skills camp or other environmental education programs, please contact Kristi Pupak, wildlife conservation educator at 715-463-2739 or via email, firstname.lastname@example.org. For complete details and updated information, visit crexmeadows.org. For regular updates, photos, news and more, follow them on Facebook. - from Crex Meadows Wildlife Area
Enjoy your stay in the Burnett County area!
Out & About - June 2013
Live Love Laugh Thrift store opens in Luck
people happy by keeping the prices low. “I’d rather make them happy than make a killing,” he said. “I just keep things pretty cheap.” Duren and McManis plan to rotate stock so there are different items on the
POLK and BURNETT COUNTIES – 2013 marks the break in a long-held area tradition. After 27 years, there will be no Community Ag Association Dairy Breakfast this Father’s Day weekend. The unseasonably long winter has brought many delays to the local farm community and farmers are working overtime to try to catch up. As of May 12, only 28 percent of the corn crop had been planted and agronomists were predicting a three-week shorter growing season than normal. Although recently improved weather has opened up a window for farmers to plant their crops, according to AGWEB’s Farmland Forecast, Wisconsin still only has 71percent of their corn in the ground. In Northern Wisconsin, planting usually begins around May 1. Agronomists agree that planting corn after May 20 returns $45 to $85 less per acre and costs 20 to 50 cents more per bushel to dry than corn that was planted May 1 to May 5. The weather, too, has been difficult to deal with in the areas of manure management and livestock health, forcing farmers to turn their attention to those concerns as well as to try to continue getting crops in. With all of these issues, the Community Ag Association decided not to trouble area farm families with the added burden of hosting a dairy breakfast this June. For the past several years, the Community Ag Association has also been serving the breakfast at the Burnett County Airport fly-in air show in July. Ag association members felt it would be appropriate this year to roll both breakfasts into the same event. Saturday, July 27, the Community Ag Association invites the community out to the Burnett County Airport for Papa Jack’s wild rice pancakes and the usual June dairy breakfast fare. Sadly, this year there will be no dairy farm, but there will still be plenty of dairy products. There will be a petting zoo to enjoy and a dairy goat might be milked at the event. After all, in Wisconsin, every month is Dairy Month. There will be more information posted closer to the date of the event. Dairy breakfast organizers thank everyone – all of their past host families as well as everyone who has supported this local event. It truly could not have happened for 27 years without their effort and participation. - submitted
shelves each week. They are open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays they open at 11 a.m. and stay open as long as needed. Donations are
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Kevin Duren and Jackie McManus own and operate Luck’s new thrift store. LEFT: A sampling of the items available at Live Love Laugh Community Thrift Shop in Luck. – Photos by Mary Stirrat
Window Flag Holders and Colored Flag Holders - hard to find! Large Assortment of Flags and Kites Very Nice Canvas Totes for the Park or Lake Great Selection of Photo Frames - Fun puzzle shapes that fit together & more Acrylic Wine Stem Glasses w/Lid & Straw - Choose your design PVC Charms w/Suction Cups - Mark your glass, cups or anything else Great Quality Wine Aerators, Chillers & Openers Fun-shaped Coasters Ceramic Bells to Hang - Choose your bell charm Solar Powered Light-up Lawn Ornaments Fun Colored Bird Feeders w/Squirrel Protection Jewelry, Scarves, Purses, Flip-flops - Nice choices and MUCH, MUCH MORE
by Mary Stirrat Leader staff writer LUCK – Kevin Duren, owner of Luck’s new thrift store, looks at his business as an opportunity to serve the community while making enough to live simply. Live Love Laugh Community Thrift Shop opened in April on Main Street, and will be operated by Duren’s fiancée, Jackie McManis. Duren was the owner of Cornerstone, a nonprofit thrift store in Grantsburg that he operated for 13 months. It became too much for him to handle, he said, so he decided to relocate to a smaller shop in Luck. “We’re here for the community,” Duren said. “The community is giving to us by bringing in donations, and we’re giving it back. It’s a kind of recycling.” By “giving back” Duren is referring to his desire to provide goods at reasonable prices, as well as offering free clothing and other items to victims of fires or other crises. He also plans to give store vouchers to the food shelf, so individuals going to Loaves and Fishes will get a discount at his store. This practice, said Duren, was the idea of friends Bob and Stacey Hilde, who own Angel Hands in Frederic. As an on-the-road trucker for 20-plus years, said Duren, he stepped into a lot of thrift shops. He realized he had a good eye for product and for seeing what people need and like. “So I decided to open a store of my own,” he said. He likes the old way of doing thrift business, where bartering was an option, and really enjoys making
Out & About - June 2013
The St. Croix River is one of the last undisturbed floodplain rivers NORTHWESTERN WISCONSIN – The St. Croix River is one of the last undisturbed, large floodplain rivers in the upper Mississippi River System. The best way to enjoy the Riverway is paddling out on the waters and camping on the banks. We have provided the following resources to assist you in planning your paddling adventure.
particularly good. However, these areas are especially susceptible to low water, so be sure to check river levels before you go. Also consult the paddle guides for more directional details. • There is great cold-water trout fishing on the Namekagon River between Cap Creek Landing and Phipps Flowage in April, May and early June. • The areas around Trego Flowage, Lake Hayward, and the section of river just after the Hayward Dam have a significant amount of residential development. Also, the section of river from Earl Landing to the Namekagon River Visitor Center is a very popular destination for tubers.
The Dalles are one the St. Croix’s most distinctive features.
An aerial view of the Confluence of the Namekagon and St. Croix. – Photos by NPS, taken off the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway website
The Riverway Above Riverside The upper St. Croix and the entirety of the Namekagon River are much narrower and wilder rivers than the rest of the National Park. The rivers run through generally undeveloped, diverse terrain featuring dense deciduous and coniferous forests, marshlands and pine barrens. Banks vary from low to high. Paddlers will be closer to both banks of the river and have much better opportunities to enjoy nature and wildlife from up close. As a result of the relatively smaller size of the rivers in several sections, navigation can be a bit more exciting because of numerous low-water rapids as well as the tighter meandering turns and oxbows. You never know what’s around the next corner! • For a narrower and more exciting adventure, the St. Croix from Gordon Dam to Riverside Landing, as well as the Namekagon from Namekagon Dam to Cable Wayside and then from Stinnett to Big Bend, are
Habitat volunteers needed in Webster and Frederic BURNETT/POLK COUNTIES - The recent Habitat for Humanity AmeriCorps Build-A-Thon in Burnett and Polk counties was a huge success with a great deal being accomplished. Habitat is now looking for local volunteers to help complete the homes. Dawne Summer, of Siren, is raising her daughter’s 6-year-old identical twins, Madison and Delaney. Both the girls suffer from cerebral palsy and require a great deal of special care. Summer has had her grandchildren since they were 3 when their mother become unable to care for them. “I was scared to death,” said Summer. “I knew it was going to be hard, but I just had to do it.” Summer and the girls live in her mobile home in Siren. The hallway is too narrow for Delaney’s wheelchair, so Summer must carry her to the bathroom and bedroom. In the winter, the floor is very cold, which is hard on the young girls when they are lying or playing on it. Delaney requires surgery on her hip, but that surgery has been delayed by her doctors until the Summer family is in their new Habitat home. Volunteers are greatly needed to help complete their new home which is located at 26567 White Pine Ave. N, Webster. From Hwy. 35 in Webster, go north to CTH FF, west three-fourth of a mile to White Pine Avenue and go south two blocks. Help is needed Thursdays and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. now until the house is completed. In addition to the Summer home, help is also needed in Frederic on Mondays and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Once these locations are wrapped up, Luck will be the site for the next building project. Sign up to help by calling 715-483-2700. There is no experience needed. Training is provided on-site. For more information, visit wildrivershabitat.org. - with information from WRHFH
Sandrock Cliffs in Fall.
The St. Croix Marshland The Marshland area of the St. Croix between Riverside Landing and Hwy. 70 is a beautiful stretch of river. In this area, the river changes fairly dramatically from its origins near Gordon. The river gets substantially wider and for the most part, the banks are lower. This stretch of river is one of the best smallmouth bass fisheries around and people come from all over the world to try their hand at catching these beautiful fish. There are a number of points of interest in this stretch as well. One of two areas where traffic crosses the river is the Gandy Dancer Trail in Danbury on which ATVs can get a glimpse of the river. The other area where traffic crosses the river is Hwy. 70, which is near the bottom of the Marshland district. • The Marshland district has the highest gradient of any part of the Riverway and thus has the fastest moving water. This can provide a great opportunity for those seeking some rapids but caution is encouraged when the water becomes high, as the rapids can prove to be somewhat tricky for the inexperienced river-goer. • The sandrock cliff area is a unique and beautiful geological rock face off a side channel. Note that in low water, this channel may be difficult to navigate. This area has a wonderful campground at the top of the cliffs where one can camp among mature cathedral-like red pine trees. This area is popular for the car campers as well, as it is one of the few places that campers can drive to. The Kettle River Slough is a great “secret spot” for fishing; however, this area is extremely vulnerable to low water and is difficult to navigate when flow is insufficient. There is a small ledge at the confluence with the St. Croix that can prove to be troublesome if conditions aren’t right. Contact one of the parks visitor centers or check out the website’s river levels for the most up-to-date information.
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River description The park provides a description of the St. Croix and Namekagon Rivers throughout the course of the national park. These descriptions detail the basic character of the river experience to help you plan your Riverway adventure. Paddling guides are provided as brochures or pdfs on the website nps.gov/sacn charting the mile markers of notable water features and obstacles throughout the park.
The Lower St. Croix Below Hwy. 70, the St. Croix becomes much broader than its upper stretches, making for a much more forgiving paddle for newcomers. Along the way there are many islands, back channels and sloughs to explore when the water is high. With such a large viewshed, the abundant wildlife can be seen on land or in the sky. As the river gets closer to its mouth at the Mississippi, the banks rise into bluffs and there are gradually more signs of development. This lowest section of river is just a quick hour drive from the Twin Cities and can make for a wonderful day trip with relatively little planning. • The St. Croix Dalles, just below Hwy. 8, is one of the Riverway’s greatest treasures and not to be missed. The Dalles is a deep gorge of basaltic rock that formed thousands of years ago and features vertical cliffs and spectacular potholes. It can be explored by foot in the Minnesota or Wisconsin Interstate Park or by float. • For 10 miles below Hwy. 70, the sand and gravel river bottom creates excellent smallmouth bass fishing. There are also many landings in this section to gain easy access for an evening of angling. • The St. Croix Falls hydroelectric dam creates a 10-mile reservoir beginning at Nevers Dam Landing, making the river much slower and broader. This depth of water invites more motorboat traffic in this area. To continue downriver from St. Croix Falls requires a strenuous 1.5-mile portage around the hydroelectric dam. • The Stillwater Islands area, between the Soo Line High Bridge and Stillwater, is popular with houseboats, cabin cruisers, pontoons and fishing boats. The islands are favorite places to spend summer weekends. • Paddleboats offer another way to see the St. Croix. Scenic tours are available through the Dalles and in Stillwater. Check the list of outfitters on the website to find paddleboat tours. – taken from the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway website
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Out & About - June 2013
Crex education and visitor center GRANTSBURG – The Crex Meadows Wildlife Education and Visitor Center is open from April through October, seven days a week, weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and on weekends from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The center opened to the public on April 13, 2002, and was funded by monies raised by the Friends of Crex. The center is located at the junction of CTH D and CTH F. At the front of the building you will find a prairie garden with many of the prairie grasses and wildflowers found in the wildlife area. Many of the plants are labeled to help you with identification. This area was created and is maintained by Friends of Crex volunteers. Also notice the brick walk with bricks purchased by donors to honor friends and family. Proceeds from the sale of these bricks were originally used to help build the visitor center, and new funds are now put toward the endowment fund which was set up in 2003 as a source of perpetual funding for interpretive programs at the center. The grounds at the wildlife education and visitor center include a paved handicapped accessible walkway through prairie plantings. Check out the birdhouses at the beginning of the walkway for nesting bluebirds and flickers. Behind the center is a boardwalk and nature trail. The boardwalk was built in 2004 and goes over a pond that was constructed by the local chapter of Ducks Unlimited and is used for educational purposes. Inside the center you will find exhibits, bird and mammal displays, as well as artwork by local artists. Pamphlets, maps and other brochures are available both inside and out to help you plan and enjoy your visit better. Souvenirs are available at the gift shop, The Bog Shoe. The Friends of Crex sell these items to help fund the wildlife interpretive program. Other facilities include offices for Friends of Crex and DNR staff, a 52-seat auditorium equipped with audio visual booth, a small stage and a podium, a full kitchen and a large classroom/meeting hall. These facilities are used by the Friends of Crex and the DNR and are also available for groups and organizations to use for meetings and events. Please contact the Crex staff at 715-463-2739 for more information on how to reserve space for your next event. Crex Meadows staff and volunteers are available to guide tours of the wildlife area. If you have a wildlife club, birding club, school group or other group interested in coming to Crex Meadows for a guided tour, please contact them at 715-4632739 for more information. Crex Meadows is the largest wildlife area in Wisconsin. It contains 30,000 acres of prairie, wetlands and forests. Since its purchase in 1945, work has been under way to restore the native plant and wildlife communities that were disrupted during settlement by wetland drainage and control of naturally occurring wildfires. Because of intense management conducted at Crex, native plants and wildlife are again flourishing. This wildlife showplace is home to 270 kinds of birds and numerous other wildlife plus an abundance of colorful prairie flowers that bloom throughout the spring and summer. To learn more about Crex Meadows, explore their website at crexmeadows.org. – from Crex Meadows website
Trail follows the Gandy Dancer State Trail corridor for about 19 miles from St. Croix Falls past the town of Luck, and then continues east toward Straight Lake State Park.
Gandy Dancer Trail BURNETT/POLK COUNTY – This 98-mile interstate trail crosses into Minnesota and then back again into Wisconsin on its way from St. Croix Falls to its connection with the Saunders State Trail just south of Superior. In Wisconsin, the trail is maintained and managed by Polk, Burnett and Douglas counties. The Minnesota DNR manages the section of the Gandy Dancer Trail in Minnesota. Built on a former railroad corridor, the trail is named for the work crews who laid the railroad tracks. The crews used tools made by the Gandy Tool Company of Chicago. The crews were known to work by keeping their voices and the movement of their feet and tools in harmony. This manner of work led the crews to become known as “Gandy Dancers.” The Gandy Dancer State Trail is divided into a northern segment and a southern segment, and trail activities vary. The southern segment of the Gandy Dancer Trail begins in St. Croix Falls, near Interstate State Park. The southern segment travels for 47 miles in Wisconsin through the communities of Centuria, Milltown, Luck, Frederic, Siren and Webster, ending in the town of Danbury at the Minnesota border. Here a 520-foot trestle crosses the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway into Minnesota. This segment was surfaced with crushed limestone in 1995 and offers a smooth, hard-surfaced trail with use limited to biking and hiking from April through November. A bike pass is required. The north segment runs 51 miles from Danbury through eastern Minnesota to Superior. The segment offers a wilder, more remote trail experience. Hiking, mountain biking and ATV use is permit-
The southern segment of the Gandy Dancer Trail follows the route of Hwy. 35. There are parking, trail access points, accommodations and services in St. Croix Falls, Centuria, Milltown, Frederic, Siren, Webster and Danbury. Additional parking and rest rooms are also available at several places along the southern portion of the trail. The Polk County Information Center is at the junction of Hwy. 8, Hwy. 87, Hwy. 35 and the trail. – from dnr.wi.gov ted. No pass is needed to use the north section of the trail, but ATVs must display valid registration. ATVs and other motorized vehicles are prohibited on the southern segment of the trail. ATVs and other off-road vehicles are allowed in Minnesota. The trail may bring a number of different users to the trail at the same time. It is important to use good trail etiquette to ensure the enjoyment and safety of all trail users.
Walking and bicycling The level grade and limestone surface make this trail suitable for bicyclists, walkers and joggers. A state trail pass is required for bicycling on some sections of the trail. A Wisconsin State Trail Pass is required of all bicyclists 16 years of age or older riding the trail between St. Croix Falls and Danbury. A Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Conservation Patron license will be honored as a bike pass. Trail passes must be visibly displayed when using the trail. A pass is not
needed for hiking. Handicapped/disabled persons in wheelchairs do not need a pass. Trail passes are available at the Polk and Burnett County Tourism centers and from business vendors located in communities along the trail. Pass fees are $4 for a daily pass and $20 for an annual pass, subject to change. Trail passes are issued to individuals, not bikes. As such trail passes cannot be passed from person to person or shared with others. Public parks and rest areas are located in or near the villages on the trail. Trail passes are available at the following locations: Pet owners, please be sure to have your pet on a leash, 8 feet or shorter, at all times. You must pick up after your pet.
Ice Age National Scenic Trail The western terminus of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail is at Interstate State Park on the St. Croix River. The Ice Age
Winter activities Snowmobiles are permitted on the trail. Operators must follow all Wisconsin snowmobile laws. The trail also connects to numerous miles of county snowmobile trails. The trail is open to cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, however, the trail is not groomed, and skiers and snowshoers must share the trail with snowmobiles. Skiers do not need a trail pass while using the trail. No hunting and trapping allowed on trail Hunting and trapping are not allowed on the trail corridor. For more information, please see: Polk County:
Luck: Luck Country Inn and Natural Alternative Co-op Frederic: Frederic Depot, the village office St. Croix Falls: Polk County Information Center Milltown: Monty’s Sportsman’s Haven Centuria: Glass Bar Burnett County Danbury: Hill Home Center, Log Cabin Store.
Siren: The Lodge at Crooked Lake, Yourchuck’s True Value, Best Western, Timberland Gifts & Goods, Inc., Peggy’s Fashion Rack, county clerk’s office or Burnett County Parks office Webster: Webster Ace Hardware. – from dnr.wi.gov
Out & About - June 2013
Northwest Passage opens In a New Light gallery was not only the opening of an art gallery, but also the impressive photographs of the young photographers. Visitors wandering among the photographs could be overheard remarking about the sense of emotion that the photographs created. These were seen not only as good examples of the art of photography, but they were experienced as images that spoke from the heart of the photographer to the hearts of the viewers. The gallery is located south of Webster at the corner of Bass Lake Road and Hwy. 35, and is now open for the public to visit.
by Carl Heidel Leader staff writer WEBSTER - After roaming across the country from art galleries to national parks to state capital buildings and more, the much-acclaimed work of the student photographers of Northwest Passage has finally come home. And that home is a new art gallery, a beautiful and appropriate setting for photographs that look like some of the finest work of professional photographers. The In a New Light gallery officially opened for the public on Saturday, May 25, and the public came out in large numbers to celebrate. And what they celebrated
The wall of honor recognizes some of the photographers and their work at the In a New Light gallery, which opened Saturday, May 25, south of Webster.
Photos by Carl Heidel Visitors to the gallery opening discovered that they could purchase prints of some of the photos on display.
Charlotte Heidel enjoyed one of the books containing a collection of the photographs included in the In a New Light project.
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The gallery opening was crowded with visitors who took their time wandering among the professional-quality photographs taken by students who are part of the In a New Light program. Darby (left) and Geri (center) Nelson posed with director of the photographic project Ben Thwaits (right). A book that Darby wrote led to a new photographic curriculum and project that blends art and science, “Lakes in a New Light.”
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RIGHT: Some of the photographers involved in the In a New Light project were at the gallery opening and were pretty happy to have their work featured.
Out & About - June 2013
Ugandan life on Spirit Lake
Grace Wurdemann, 15, carries a heavy load of sticks for fire. Ugandan women haul this wood and water three to five miles on foot. – Photos submitted
and the folks at Wilderness Fellowship. The specialness is noted by the dire need there. Uganda is one of the poorest nations in the world, with 38 percent of the people living on about $1.25 a day. HIV/AIDS and malaria are taking a deadly toll, killing over 25 percent of Ugandans yearly. Brask and other religious and government support groups are offering immediate relief with sex education and mosquito nets. In the Uganda calling, Brask reminds Christians of what the Lord said long ago and means for today: “Heal the sick.” (Matthew 10:8) She said God is calling us to fulfill those words in Uganda.
Evangelist Diane Brask and Wilderness Fellowship Executive Director Randy Klawitter kneel before a typical African mud and thatch hut home. Uganda is one of the poorest nations in the world, with 38 percent of the people living on about $1.25 a day.
by Wayne Anderson Special to the Leader RURAL FREDERIC - The plight and salvation of Africa’s Uganda was on display in local Wisconsin over Memorial Day weekend, where demonstration stations, pictures of daily life, were erected at The Wilderness Fellowship Ministries compound. Local world missionary and evangelist Diane Brask and the staff at Wilderness Fellowship were led to show locals what people in Uganda endure every day and how Christ’s workers are helping in their physical and spiritual needs. The Wilderness Fellowship was started in 1972 by Dick and Lois Klawitter. Its website states it is a “place of refuge and peace to many people in many ways,” providing a full-time staff and family cabins, recreation facilities and prayer retreats. Thousands have benefited from the “restoration and hope which is dedicated to helping people establish intimacy with God and those they love.” Last week, the fellowship had a practical, down-to-earth mission. “This is where our families can go and experience a typical day in Uganda,” said Brask. “A day in the life in a third-world country.” About 10 African stations were set up and scattered around the beautiful 240acre fellowship area near Spirit Lake. There visitors interacted with Ugandan life, sitting on a dirt floor mixed with cow dung (to keep the dust down); eating a universal meal of pinto beans and rice (one small plate a day); and telling Bible stories – without the Bible (illiteracy is high and books are rare). “This weekend is show and tell and do,” said Brask. “It is show and tell what is happening in half the world, and to do something about it.” Brask said she ministers in Uganda every year, as well as other parts of the world. Uganda is a special calling for Brask
Out & About - June 2013
Many helping, many helped
by Jackie Thorwick Special to the Leader BURNETT/POLK COUNTIES - Many of the 73 AmeriCorps members who showed up in Burnett County on May 12 didn’t know what to expect of their homefor-a-week. Eric Kube, executive director of Wild Rivers Habitat for Humanity, was at the meeting in Talladega, Ala., last year when the 400 AmeriCorps members learned to which of the five Build-a-Thon destinations they’d been assigned. “When the first group heard they were going to Seattle, a big cheer went up. Same thing for the group going to Washington, D.C.,” said Kube, laughing. “But when they announced the group going St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin, it was dead silence. Then you saw everyone pulling out their phones to look up where it was.” But come they did – from New York, Los Angeles and many places between. And once here, they got to work. They worked on three new home builds, in Webster, Frederic and Luck; they reroofed four homes, one each in Grantsburg, Siren, Frederic and Milltown; and they installed new windows and siding on a big old home in Cushing. Two other teams power-washed and painted several homes in Centuria, several in Luck and in Siren. The impact of these energetic, highspirited young volunteers will be felt for a long time in this community. “I’ll bet we got at least two months’ worth of work done in one week,” said Kube, shaking his head. “The best thing is that we were able to help several families we probably wouldn’t have gotten to do.” It’s possible the nonvisible effects of their work are even more important. More than one homeowner shed a tear as they talked about what it meant to have their home worked on during the Builda-Thon. “We don’t always remember to count our blessings,” said Jared Moe, future homeowner of the Frederic home at the Build-a-Thon closing ceremony Friday evening. “Today isn’t one of those days, because I’m looking at a hundred of them – all of you.” Russell Post, a veteran whose home in Cushing was re-sided, said, “I’m 73 years old and I’ve never brushed up against these kinds of people before. Lot of time people just grab to get for themselves. Me, too, sometimes. I’m worried about
there’s no way we could have done this without these guys,” said Kube. “It was a huge job, and we’re so grateful for their help – and the many other volunteers who helped in other ways.” Work is continuing on several fronts and those who would like to help complete the projects are encouraged to contact Habitat. Workdays will be Saturdays and Mondays in Frederic and Thursdays and Fridays in Webster for the time being. The Luck build will ramp up when those near completion, and a new home build will start in Amery later this summer. Youth, church or civic groups are needed to help with home painting projects as well. Contact WRHFH volunteer coordinator Jackie Thorwick at 715-483-2700 to sign up for a day. More photos on next page.
The Habitat for Humanity and AmeriCorps Patch proudly worn by workers. This team worked hard reshingling this home – and had a lot of fun as well. A “wild” theme developed as they ate grilled bear burgers and venison stew served by the homeowners. - Photos submitted unless otherwise noted
my grandkids, what their lives will be like. But these kids give me hope for the future.” Locals and visitors alike were both challenged and cheered by the Build-aThon. Kristian Jones, one of the visiting AmeriCorps members, wrote, “I don’t think I’ve ever been so exhausted in the course
Linda Jensen of Grantsburg took this photo of a bear, apparently taking a nap, in a tree at the First Baptist Church of Falun. - Photo submitted
of my service or felt so amazed by what can be accomplished by a small group of driven people. My knees are scuffed, and we’re all covered in mud and sweat by the end of the day, but we’re happy to do it. It’s a labor of love.” Her article and others about the Wild Rivers Build-a-Thon may be read at habitat.org/americorps/ BAT/2013. The Wild Rivers Habitat for Humanity crew included a number of local people who volunteered long hours as site supervisors for the Build-a-Thon. These included Mark Brooks, Wild Bill Faughn, Dan Gunderson, John Gyllen, Jerry Heckman, Kevin Jolly, Al Kruger, Bob Robinson, Dave Sarow and David Weiss. “With only one paid construction manager,
Pastor Mary Ann Bowman of Bone Lake Lutheran Church in rural Luck led a prayer at the closing ceremonies in Frederic. - Photo by Gary King
The Moe family of Milltown, Jared and Krista, and their children Isaiah, 5 (hidden) and Laurel, 1-1/2, accept a Bible presented by Eric Kube, executive director of Wild Rivers Habitat for Humanity, during the closing ceremonies at the Moes new home on Benson Avenue in Frederic on Friday, May 10. - Photo by Gary King
Out & About - June 2013
It wasn’t all just hard work. Lunchtime became a time for some rest and visiting as a group. -
Photo by Carl Heidel
The bear team couldn’t resist posing with the wooden bear at the Frederic Depot and Museum in downtown Frederic.
Build - A- Thon! From page 12
More than 70 AmeriCorps members stood and cheered as they were acknowledged for the work they completed recently in Burnett and Polk counties as part of the Build-A-Thon. - Photos submitted unless otherwise noted
Tiana DuVall from North Carolina showed that women know how to wield a nail gun, too. - Photo by Carl Heidel
Sometimes rest is more important than food. At right, an AmeriCorps member gets a head start on resting up at the airport after a week of hard work during the Build-A-Thon. LEFT: An AmeriCorps member from New York City left a note in the Frederic home after the closing ceremony.
This high, steep roof was reshingled during the Build-A-Thon by a brave, hardworking crew.
RIGHT: The AmeriCorps teams got a lot of work done last week, May 13-17, during the Habitat Build-A-Thon, but they also paused to have some fun once in a while.
Larry Gluth, right, vice president of Habitat for Humanity International, toured Build-A-Thon sites during the week. To his left is Cris Moore, of Thrivent Financial, which sponsored this and other projects through its Thrivent Builds Repairs program, making it possible to help more homeowners with bigger projects such as this one in Cushing. Eric Kube, executive director of Wild Rivers Habitat for Humanity, is left of Moore, and the homeowner, Russell Post, is far left. – Photo
by Bob Johnson
Out & About - June 2013
No luck for Yogi Dale Anderson sent in these photos of a bear he named Yogi, who came looking for some food in his yard on Dake Road near Siren - but had no luck.
Photos by Dale Anderson
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The library will also host a Treasure Beyond Measure program on June 26. - submitted
Out & About - June 2013
Burnett Medical Center redesignated as trauma care facility
GRANTSBURG – Burnett Medical Center is proud to have been redesignated as a level four trauma care facility—a designation that enables the facility to treat trauma patients. “A trauma patient can range from anyone who has suffered injuries from slipping and falling, to falling out of a tree stand, to being involved in a rollover car crash,” explained Polly Groshens, director of nursing at Burnett Medical Center. In order to be designated as a trauma care facility in the state of Wisconsin, the state trauma survey team must verify that a facility has protocols in place to ensure trauma patients can be taken care of in an adequate and timely manner. This includes engaged and competent staff, coordination among facility departments, and relationships with EMS services and tertiary facilities that can continue the care that is initiated at the local hospital. “Upon visiting Burnett Medical Center for our recertification survey, the state surveyors made note of excellent EMS response times and care for our patients in the field, friendly and engaged staff who provide good clinical care to our patients, and strong relationships with hospitals to which we transfer our patients,” shared Groshens. “It’s not just about how trauma patients are treated in the emergency department,
but how care is delivered throughout the hospital and by those with which we partner.” Burnett Medical Center partners with North Memorial’s EMS service to transfer patients via ground ambulance from the field to the emergency department, and when a patient’s condition requires more advanced care, the patient is transferred via the air ambulance service to North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale, Minn. Burnett Medical Center also partners with Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis for the level one heart attack program. With this program, patients suffering a heart attack can be transferred from Burnett Medical Center to Abbott Northwestern Hospital in just 20 minutes. In addition, Burnett Medical Center partners with Regions Hospital in St. Paul for patients needing burn care. “Being redesignated is a great accomplishment and speaks to our readiness to meet the needs of trauma patients that come through our doors. As a community hospital, it is essential we have the relationships and people in place to meet the health-care needs of all trauma patients, 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” said Gordy Lewis, CEO of Burnett Medical Center. – from Burnett Medical Center
Here comes the sun
The transformation from winter to spring seems to be captured in one moment in time by this photograph taken east of Frederic. - Photo by Heather Otto
Summer fun at Wisconsin Interstate Park
ST. CROIX FALLS – Memorial Day weekend traditionally marks the beginning of the summer season at Wisconsin Interstate Park. Whatever outdoor activities you enjoy, you’ll find that a variety of recreational opportunities await you at the park. Interstate Park has two campgrounds with a total of 85 family campsites, and a primitive group camp that accommodates 60 people. Advance reservations are recommended and can be made by calling toll-free 888-WI-PARKS, 888-947-2757. Visitors may picnic in several different areas of the park. Picnic tables and grills are available as well as open shelters that can be reserved for group picnics. There is an excellent swimming beach and Beach House at scenic Lake O’ the Dalles. The best way to discover all that Interstate has to offer is by hiking some of the nine miles of trails found throughout the park. Scenic overlooks provide the hiker with views of the spectacular scenery, while along the way Interstate’s abundant wildlife, wildflowers and birds may be seen. To enhance your visit to the park, join the naturalist for a nature program. Summer naturalist programs are offered Saturday, May 25, of Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. Explore the trails, ponder the potholes, or hear
the colorful history of the St. Croix River valley during a guided hike or activity. The Wisconsin Explorer program offers another opportunity for adults and children (ages 3 and up) to learn about nature together. Activities are clearly described in the free Wisconsin Explorer booklets, available at the park office and the Ice Age Center. Children completing a variety of activities will receive a free embroidered patch. At the Ice Age Interpretive Center, open daily, visitors can view exhibits to learn about the frozen history of Wisconsin and the gifts of the glacier. In the auditorium our new 24-minute film, “Mammoths and Moraines – On the Trail of the Ice Age,” tells the story of glaciation in Wisconsin. The film is shown daily upon request. Shop for a souvenir in the Glacier’s Gifts gift shop in the lobby. Visit Wisconsin Interstate Park this summer; everyone is welcome. The park is located in St. Croix Falls on Hwy. 35 just one-half mile south of Hwy. 8. The park is open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day. A vehicle entrance sticker is required. Daily stickers are $7/Wisconsin resident or $10/ nonresident. Annual stickers are $25/Wisconsin resident or $35/nonresident. National Park Service passes are also accepted. For more information call the park at 715-483-3747. - submitted
Interstate Park POLK COUNTY – Interstate Park is open year-round from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. The Ice Age Interpretive Center is open daily from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Restrooms, exhibits, a 20-minute movie shown upon request, and a gift shop are available for park visitors.
Directions Interstate Park is in St. Croix Falls, on Hwy. 35 just one-half mile south of Hwy. 8. The park is open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day. Geographic coordinates are 45° 23’ 34.93” N, 92° 38’ 26.57” W. Nature As the Ice Age ended, huge glaciers melted and the water carved the deep, steep-walled gorge known as the Dalles of the St. Croix. An 87acre area around the Dalles is a state natural area. Frost action and weathering over the years have formed interesting rock features such as the Old Man of the Dalles. Be sure to be careful when exploring the rocky areas and rimrocks. In addition to the Dalles, there are two other state natural areas in the park: • Interstate Lowland Forest, 124 acres, contains a wet forest that’s surrounded by the river during times of high water. • Centennial Bedrock Glade, 17 acres, is situated on a prominent exposure of basalt bedrock. Vehicle admission sticker is required • A vehicle admission sticker is required on all motor vehicles stopping in state parks and recreation areas. Some state forest and trail parking areas also require a sticker. Buy your sticker either when you get to the park or in advance. You can buy either an annual sticker, for admission to all state parks and forests for the calendar year, or a daily sticker, valid only on the date of issue. If you have only a little time to visit, you can buy a one-hour sticker at most state parks and forests. Any vehicle licensed for road use that is towed or carried into a state park fee area is provided free admission. • Hunting and fishing licenses apply. • Interstate Park is part of the Ice Age National Scientific Reserve and federal passes are honored. Holders of national parks passports receive a waiver of the vehicle admission fees, but camping fees are not affected. The 2013 annual vehicle admission stickers and passes are honored through Dec. 31. Sticker fees: Vehicles with Wisconsin license plates, $25 or one hour $5; vehicle with Wisconsin plates, resident ages 65 and older, $10; vehicle with out-of-state plates, $35 or one hour $5. Half-price annual stickers are available for additional vehicles registered to the same household address. One-hour stickers are not available at all state parks or forests. If you have a motorcycle The vehicle admission sticker rule applies to motorcycles as well as cars and trucks. If your motorcycle does not have an adequate windshield or the sticker may damage the windshield, fasten the sticker in one of these places: • on the front fork; • behind the license plate; or • under the seat. In some cases, a ranger may not see the sticker and issue you a no-
tice. If this happens, return to the park or forest office to show your sticker and void the notice.
Replacement stickers If you have a valid, current-year sticker, and you are trading in your car or replacing a windshield with a state park sticker on it, you can get a replacement sticker for your new windshield at no charge by following the steps below. • Note the serial number of your current-year sticker. • Scrape enough of the old sticker off (it will come off in pieces) to prove you have it. • Print out the Annual Admission Sticker Replacement Application form [PDF]. • Fill in the form completely. • Take or mail the form and old sticker to any state park or forest office. Removing old stickers from your windshield The most effective way to remove an old sticker is to scrape it off with a safety razor blade. Many state parks and forests may have a safety razor blade at the contact station. Goo-gone, Windex or other household adhesive removers can be helpful if there is any residue left on the windshield. Ice Age Interpretive Center Stop at the Ice Age Interpretive Center and join the naturalist for a nature program. The center is about 0.4 mile west of Hwy. 35 on Park Road. Hours: The interpretive center is open May through September, weekdays, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., and weekends, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Winter hours vary. Things to do Visitors can view exhibits to learn about the frozen history of Wisconsin and the gifts of the Ice Age. The park’s new 24-minute film, “Mammoths and Moraines: On the Trail of the Ice Age,” tells the story of glaciation in Wisconsin. This film is shown in the auditorium. Summer naturalist programs are offered Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. Explore the trails, ponder the potholes, or hear the colorful history of the St. Croix River Valley during a guided hike or activity. In fall, special activities may be scheduled to take advantage of the area’s beautiful colors. Nature story time programs for children are offered on Thursday mornings in summer and winter. See the Get Outdoors! Events Calendar for a list of all nature programs and events. Kids, become a Wisconsin Explorer and discover the natural world. Pick up a booklet at the nature center. The booklets are full of hands-on, exciting and educational activities for days on the beach, rainy days at home or starry nights. Complete at least half of activities and return it to any state park, forest or recreation area. Receive a patch and certificate for completing the activities. Gift shop Glaciers’ Gift Shop, in the lobby of the Ice Age Interpretive Center, offers nature-related books and field guides, T-shirts, children’s items and other souvenirs for purchase. Firewood and ice are also available. – from the Interstate Park website
Tell them you saw it in the
Out & About
Out & About - June 2013
The heritage of the St. Croix land
“Telling our stories to the nation”
by Gregg Westigard Leader staff writer TAYLORS FALLS, Minn. – The St. Croix River has united our region for billions of years. Now, some want to take the many stories of our many waters in the St. Croix watershed to the nation by having our region declared a National Heritage Area as a way to have the special qualities of our area recognized. A step in this process took place on Thursday, May 16, when folks from across our area gathered in Taylors Falls for the final meeting of the Heritage Initiative’s feasibility study. There’s a story to tell that has a national significance. That story of our area of waters and woods, which has attracted many people over the years, deserves to be told. The story, actually a collection of stories from many voices, has been gathered in a series of meetings over the 18 months of the Heritage Initiative that led to the summit on that Thursday. The stories The St. Croix region was born 3 billion years ago as the tectonic plates beneath the earth shifted and formed our base. Glaciers and meltwater shaped the land, creating rivers and lakes, forests and prairies. People moved into the area 12,000 years ago, the first in a series of people settling the rich landscape. Those first Native American people included the Dakota and Ojibwe, folks who still live here. Their enduring story of retaining their culture, despite losses of their traditional lands, is a story of perseverance, one of the collected stories. Another story is the mosaic of cultures that followed - French, British, American
The area that has become the likely National Hertiage Area region includes all or portions of a dozen counties in two states, focusing on the St. Croix River watershed.
settlers from New England, Scandinavians, and on to the groups that continue to come and create a multiethnic regional identity. They came for furs, at
The Taylors Falls event included a so-called “heritage fair” featuring local historical groups and vendors. - Photos by Greg Marsten
first, then to cut the trees used for timber to build the country in the 1800s. With the land cleared, farms and a rich agricultural period followed.
Yet another story is the creation of a conservation ethic that led to the St. Croix land that we have today. The fur trade, the lumber boom and the agricultural development often led to an exploitation of resources that left the land devastated. But new attitudes developed, new relationships with the land. A strong conservation ethic has led to a relationship between the people and the land that continues to evolve. The culmination of these stories is the story of the St. Croix Land, the story the Heritage Initiative now wants to take to the nation. That story is of a land of many peoples, the story of the Upper Midwest. And it is the story of the lands that remain to invite people to live here and visit here. That land erases state lines. It is a heart-shaped region of rivers - the Sunrise, Snake, Kettle, Tamarack, Totogatic, Namekagon, Yellow, Clam, Wood, Trade, Apple, Willow, Kinnickinnic and others - that flow into the St. Croix River which unites, not divides, our region. It is a land of communities, of lakes, of parks and trails. Next The Heritage Initiative wants to continue developing this story, to coordinate the efforts of the peoples and communities in St. Croix land. A goal is to gain congressional designation as a National Heritage Area within the national park system, one of some 50 areas in the nation. That could help increase tourism in our area and bring economic growth. Achieving that step will take a few years, but the Heritage Initiative has already brought people across the region together to work as one group, not divided by artificial lines, but united by a common land and common stories. The “Many Waters, Many Stories” project is continuing.
Attendees were given a chance to weigh in on several NHA options and to illustrate positive and negative aspects of those options.
The Heritage Players acted out a skit that featured local history, and kept the crowd entertained while highlighting some of the features worth noting in the NHA application.
Out & About - June 2013
Book features Polk County day-hiking trails Latest “Hittin’ the Trail” volume describes dozens of trails in county HUDSON – The latest book in the new “Hittin’ the Trail” guidebook series focuses on Polk County. “Hittin’ the Trail: Day Hiking Polk County, Wisconsin,” by Rob Bignell, was released Tuesday, June 4. Describing several dozen trails, the ebook covers trails in every Polk County community including St. Croix Falls, Osceola, Amery, Clear Lake, Balsam Lake, Turtle Lake, Luck and Frederic. The cover is of Osceola Creek. “In Polk County, you can walk across 1-billion-year-old rock, dip your toes in lakes made from melted glaciers, walk along historic railroad lines that once crisscrossed the state and traipse through the only state park that doesn’t allow motor vehicles,” said Bignell, an avid hiker and author of the popular and critically acclaimed “Hikes with Tykes” guidebooks. “I’ve hiked in more than 30 of Wisconsin’s counties, and Polk County certainly ranks up there with the best.” The book separates trails by geographical area: the St. Croix River Area (St. Croix Falls and Osceola); North County (Frederic and Luck); Central Area (Balsam Lake and Milltown); and Southeastern County Area (Amery, Turtle Lake and Clear Lake). “While other hiking guidebooks might highlight a trail in Polk County, no one ever has written a book about all of the great trails there,” Bignell said. “That’s a major oversight. You could spend several weeks doing nothing but hiking the county’s varied trails.” Among Polk County’s many parks with trails are Interstate State Park, the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway, Straight Lake State Park and the Osceola Bedrock Glades State Natural Area. Among its many renowned long trails are the Ice Age National Scenic Trail, the Gandy Dancer Trail, the Stower Seven Lakes Trail, the Cattail Trail and the Clear Lake-Clayton Trail. The guidebook also includes a brief introduction to Polk County, offering information about its communities, major highways, geography and history. Synopses of trails in bordering counties are provided as well. A bonus section offers a primer on
Guide to Day Hiking with Kids” (2011) and “Hikes with Tykes: Games and Activities” (2012). He’s also the author of three writing/self-publishing guidebooks, a novel and a collection of poetry. Bignell served as an infantryman in the Army National Guard and taught middle school students in New Mexico and Wisconsin. His newspaper work has won several journalism awards, from editorial writing to sports reporting. In 2001, The Prescott Journal, of which he served as managing editor, was named Wisconsin’s Weekly Newspaper of the Year. A Wisconsin native, Bignell now lives with his son in Hudson. “Day Hiking Polk County, Wisconsin” is available for purchase as an ebook at hikeswithtykes.com. For those without an e-reader, the book also can be downloaded to personal computers. - submitted
“Hittin’ the Trail: Day Hiking Polk County, Wisconsin” marks Rob Bignell’s sixth hiking guidebook. He’s spent the last five years hiking trails across the Midwest and West Coast with his son, Kieran (in carrier). day hiking, which is when hikers spend only a few hours on short trails. “All of the trails described in the book are family-friendly,” Bignell said. “Day Hiking Polk County, Wisconsin” is the third installment in the new “Hittin’ the Trail” ebook series. The first book, “Day Hiking Wisconsin and Minnesota Interstate State Parks,” was released in April and “Day Hiking Grand County National Park” in May. Polk County also is heavily featured in Bignell’s recently released “Headin’ to the Cabin: Day Hiking Trails of Northwest Wisconsin,” which describes 100-
plus trails in Polk, St. Croix, Barron, Burnett, Washburn, Sawyer, Douglas, Bayfield and Ashland counties. A longtime hiker, editor and journalist, Bignell is uniquely qualified to discuss hiking. He and his son, Kieran, have hiked through old groves of redwood trees that soared 150 feet over their heads, peak-bagged mountains, rambled along ocean coastlines, searched fossil and gem trails and explored remote desert canyons, often all in the same month. Those experiences led to Bignell’s previously published hiking books, “Hikes with Tykes: A Practical
The new guidebook “Hittin’ the Trail: Day Hiking Polk County, Wisconsin” (Atiswinic Press) describes family-friendly trails across Wisconsin’s gateway to the north woods. The cover features Osceola Creek. - Special photos
Siren - your destination for summer music Fifth season of Music in the Park kicked off June 6 at Crooked Lake Park SIREN - Another summer season of Music in the Park began Thursday, June 6, at 6:30 p.m. at Siren’s Crooked Lake Park band shell. This is the fifth year for this concert series. Held every Thursday evening from June 6 through Aug. 22, old favorites are being welcomed back along with two new group performances. Like the past few years, Intensive Care kicked off the program with their rock
‘n’ roll melodies and will be followed by the classical and pop music mix of the St. Croix Valley Orchestra on June 13. Returning after their initial 2012 Siren debut is Tangled Web on June 20 performing Americana and country music. For traditional Irish, Irish folk, folk rock and more, come June 27 for the Cattail String Band, a new entry to the Siren music scene. In July, celebrate the holiday with a special July 4 concert at 8 p.m. by the Siren Community Band. On July 11, Doug Crane and Al Parson will be playing an acoustic music variety. Clarion and Gregg Lane of Rex Cactus will present country, bluegrass, ‘50s and comedy on July 18. A cappella music in barbershop style is
scheduled for July 25 as Siren welcomes 3 Nice Girls and the Pink Ladies. To start Siren’s Summerfest event on Aug. 1, The Porch Dogs bring a mix of ‘50s and country music. Harmonic Balance is back on Aug. 8 with their vocal quartet and music variety. Dixieland jazz music is on the agenda for Aug. 18 by the Bill Bittner Memorial Dixieland Band. And, Siren is happy to have Sonny Winberg again close their summer concert series on Aug. 22. All concerts are free, and in case of inclement weather the scheduled performances will be moved to the Siren School auditorium. Local nonprofit organizations provide refreshments to purchase each
Siren’s Music in the Park kicked off Thursday, June 6 at Crooked Lake. - Special photo
week, with all sales proceeds going to that organization as a fundraiser. The Siren/Webster Rotary Club, village of Siren, Polk-Burnett Electric Cooperative, Siren Lions, Swansons on Crooked Lake and the many other Siren area businesses support this program. Sponsored by the Siren Chamber of Commerce, all 2013 Music in the Park details can be found at visitsiren.com or by calling 715-349-8399/800-788-3164. - submitted
Out & About - June 2013
Palmer House: One of many gems at the Forts
Award-winning historical library looks to both preserve what they have and collect for tomorrow
by Sherill Summer Leader staff writer DANBURY - Exactly why the XY Company and Northwest Company built the fur trade posts where they did on the Yellow River in the early 1800s will probably never completely be known. Close proximity to trade partners and the river ways needed to transport trade goods, certainly, but something about the lay of the land must have contributed to the choice as well. Once they did build, the site became the only place on the continent where competing fur companies had posts less than 100 feet apart. After a couple of years’ use, the fur posts were abandoned. Sometime later, they burned and were buried out of sight. The only trace of the two fur posts built side-by-side was in a journal left by a company clerk who lived there long ago. Fortunately, the old journal’s hint at the location along the Yellow River was enough for those who were looking hard enough, and the remains of the posts were discovered in 1970. An archeological dig soon followed and, eventually, the site picked long ago by fur traders along the Yellow River was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Naturally, any historical society worth its salt would be interested in a place with so much history, and the Burnett County Historical Society, located in various locations in the county since 1945, was fortunate to move its operation to the site once the archeological dig was completed in 1980. Fortunately, too, from a preservation standpoint, the location was not built up with cabins and summer homes like much of the surrounding Yellow Lake and river, and there was an 80-acre site to work with. The historical society reconstructed the fur trade posts and added a period Ojibwe village. A roomy log building from Ely, Minn., was moved on-site to become the visitor center and museum, a Burnett County one-room school was moved in, and so on, until the location first picked by fur traders over 200 years ago has become the Forts Folle Avoine Historical Park of today with 10,000 visitors in 2012 alone. Out of the limelight Out of the limelight during the annual rendezvous, Yellow River Echoes, Christmas at the Forts and other big events, is the Palmer House Historical Library. A historical library is a collection of published and unpublished materials needed for historical research. Items stored there can be as interesting as old photos and as dry as land records, but like everything else at the Forts, the historical library is a gem. According to Janet Seymour, of the Wisconsin Historical Society, who works with local historical societies throughout the state, there are about 400 local historical societies and museums in Wisconsin. About 75 percent of them are small volunteer organizations. They usually have a small museum, a collection of photographs, books and other archival material and might have a small research room or library area. But she said that the Palmer House Historical Library is unique in that the services and access to collections they offer is very comprehensive and of high quality. They have a larger group of volunteers dedicated to archival care and research than the typical organization and also have a good online presence. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was the historical library of this caliber. Like many of the other buildings at the Forts, the library building was moved onsite. Professor of geology at UW-Platteville, Harris Palmer, was instrumental in discovering the location of the fur trade posts and establishing the historical library at the Forts. He donated a log
in establishing the library and in substantially increasing public access and usefulness of its archival collection.
Local items the key The collection at the library is remarkable, in part, because it is made up entirely of locally donated items. When the library volunteers are asked what is unique about the county, the sandy soil that makes up much of Burnett County gets mentioned. The land is rich enough when forested, but once it was logged and cleared for farming, the soil was usually exhausted after a few years of crops, leaving most residents impoverished. The railroad was slow to expand into the county, so the development that often followed the railroad was slow to expand into the country as well. Many of the early settlers soon moved on again. The ones that were left had to adapt. Generally speaking, life in Burnett County was hard and didn’t leave much time for saving for posterity. The library is fortunate to have as much as it does have. Still, it is not the careful preservation of what they already have that will keep the historical library going forward. Library coordinator May Schultz loves the history found in the library, and she wants to preserve it for tomorrow - for the generations to come. Many times this means trying to figure out what, from current times, should be saved for tomorrow. Carol Fure, local author and library coordinator from 1999 to 2009, thinks saving for the future might be tricky because in the past people wrote everything down on paper. Today, much of what is recorded is recorded electronically and then deleted. Of course, much of what is recorded are personal items. Fure explains that the historical library is not interested in keeping personal items, except for old photos, but the library would be happy to accept any records of government or public organizations, such as minutes from lakes associations, etc., church records and school records, especially school yearbooks or annuals. If the historical library volunteers Nancy Burmeister and May Schultz with one of over 2,000 old photographs of Burnett County painstakingly preserve the past and are and the surrounding area held at the Palmer House Historical Library at Forts Folle Avoine. very interested in collecting the records of today for the future, it is also a resource for the community. The library is open on Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and browsers are welcome. Volunteers also answer about 50 to 60 queries a year, many of them online queries, even some from overseas.
Professor Harris Palmer, shown in left corner of the photo, was instrumental in discovering the location of the fur trade posts, placing the site on the list of historical places, forming a historical library and donating the log building to house the historical library once it was formed. The library is fittingly named the Palmer House in honor of everything he did. The photo shows Palmer working on the archeological dig held at the site from 1970 to 1980. – Photos by Sherill Summer building that was once part of a resort on Lipsett Lake in 1999. Once there was a building for the historical library, work could begin on filling it with archives. A dedicated volunteer who has worked at the historical library from the beginning, Nancy Burmeister, says that everything used to be stored in a big trailer. If someone’s attic full of old stuff needed cleaning out, they would get it. So, the first step in creating the historical library was having the Webster Lions clear out the trailer so the long process of going through boxes and boxes of stuff could begin. “Even if we knew we had something, we didn’t know where it was,” she said.
Organization was needed, and the historical library received a grant early on that helped pay for the training of volunteers Forts Folle Avoine Historical Park has flowers on how to organize a historical library so gracing the visitors center. that items can be found efficiently. This Any query can be sent by mail to The is no small task when there are 2,000-plus photographs and newspapers on micro- Burnett County Historical Society, History film, dating back to 1876, land records, Library, 8500 CTH U, Danbury, 54893 or cemetery records, etc. New items are by email at email@example.com. A $10 fee is requested for all queries. Most queries added to the collection each year. The volunteers’ effort to learn how to can be responded to in about two weeks, operate a historical library was rewarded. but some may take longer to research. For In 2002, three years after the historical more information on the library or Forts library was established at the Forts, the Folle Avoine or the Burnett County HisBurnett County Historical Society re- torical Society, visit theforts.org. ceived the Governor’s Archive Award in See Forts, next page recognition of the significant work done
Out & About - June 2013
Forts/from page 18
The Palmer House Historical Library at Forts Folle Avoine.
Susan Armstrong spends many Wednesdays at the historical library adding to the people’s file, which is pages and pages of spreadsheet indexing an individual’s appearance in the library’s archives. It is painstakingly slow work but it enables the library staff to locate requested information.
An old CCC uniform is kept in the historical library’s climate-controlled vault. The library’s ability to invest in professional archival software and a climate-controlled vault are some of the many things that set the Palmer House apart from the average small historical library.
Photos by Sherill Summer Dedicated volunteers are a big reason the Burnett County Historical Society’s Forts Folle Avoine is what it is today. These four volunteers spent a Wednesday in late April going through artifacts for the historical library. Shown (L to R): Cathy Schmidt, Diane Johnson, Tanya Lindquist and Nancy Meindel.
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Out & About - June 2013
Somewhere over the rainbows A double rainbow appeared during a steady rain on Thursday, May 30, in downtown Frederic. The photos above and at right were taken from the four-way stop sign, showing a double rainbow that stretched across Coon Lake and the village. The photo below was a sunset taken from the high school parking lot on May 17, following a school event. - Photos by Kate Denotter
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Frederic Public Library
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Luck Public Library
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Grantsburg Public Library
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Osceola Public Library
Website: osceolapubliclibrary.org Phone: 715-294-2310
St. Croix Falls Public Library
Website: stcroixfallslibrary.org Phone: 715-483-1777
Centuria Public Library
Website: centurialibrary.org Phone: 715-646-2630
Milltown Public Library
Website: milltownpubliclibrary.org Phone: 715-825-2313
113 Main St. So. • Luck, WI • 715-472-8199
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Enjoy a hike through Straight Lake State Park LUCK – A pristine natural area and quiet beauty are found at Straight Lake in northwest Wisconsin. Lake views and glacial features provide great vistas on the Ice Age National Scenic Trail within the park. Fishing is allowed and boats may be carried in to fish. The state park is adjacent to a 1,325-acre state wildlife area, providing over 4,000 contiguous acres at Straight Lake. The 2,780-acre park is open to the public for foot traffic only, no motorized vehicles, bikes or horses. The Ice Age National Scenic Trail winds through the middle of the park along the Straight River and Lake. Cross-country skiing is allowed anywhere in the park. There are no trails groomed for skiing. Winter hiking and snowshoeing are allowed anywhere in the park. The park is open yearround from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Straight Lake is about 12 miles northeast of St. Croix Falls. Take Hwy. 35 north through Luck or south from Frederic in Polk County. Straight Lake is about 3.5 miles east of Hwy. 35 via 270th Avenue. – from the DNR website 585595 32o
Out & About - June 2013
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