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Happy trail: Ski club works to repair, improve City Park trail

MENOMINEE RANGE NORDIC SKI Club officers John Nienstaedt and Jim Ebli inspect the completed retaining wall that hopefully will reduce erosion on City Park Trail in Iron Mountain.

IRON MOUNTAIN — An extensive erosion control effort has been completed at Iron Mountain’s City Park Trail over the past year.

Started in fall 2019 and continuing this fall, the Menominee Range Nordic Ski Club, working with the city and local businesses, has placed about a dozen loads of topsoil in eroded locations along the trail.

Other efforts included building a large timber retaining wall and placing two seed mixtures and straw mulch.

“Trail use at City Park has grown tremendously during the past three decades,” said Kyle Lindstrom, ski club president. “During the summer, we have walkers, runners and disc golfers, and, of course, during winter, cross-country skiers. All of these uses tend to eventually cause trail and vegetation wear. So large rainfall events can then wash away topsoil, particularly on hilly sections of the trail.”

To address this, the club used a skid-steer provided at no cost by Gundlach Champion Inc. to place about 50 to 75 cubic yards of topsoil in various locations along the trail. Topsoil then was compacted in place, seeded and mulched by ski club volunteers, who have donated several hundred hours to complete the work.

JIM, ALY AND PAULA EBLI complete raking, seeding and mulching work at City Park Trail in Iron Mountain.

The 40-foot-long timber retaining wall also was done by club members.

“We have had great support from local companies,” said Jim Ebli, ski club vice president. “In addition to Gundlach Champion’s help, Hometowne Lumber provided discounted pricing and Ray’s Feed Mill in Norway assisted with straw and seed purchases.”

Ski club organizers credited the city as well with providing all topsoil loads and trucking at no cost to the club.

“The free topsoil from the city and the support of local businesses, have been the keys which have made this work possible,” said John Nienstaedt, ski club treasurer. “For example, we greatly appreciated a donation of engineering geotextile from Midwest Asphalt & Gravel.”

Public donations were important as well.

“During the past 12 months we have spent more than $2,000 on lumber supplies, seed and mulch to get this done,” Nienstaedt said. “Our financial supporters have provided almost all of this funding through their donations.”

In addition, the club received a $250 mini-grant from the Dickinson Area Community Foundation through assistance provided by DACF Executive Director Tamara Juul.

Much of the seed planted already has sprouted and club members hope this new vegetation and additional future efforts will keep the trail in good shape for years to come.

Community members looking to support the trail maintenance efforts can send checks to the Menominee Range Nordic Ski Club, a 501(3)(c).

Checks can be mailed to or dropped off at the ski club’s corporate partner, UP Sport & Spoke, 527 S. Stephenson Ave. in Iron Mountain.

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