Birds, chipmunks, deer and most Michiganders have been spending the last warm days of fall preparing for winter. Volunteers at the Howard Christensen Nature Center have been busy too! On October 21, they completed a new trail to benefit cross-country skiers. This extension of the Ranger Trail will allow skiers to avoid the sometimes treacherously icy interpretive center parking lot to reach the Arrowhead Trail.
The nature center thanks the employees from the “Outdoor Group” at Wolverine Worldwide in Rockford, and Patrick Wilk who is a student intern from Lake Superior State University, for making the trail possible. Wilk designed and cleared the new trail, which also passes a vernal pond that is a popular destination for students hunting frogs in the spring. Then, seven employees from Wolverine Worldwide spent the day spreading woodchips to finish the trail.
Kathy Young, who initiated the volunteer effort, said, “Wolverine Worldwide encourages employees to get outside and help the community. We all have children and wanted to help the nature center. It’s such a great place… so close to home!”
The Wolverine Worldwide volunteers also helped staff prepare for the first annual Red Pine 5K Run, which was held on October 23 with 83 runners and walkers.
Howard Christensen Nature Center is an independent nonprofit organization operated by Lily’s Fog Pad Inc.
Board member Kathy Reed said, “We really appreciate and depend on the hard work of dedicated volunteers like these to continue the wonderful programs that we offer.”
In the winter, one popular program at the nature center is snowshoe rental when there is at least six inches of snow.
Visit the nature center’s website at www.lilysfrogpad.com for directions, a trail map, details about programs and events, and more, or call the nature center at (616) 675-3158.