17 November, 2009

A Successful Day of Giving

Thanks for Giving to the MAX.  Our first effort at online fundraising is a success!  Over $800 has been donated to support efforts to build the Swedish Immigrant Trail!  Thank you to all who contributed and all who took a moment to learn more about the trail.  Your participation is vital to the Parks and Trails Foundation effort to create multi-use trails for the enjoyment and health of Minnesotans.  Your support may one day provide access to places like one pictured above, a bit of the historic Taylor's Falls and Lake Superior Railroad bed east of Wyoming near the Carlos Avery Wildlife Management Area.

16 November, 2009

Give To The Max - November 17 at 8am

The big day is tomorrow - if you have found this website through the GiveMN.org Swedish Immigrant Trail Project page - thanks for taking the time to learn more about the trail.  And of course, thank you for supporting the trail.

15 November, 2009

The Shafer Segment

In 2007, Chisago County received a grant from the MN DNR to construct a demonstration segment of the Swedish Immigrant Trail.  With agreements from the City of Shafer and property purchased from supportive landowners, approximately 2 miles of trail were constructed.

The trail runs east and west of County Highway 21 from a small trail head located near 303rd Street.  The image above shows work proceeding in a wooded stretch just west of the water treatement facility.

Portions of the trail follow the historic railroad alignment and pass along side the well known American Bison herd of a regionally famous cheese and gift boutique.  The view above shows the trail under construction near the bison pasture.  The main heading of this page also shows the bison.

The trail segment was unofficially open for most of the summer, following a short period of construction.  Local residents, including many young children, use the trail for exercise and as a place to play.  Pictured above, Parks and Trails Foundation members Bill and Mary try out the new pavement with their recumbent trike on an early fall afternoon.

With a light rain falling on October 6th, 2007 the trail officially opened.  The image above shows the eastern part of the segment, which follows the historic railbed through a grove of mixed hardwoods.

Parks and Trails Foundation Meeting 11/19

The next Foundation meeting will be this Thursday, November 19th at 7pm in the Chamber of Commerce Offices (former Library) in Lindstrom, MN.  New members and anyone interested in learning more about the Swedish Immigrant Trail are welcome to attend.

Image - Trail "Scouts" and veteran Foundation volunteers Rollie Westman (left) and Joe Sausen researching trail routes near Taylor's Falls in the summer of 2008.

On the agenda:
  • Fall Commissioners' Trail Ride report
  • Shafer Days Event report
  • Minnesota's National Parks Video on TPT Channel 2 including the Shafer Immigrant Trail segment
  • Fundraising  - GiveMN.org website
  • Taylor's Falls Segment Project Update
    • land owner news
    • latest grant opportunities and application deadlines
    • Interstate Park Segment
    • alternative parking areas
We hope you can attend.  Look for an news update following the meeting.

11 November, 2009

Support the SIT Project at GiveMN.org

Online donations are now possible.  The Parks and Trials Foundation recently set up a presence at GiveMN.org.  Its as easy as buying a book or downloading music.  GiveMN is a great way to support the Swedish Immigrant Trail Project.

09 November, 2009

Connections - A brief history of the Swedish Immigrant Trail Route

The Swedish Immigrant Trail has existed in a documented form for the last 150 years although the route was surely used in centuries past. The connection started life as a footpath stretching from the St. Croix River to Lake Ki Chi Saga or Big Lake. Transformed into a cartpath by immigrants and later a road, it carried people and supplies to settle what was for them, a 'new land'. The railroad arrived as a spur off the St. Paul to Duluth route from Wyoming in 1880 and connected the small towns along the path to the state and nation. Highways and the motorcar saw the trains last trip in 1948, only weeks before a man named Vilhelm Moberg visited the area. Today the route exists as a memory to some and a dream to others. Segments of the multi-use Swedish Immigrant Trail have been constructed in Chisago City, Center City and recently in Shafer, Minnesota.

Image - A still image from "The Swedish Immigrant Trail" promotional video, produced by Jerry Lakso and starring Bill Mobeck as Swedish author Wilhelm Moberg.  Here Moberg is visiting with a farmer in 1948 to learn more about life in Chisago County.  He borrowed a bicycle from the druggist in Chisago City travel from town to town.  Watch the Video by clicking here or "About the Trail" in the sidebar.

More about the Parks and Trails Foundation

The Chisago County Parks and Trails Foundation works to act as advocates for pedestrians, bicyclists, in-line skaters and anyone else seeking transportion, and recreation by non-motorized means throughout Chisago County, Minnesota. Our group members attend city council, planning commission, park board and other governmental meetings in towns and cities, gathering information about upcoming transportation and parks projects and speaking about the benefits of trails.

Over the past 17 years, members of the Foundation, as well as volunteers from the Bike Path Task Force (the groups original volunteer organization) have given countless hours, talent and energy toward creating and improving the network of trails within the county.

The Parks and Trails Foundation's relationship to the Chisago County Government is one of advisement only. We receive no funding from the County and have no powers associated with County Agencies. The Task Force does not act with direction from the County Board although the Board does endorse and support our activities with respect to creating new recreation opportunities within the county. The County has asked the Director of Parks and Trails to work with our group - which he has since 1992.

This new web presence supplements our original site www.ccbiketrail.org