07 December, 2011

Land Aquisition for Taylor's Falls Segment of the SIT

After years of negotiation and encouragement we are pleased to announce that Chisago County has closed three critical land acquisition purchases as of Tuesday December 6th. The properties purchased were from Karen Grossman, Joe and Ruth Stein and Gloria Wilberg.

These purchases will set the stage for building a new segment of the Swedish Immigrant Trail from Taylor's Falls to Wildwood campground and beyond.

Following the closings Joe and Ruth Stein of Triple Glen Farm Supply and Karen Grossman made donations to the Chisago County Parks and Trails Foundation to be used toward the project.

An application for grant monies to construction the trail has been made. If the grant for construction is successful these donations will leverage $13,500 in grant dollars.

Photos below: Chisago County Park Board member Gregg Carlson providing a check to Karen Grossman at the closing. Parks Director Laird Mork accepts a check from the Steins’ on behalf of the Parks and Trails Foundation to assist with project construction. Gloria and Bob Wilberg accept a check from Parks Director Laird Mork.

The Chisago County Parks and Trails Foundation will hold its next regular meeting January 19th in Lindstrom.

Chisago County Park Board member Gregg Carlson providing a check to Karen Grossman at the closing.

Parks Director Laird Mork accepts a donation from the Steins’ on behalf of the Parks and Trails Foundation to assist with project construction.

Gloria and Bob Wilberg accept a check from Parks Director Laird Mork.

16 November, 2011

2011 SIT Update

Its Give to the Max Day - please click the button to support Trails in Chisago County.
If you have found this blog through the GiveMN site - WELCOME and Thank you for your support!

The proposed trail segment from Taylor's Falls to Wildwood Campground continues to move forward, with reviews for historic resouces and agreements with stakeholder agencies being completed in 2011.

Members of the Foundation met with representatives of Interstate State Park in late summer to discuss status of reviews within the State Park area. The State continues to support a trail segment within the park and is moving forward with property adjustments in coordination with the trail alignment and the City of Taylor's Falls.

Grant applications for property and easement aquistion and construction of the trail in 2013 have been made.

The Foundation has contacted key property owners between Shafer and Wildwood Campground to discuss bridging the gap between trail segments. Discussions are ongoing.

Hauling on the Swedish Immigrant Trail related to Shafer Sewer pond work was very near completion on Oct.19th. The preliminary review was very positive with little evidence of damage.

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The next Parks and Trails Foundation meeting date is November 17th, 2011 at the Lindstrom Chamber of Commerce (former Library Building) at 7:00pm. All are welcome.

14 November, 2010


The Chisago County Parks department, in cooperation with the Parks and Trails Foundation, works to identify the trail route, contact landowners, survey property and negotiate for trial right-of-way in an effort to construct the Swedish Immigrant Trail. The primary focus in 2010 has been to connect Shafer with Taylor's Falls via the East End Segment.

Recent actions by the County include applying for grants to fund land acquisition, design and construction of the Trail, negotiation with landowners to purchase right-of-way and and coordination with State Park and City partners.

Below is a brief update of recent efforts, provided by Parks Department Director, Laird Mork. 

Right-of-Way Purchase Agreements:
The County is making progress with purchase agreements for trail right-of-way connecting Wildwood Campground and Taylor's Falls. Only one parcel has yet to enter the process. That landowner has indicated that he supports the trail concept but negotiations for a location and price remain. The County is currently working on a purchase agreement with Wildwood Campground. Recent conversation with Xcel Energy was positive, and the utility indicated they were processing the easement document for trail routing near Herberg Road. 

Interstate Park Trail Segment:
Trail routing through the north side of the park has been identified and is being coordinated by Interstate Park and the DNR. During this process, a parcel not owned by State was identified. The owner is deceased, which has complicated the acquisition process. Surveyors investigated routing around the the parcel, however this was not advisable. Chisago County and State DNR collaboration for the project is ongoing.  

Property Acquisition and Engineering Grants:
In July 2009, the County was selected to received a grant from MNDOT for $73,500 to acquire trail right-of-way and engineer the East End Segment. This grant requires a 50% local match.

As a condition of this grant (and of any project receiving Federal funds) the project area must be surveyed for cultural resources that could be impacted by the construction of the trail. A cultural resources review is currently underway by Richard Rothaus with Trefoil. This review must be completed in order to execute a contract for the grant.

Another condition required when Federal DOT funds are used is that property appraisals must meet federal standards..This process has been completed for all parcels that will be acquired with grant funds.

Because of delays in initiating the cultural review and arranging purchase agreements, there is a possibility that grant funds could be lost. The deadline for utilizing the MNDOT grant funds is June 30th, 2011.
More about the award of this grant.

Construction Grants:
At the last County Park Board meeting, a letter from the DNR was shared regarding a County application for construction funding for the SIT East End Project. The County had submitted an application to the Parks and Trails Legacy Grant Program. The DNR received 67 applications for parks and trail projects with requests totaling over 25 million and only 4.2 million to allocate. Unfortunately the SIT project was not selected for funding this year.

13 November, 2010

Give to the Max Day 2010

On November 16th, 2010 - GiveMN.org is hosting Give To The Max Day - 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.

November 2010 Meeting

Our next meeting is scheduled for Thursday November 18th 7 p.m. at the Chisago Lakes Area Chamber Building at 30525 Linden Street in Lindstrom.
Anyone interested in trails is welcome! 
Agenda items Thursday November 18th , 7 p.m.
  1. Review Oct. Meeting Minutes
  2. Review observations and details from the NB Walkable Community Workshop.
  3. Larry Houger report back from Center City Park Board/Council regarding signage for the trail.
  4. Continue to consider Memorial ideas for Bill Mobeck.
  5. Annual dinner plans.
  6. SHIP (State Health Improvement Program) Grant Contract and program details.
  7. Fund raising ideas - If anyone can help out or knows of a group that would like to support our efforts with small contributions please bring your ideas to the meeting.
  1. Treasurer report.
  2. Other new business.

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.