In late August, Conservation Corps wrapped up the final year of its Superior National Forest Trail Maintenance Project, established in 2009 with funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). During the program’s four-year run, the Corps created 182 seasonal jobs, operating between Memorial Day and Labor Day each year.
Participants received both personal and professional work skills trainings, ranging from Wilderness First Aid to Leave No Trace ethics to chain saw safety and operation to resume writing. The program provided more than 95,000 hours of direct person-hours engaged in training and on-the-ground trail rehabilitation. More than 630 miles of trail were maintained; 8,000 hazard trees were removed; 4,000 feet of boardwalk, 20 bridges, 400 steps and 220 drain features were replaced or installed and 23,800 feet (4.5 miles) of tread were reconstructed. Crews operated throughout all five Superior National Forest districts and in the BWCA.
“The people who live and work in the communities of the Superior National Forest really care about their natural world and the recreational opportunities it provides,” says Brooke Tapp, trails program assistant manager. “We received a lot of encouragement and enthusiasm from local businesses, volunteer trail groups and the trail users. And much appreciation from the U.S. Forest Service that recognized the value of our crews and truly supported our corps members.”