Our Stories

NCTA Chequamegon Chapter Volunteer Highlight

Categories: Volunteer Stories, Wisconsin

Members of the NCTA Chequamegon Chapter held their year-end meeting via Zoom in November 2021. Special recognition was given to several dedicated Chapter members for the volunteer efforts provided to the North Country Trail Association.

By Mary Stenberg, Chequamegon Chapter volunteer

The Chapter Honor Award was given to Mike Trieschmann for his demonstrated loyalty, commitment, and hard work throughout the year, and for his contribution to the success of the Chapter. Linda and Ed Calhan were recognized for their extraordinary service to the Chapter through the Chapter VIP Award. The Calhans volunteered to shuttle out-of-town hikers this past year. Two individuals received Major Contributor Awards: Chapter member Mark Belknap and U.S. Forest Service (USFS) staff member Katie LeMoine were both recognized for demonstrating substantial leadership, accommodation, and active collaboration for the benefit of the Chapter.

The North Country Trail Association is a membership-driven, volunteer-based organization. Volunteers, in partnership with the National Park Service and many Affiliate and partner organizations, build, maintain, protect, and promote the North Country National Scenic Trail (NCNST). Ellie Williams, Co-Secretary and Collator of Volunteer Hours reported to the USFS a total of 1,954 hours volunteered between October 1, 2020 through September 30, 2021. Those hours were contributed by 51 Chequamegon Chapter volunteers.

“I want to help in maintaining and completing the Trail for all to enjoy and for the experience it brings. Also, the Chequamegon Chapter members are as passionate as I am about the NCTA and that lends to a lifetime of friendships.” (Mike Trieschmann)

“Many volunteers make the NCTA Chequamegon Chapter’s Trail [segment] safe and accessible. Our small bit has been to get hikers on the Trail and have them benefit from the trail maintainers’ work. We enjoy talking with the hikers, who have ranged from groups of friends, singleton trekkers, a team of brothers, couples, and couples with dogs (our favorite canine was named “Barb”). As a result of shuttling hikers, we’ve learned more about the Trail ourselves.” (Linda and Ed Calhan)

“I volunteer for the Chequamegon Chapter because I realize the value of the Trail to our community and to the region, and I have the time and the physical ability to do the needed work. A second reason that I volunteer is that it is so enjoyable. Working on the Trail gets me out into the forest, which is one of my favorite places, and keeps me physically active, especially during this time when Covid-19 limits my options. A third reason is that it gives me an opportunity to work with others who have common goals and to socialize with people that I enjoy in the safety of the great outdoors.” (Mark Belknap)

Wisconsin offers hikers spectacular waterfalls, varied terrain, long vistas, and the ancient Penokee Mountain Range. The Chequamegon Chapter builds and maintains the portion of the premier hiking trail that begins on County Highway A, just south of Iron River, Wisc., ending in Copper Falls State Park near Mellen, Wisc. New members are always welcome, but you do not need to be a member to hike on the Trail: That’s free and open to everyone!

If you find yourself looking for something to do, find an organization you are passionate about and become a volunteer. You will improve your self-confidence, learn new skills, make new friends, and feel good about contributing to a good cause. Research shows that volunteers are happier and healthier than those who do not “give back” to their community.