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Communication Associate: Public Relations | Lori Melton | | (218) 726-8830

July 31, 2012
Cheryl Reitan | Associate Director of External Affairs | 218 726-8996 |
Christiana Kapsner | UMD Public Relations Associate | 218 726-8830 |
Stephanie Vine | UMD Grounds Administrator | 218 726-7187 |

Joint Forces Restore Bagley Nature Area

Volunteers of Bagley Nature Area Restoration

Volunteers of Bagley Nature Area RestorationVolunteers of Bagley Nature Area Restoration

The heavy rains and floods that descended upon Duluth and the surrounding areas in June destroyed many homes, neighborhoods, roads, and bridges. In addition to residences and city infrastructure, many of Duluth's parks and hiking trails sustained extensive damage. Adjacent to the UMD campus, the hiking trails within Bagley Nature Area were essentially washed away as a result of the deluge. However, the joint efforts of four individual entities have restored the beauty and accessibility of Bagley.

The floodwaters and mud slides that devastated the Fond du Lac area of Duluth downed hundreds of old-growth trees both along the St. Louis River and within the center of the village. The City of Duluth and MNDOT worked in tandem to remove and mulch the debris, thus creating a "mulch mountain" in the neighborhood. One simple call from UMD to the city resulted in a six semi-load donation of mulch for the Bagley project.

Two years prior to the June 20th event, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints booked their regional young women's conference at the UMD campus. The group, 900 strong, included girls ages 12-18 from Iowa to Thunder Bay. A major component of the Church's mission was to provide service work within the local community, and conference organizers gladly agreed to assist the UMD Grounds Division with the Bagley restoration project. During their week's stay, the volunteers worked tirelessly spreading mulch throughout the Bagley trail system. Close to three-fourths of the trails were restored as a result of their labor. Volunteers from the Minnesota Conservation Corps will complete the restoration project the beginning of August.

Duluth City Mayor, Don Ness, an avid Bagley visitor, stated, "Here's another great example of how our community is responding so well to the devastating floods. The Bagley project demonstrates how a little innovation, coordination, and some inspired volunteer effort can result in a great end result."

UMD Grounds Supervisor, Steve Schilling, echoed the mayor's sentiments, "Without the help of the city and the volunteer groups, the Bagley trail system would have been closed for several weeks. The volunteers provided excellent work within a short period of time. UMD is extremely grateful for their service."

In addition to the Bagley project, the Latter Day Saints volunteers assisted Grounds employees with a campus tree mulching project, fall preparations at Malosky Stadium, and a University vehicle car wash.

"All in all," said Schilling, "the combined efforts of all these groups epitomize the goodness that can rise up from tragedy."

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UMD External Affairs Team
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Cheryl Reitan, Associate Director of External Affairs, 218-726-8996,
Betty Greene, Associate Administrator, 218-726-6140,
Brett Groehler, Director of Photography, 218-726-7115,
Charlene Aaseng, Graphic & Multimedia Designer, 218-726-6858,
Kathleen McQuillan-Hofmann, Communication Associate, 218-726-7111,
Lori Melton, Communication Associate, 218-726-8830,
Joel Youngblom, Web Development & Content Manager, 218-726-8798,

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