Gunflint Green Up To Take Place May 6-7, 2011

Fourth-Annual Event will plant 10,000 Pine Seedlings along the Gunflint Trail Scenic Byway

­Residents and visitors to Cook County are invited to Do North while doing good during the fourth-annual Gunflint Green Up, which will take place on May 6 and 7 at various locations along the Gunflint Trail Scenic Byway in northeastern Minnesota.

Gunflint Green Up stemmed from the need and desire of residents and visitors with a shared appreciation for the area to help nurture the forest after the 2007 Ham Lake Fire – the largest forest fire in Minnesota since the early 1900’s ­– destroyed 75,000 acres in Minnesota and Ontario, including many homes and structures along the Gunflint Trail.  Four years later, the Green Up has made a significant impact, giving life through the planting of more than 100,000 seedlings.

“In addition to being visually pleasant and iconic to Minnesota vacations, pine trees are a necessary part of the environmental health of the Gunflint Trail,” said Nancy Seaton, Hungry Jack Outfitters.  “Planting trees gives nature a head start, and assures future generations the benefit of northern pine forest. “

The USDA Forest Service has 10,000 pine seedlings reserved for Gunflint Green Up planters this year.  Four years of vegetation growth since the Ham Lake Fire means planting seedlings will be slightly more difficult than previous years.  A small patch of earth will be “scarified” or “scalped” to remove competitive vegetation before the seedling is planted.

Volunteers are asked to wear sturdy footwear and to bring clothing for a variety of weather conditions, from snow to rain to sunshine.  In addition to planting seedlings, Forest Service personnel will instruct volunteers on removal of plastic tree protectors from previous years’ plantings and pulling invasive species.  Tools will be provided.

In addition to planting, weekend activities include “Walks and Talks” along the Gunflint Trail, a presentation by historian Lee Johnson, and social gatherings with food, music and dancing.

Registration for all weekend activities is $35.00, which includes three meals and a t-shirt. A family package is also available $80.00 and, individuals wishing to only to participate in the planting may register at no charge. Registration must be received by May 5, 2011.  For more information and to register, visit


Jodi Petrich 612-868-7541