Posted by: Stefan Anderson | April 26, 2015

2015 Sylvania Wilderness Campsite Cleanup

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2015 Sylvania Campsite Cleanup

On Saturday I headed out with four students and my friendly dog Copper to do community service work in the Sylvania Wilderness Area. Our mission was to check in on seven campsites on Loon Lake and two campsites on East Bear Lake and make sure that they were in good condition for the upcoming summer camping season.

Paths to campsite cleanup sites

Paths to campsite cleanup sites

We began our cleanup work at 10 o’clock in the morning by driving along the edge of the Sylvania Wilderness and then hiking in to the campsites on East Bear Lake. On our return we stopped in to the Pine Cone Cafe in Land O’ Lakes for lunch before driving to the canoe landing at Conserve School on Big Bateau Lake.  We canoed across Big Bateau Lake, portaged to Florence Lake, traversed Florence Lake, portaged to Loon Lake, and then paddled to our first campsite. Overall we hiked, paddled and portaged nine miles from start to finish.

At each campsite there were a number of chores to do. We cleaned out the old ashes from the fire rings and spread them out over a large area away from the campsite. We raked the areas around the camp fire rings for safety. We raked the paths around the campsite. We checked on the latrines to see if they needed any maintenance. Most importantly, we checked for any safety hazards at the campsites such as broken trees that were snagged in other trees that might fall on a tent. These are often called “widow makers”.

Conserve School students and staff develop a special fondness for the Sylvania Wilderness Area so it feels especially good to be able to give back and support it so that others can experience the joys of this unique wilderness area. This activity was done as part of the spring Sylvania campsite survey which is organized by the Land O’ Lakes Fish and Game Club in conjunction with the U.S. Forest Service.

Sincerely,

Stefan Anderson
Head of School

Pictures from our day working the in the Sylvania Wilderness Area

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