Posted on

Well done to the Rib Lake community

Well done to the Rib Lake community Well done to the Rib Lake community

This week marked two major dedications in the Rib Lake area.

On Sunday morning, more than 300 people, including volunteers from around the state, came together at a trailhead on the Rusch Preserve on CTH C northeast of the village of Rib Lake to mark the completion and dedication of a new segment of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail. While the Ice Age Trail has been a work in progress since its founding in 1980, this particular segment has been a labor of love for all those involved for the past 15 years. Over that time hundreds of volunteers have come from around the state to stay in the area and work on building trails, bridges, stone steps and other structures.

Monday morning more than two dozen community leaders joined about 150 elementary school students in dedicating and officially opening the new playground at Rib Lake Elementary School.

The playground was made possible through the vision of school administration and school board leaders and the generosity of community members with a large boost from the Fulcrum Foundation.

Altogether, about $230,000 was raised for the project with major support from businesses such as Marathon Cheese, and Sierra Pacific and individuals such as Wayne and Sue Tlusty and groups such as the Rib Lake Lions Club. While it is important to note the major donors, the ultimate success of projects rests on the army of individuals, including the elementary school students, who donated and raised money for the project. Others, such as Randy Thums, who did site work and excavating for the playset, donated their time and talents to make the project a success.

Though vastly different in their scope and content, the two community celebrations share a common theme of people working together, not for their own profit or personal glory, but to build something that will bring joy for generations to come.

Hiking trails provide an opportunity for individuals and families to reconnect with the natural world. On the trail they challenge themselves with climbs and descents over the glacial topography of the region.

On the playground children experience the joy of playing, climbing, jumping, making music and the social bonds that are forged through sharing in those activities.

Both projects would not have been possible without the driving force of a handful of deeply committed individuals moving the projects forward and doing the long and tedious legwork. Likewise, both projects would have withered without being nourished by the support of hundreds of others who gave of their time, talents and treasure to bring the projects to completion.

The Rib Lake community has a lot to be proud of this week with the dedication of the new elementary school playground and the dedication of a new segment of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail. Both projects saw their share of setbacks and times when completion seemed less than certain. However, in each case organizers and community members rallied to make these great community additions a reality.

Congratulations Rib Lake community on jobs well done.