Kick-Off Event Held at Four Corners Elementary School
By Jack Jarnis
On Thursday evening, September 24, 2015 Four Corners held the Burstrom Trail Kick-Off event. The Kick-off was co-hosted by the Four Corners PTA and Burstrom Trail Committee. Over 200 community members attended this celebration of our Burstrom Trail and to hear details of our upcoming plans.
The festivities began with opening comments by Principal Jack Jarnis on the history of the school’s Burstrom Trail and future plans for this year’s revitalization project. Mr. Jarnis noted that the original trail, developed by former teachers Tom Burfield and Gary Lindstrom, was built in 1988 and has been in continual use by school students since. Classes in math, science, and writing often take place on the trail. A highlight of the trail’s use is the annual collection of maple sap, which is evaporated down to make quality maple syrup.
The event also highlighted the work planned for 2015-2016 to refurbish the trail and create an outdoor classroom pavilion. The trails will be developed to increase year-round access, the maple syruping station will be expanded, and there are plans for an outdoor classroom pavilion.
So far, about $23,000 has been collected for the project with an estimated cost of $40,000 for the entire project. There is also the expectation that donations of labor and materials will likely diminish these costs and a number of community members have already stepped up with donations to the project.
A Four Corners ‘Farmers’ Market’ was open all evening and families were able to buy donated vegetables and plants, as well as maple syrup made by our school children. Funds collected are going to support the trail project.
After a dinner of pulled-pork sandwiches and fixings the children and parents were able to hike the trail to admire the rapid regrowth of the trees. Children were also able to take part in I-Spy and Geo-Caching while on the trail. Taking breaks, the hikers roasted marshmallows over the fire pit and sampled herbal tea made from native plants.
Everyone was delighted to see how much the new aspen saplings have grown since the harvesting last winter. They were also pleased to see how much of the woodland had been preserved, such as the standing maples and the patches of pine and other evergreens.
Jack Jarnis is the Principal of Four Corners Elementary School in Superior, Wisconsin