One of the truly special ways to volunteer up on the North Shore is to help at our local state parks.
Volunteering at the parks can be a one-time event, an occasional commitment or ongoing. A great way to get started would be to volunteer for the annual candlelight events on Feb. 1 at Split Rock Lighthouse or on Feb. 15 at Gooseberry State Park.
Split Rock Lighthouse's event is a snowshoe or hike. Candles and ice luminaries light up a 1-mile trail to the top of Day Hill. We need volunteer to set up candles, tend campfires and take down candles. The event is from 6:30–8 p.m. Volunteers are needed at various times during the day and evening:
- Candle prep starts at 3 p.m. We need 4-8 people to prep the candle cups. Volunteers need to be able to work outside, bend and scoop snow into cups and then place candles into cups.
- Starting at 4 p.m., we need 10-15 people to set out the candle cups. Volunteers need to be able to work outside, bend and place candle cups on the side of trails. They will also be pulling a sled weighing no more than 20 pounds. The trail includes hills. Snowshoes are suggested, and ice cleats are recommended.
- From 6-8 p.m., we need 2-4 sets of volunteers to maintain the campfires. These duties can be split into two sessions, with pairs staffing the campfires for only half the time. One is at Campsite #4 where marshmallows are roasted. The other is a fireplace on top of Day Hill, which is the end of the trail.
- We will need 1-2 people from 6-8 p.m. to maintain the shelter stove, manage refreshments and encourage visitors to fill out comment cards at the Trail Center.
- On Feb. 2 at 9 a.m., we will need volunteers to pick up candle cups, sort and store cups and candles.
Gooseberry State Park's event will take place on Saturday, Feb. 15 from 6:30-8 p.m. It includes candlelight skiing, snowshoeing and hiking. We need volunteers to help with the following:
- Starting at 4 p.m., we need 10-20 people to set out candle cups. Volunteers need to be able to work outside, bend and place candle cups on the trailsides. They will also be pulling a sled weighing no more than 20 pounds. One trail includes some hills. Skies, snowshoes or ice cleats are recommended.
- We need 2-4 people from 6-8 p.m. to maintain a campfire. These duties can be split into two sessions with pairs staffing the campfire for only half the time.
- After the event ends at 8 p.m., we will need 10-14 people to pick up candle cups. Volunteers need to be able to work outside, bend and pick up candles, and pull a sled with no more than 30 pounds on it.
Anyone interested in volunteering can contact me by phone at 218-595-7108 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Carolyn Rock is an interpretive naturalist at Gooseberry Falls State Park.