Cornell - Trail Community - 2020 Report

Cornell Trail Community Report  2020

 The Cornell Trail Community Committee met in 2019.  The committee includes Richard Smith IAT, Vicki Christianson IAT, Dave  DeJongh – City Administrator, Mike Rivers – IAT, DNR-retired, Rich Erickson – HS Tech Instructor, and Judy Talbot – Mayor, and Nancy Schuster IAT.   The Ice Age Trail Alliance application was completed and sent to the Alliance.  In January 2020, the application was accepted.  Included in the application was a plan to coordinate with the Cornell School District.  Plans were made for having hikes with the After School students.  The Fourth Grade signed up for Think Outside, an IAT program that aims to get WI 4th graders onto the Ice Age Trail.  An offer was in place for the Cornell HS tech program to build items for the Chippewa Moraine Chapter, such as signage, benches, etc.

 On March 5, we had a meeting with Amy Lord (IATA) to organize our Trail Community Celebration.  Plans were in place to hold the celebration in June during the Cornell Fair.

 Mid- March, Covid hit, and all events were cancelled.  School was closed for the remainder of the year.  All city events, including the Cornell Fair were canceled.  The Trail Community Celebration was put on hold.

 In July, committee members met online with Amy Lord and Bill Bowers to learn about the Mammoth 40 event to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the IAT.   Trail Communities were going to be highlighted during the month long event in October using the StriveON app.  The committee met in July to determine what information we wanted to include on the StriveON app.  The committee determined the businesses, parks, and trails that would be featured on the app.    Vicki Christianson met individually with each business to get approval to be on the app, information about their businesses, and possible specials that they would offer.  Pictures were also taken for each business.  Information on the city and its history was also included.  Also, in July, there was a parade, and banners for the Trail Community were purchased for a float in the parade.  The banners were later posted at the Visitor’s Center during October for the Mammoth 40 Event.

 In August, all the information was sent in to Bill Bowers for the StriveON app.  JoAnn Parks and Vicki Christianson hiked the Chippewa River Segment, the Firth Lake Segment, and the Harwood Lakes Segment to select special interactive engagement points (EP) for each segment.  Text, pictures, and GPS coordinates for each engagement point were sent in for the app.  Later, the segments were re-hiked to check the EP and make adjustments. 

 In September, the Trail Community signs were installed at each of the three “Welcome to Cornell” signs.

 In October, the Mammoth 40 event took place.  We held a Mini Monty Scavenger Hunt for participants.  Mini Monty is a stuffed animal mammoth available at the IAT store.  Mini Monty was on display at a different business each day during the month to encourage people to stop in businesses while visiting Cornell.  Hikers who spotted him were able to fill out a raffle ticket.  50 people found Monty during their visit.  Monty was won by Katie Zell,  a young girl from Eau Claire.

 We also had a Meet Monty event at the Cornell Visitor Center featuring Amy Lord as Monty the Mammoth.  The Visitor Center was open on Saturday and Sunday for Mammoth 40 during the month of October.

 Cornell’s StriveON page had 1,354 views.  The most popular items were the Trail Segments.  People in town commented often that the parking lot on CC regularly had a number of cars parked there.  There were frequent postings on the Ice Age Trail Facebook Page and the Thousand Miler Wannabes Facebook Page from hikers who came to hike the Chippewa County IAT.  We went through 100 pink brochures and 80 yellow brochures at the kiosks.  The City of Cornell is currently printing off brochures for us.  I provide the paper.

 Submitted by Vicki Christianson