Thursday, February 27, 2014

MUDD Ultrarunning Dudes & Dudettes Trail clean up day Veteran Acres/Sternes Woods

MUDD Trail Clean up crew
We had a great turn out at our trail clean up date. We started at 8am and had at least 30 people show up in shifts to work through 2 pm, then enjoy a hot meal afterwards. Our job this week was clearing trees in the wetland area of Sternes Woods. The Crystal Lake Park District crew went through the week before and cut down many invasive trees. Buckhorn, walnut and honeysuckle were a few. These are trees that are not natural to the wetlands. If the area around was not so populated, what would naturally occur is fires would come by lighting strikes or other natural causes. The natural fires would burn down the seedlings of these invasive plants. Instead these trees have grown so large they are sucking up the water table. The Park would like to return the lands to their natural state. This will make for a healthy wet land area and improve our water table. So we piled all these branches into a big pile and burned them. Everyone worked hard and we got a lot done.

After we all finished working we came back to the pavilion where John Fiornia made us all delicious food in his dutch ovens. Our work crew menu included

Breakfast- pre work food. Note that all this food was made on the fire from scratch:
Hot coffee (best coffee ever!)
Hot apple cider
Hot apple fritters

Mac n Cheese
Potato soup
Beef stroganoff
Hot coffee
Hot apple cider

The dog "Paddie" had a harness and pulled heavy logs to the fire.  He had been practicing this skill because him  and his master are training for a race where the dog pulls his master (Brian Korte) on skis. The dog was so proud to help.

Korte family dog "Paddy"

John Fiornia cooking up his delicious creations in a Dutch oven over an open fire

On the same day we had runners that had volunteered at the Frozen Gnome 50k. They decided they would run their own "Underground Frozen Gnome or UGFG". Some ran the whole 50k and others paced a lap or two. The runners were able to fuel up on the hot food John made. When they finished running many helped with the clean up, then the first shift volunteers finished and ran laps with the UGFG runners. This meant the five UGFG finishers always had someone to run with.  They even got a Frozen Gnome finisher medal and pint glass when they finished. It was such a fun day with so many things going on! We arrived at the park at dusk and left at sun down. A perfect way to spend a Sunday. I love our trail running community!

We had a huge bonfire burning the invasive plants- We just needed some marshmallows

Hard at work and having fun

So sweet

Joe Gow

My lovely friend Karen McVey and Kellie Walsh

Making new friends
Cold but having fun

young kids and teenagers enjoyed helping
Working "selfie" with me and a few of my "besties"
Ha ha! Look at all the trendy words I got in there.

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