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      New boardwalks built at Wetmore Pond

      As part of a one-week service project, several AmeriCorps members have come to the U.P. from downstate to help fix up some of the natural trails. They're working on three projects in Marquette county on lands owned by the Plum Creek Timber Company.

      Mainly, these lands are used for timber management. But they're also open for public recreation, including McCormick Wilderness, Silver Lake, and Wetmore Pond.

      "We start by bringing all of the materials from the parking lot area, and it all has to be carried back to where the trail's actually being built. And it's a lot of carrying and heavy lifting," says Aimee Breuker, an AmeriCorps member.

      And then they use the wooden planks to construct the new boardwalk. It'll solve some problems that hikers run into.

      "As one path that they're supposed to go down is not accessible; people will start blazing their own trails. That's when you start disrupting what's already there. So, it's a very important project that they're working on," says Ben Graves, an AmeriCorps member.

      And AmeriCorps isn't doing all of the work. Since the start of the project three days ago, they've teamed up with the North Country Trail.

      Once all of these projects are done, hikers will be able to hike from the east side of Silver Lake, west through Long Lake using a connection of trails already established by the North Country Trail.

      "It's been a lot of work for it, and work these people haven't been used to doing. And so, it has been educational and it's been fun. And they've been a swell group of people to work with," says Clifford Stammer, the crew leader for North Country Trail.

      At the Wetmore Pond Nature Trail, workers are hoping to have the boardwalks finished so that it can be ready for anyone who loves the outdoors and wants to get an up-close look at its natural beauty.