A sign prominently notes: “Go where there’s a path and leave a trail” – and that’s exactly what’s happening in Merrill. A team, organized through Marshfield Clinic Merrill Center, saw an opportunity to help, not only with their volunteer time but also financially through Marshfield Clinic Health System’s 100 Hours project.
“Team MRL Cares” members include Paula McIntyre, R.D., C.D., C.D.E., team captain; Julie Belfiori, R.N.; Deb Boilesen; Family Medicine Specialist Donald Evans, M.D.; Robin Lane, R.N.; Kelley Natzke, R.N, B.S.N.; Margaret Osness and Lynda Swan, all from the Merrill Center; and Leann Fuhrmann, Security Health Plan.
To earn the 100 hours, the team picked up trash on roadsides; helped with Council Grounds State Park cleanup, worked at Dinner at Five, a weekly meal for community members, and with the Merrill Community Gardens; supported the Lincoln County Mental Health Coalition; and helped with River Bend Trail clean up.
“This volunteer work allowed us to affect our community in different ways, from beautifying, respecting and appreciating our environment to having direct contact with people,” said McIntyre. “We saw the fruits of our labor at Council Grounds, where we raked and cleaned together and enjoyed each other’s company. We volunteered at the school forest with other community members. They appreciated what we did and we had satisfaction by giving time to others who benefited from it.”
Reasons abounded for the team to select the River Bend Trail as its 100 Hours donation recipient.
“As a primary care clinic,” McIntyre said, “we encourage our community members and patients to practice healthy behaviors to prevent or manage disease and chronic conditions. This trail offers a wellness opportunity to improve physical, spiritual and emotional health by enjoying the beauty of nature. People of all ages can enjoy it on any day at any time.”
Sarah Williams, Trail Friends/Marketing Committee co-chair, said, “The community loves the trail for all these reasons. River Bend Trail is a fantastic addition to the city and people are really using it. We are grateful for the team’s volunteering to help and I can’t tell you how much we appreciate this donation.”
For trail information, go to www.riverbendtrail.org; or e-mail Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Marshfield Clinic’s donation will be the first to go toward a goal of $20,000 to add bathrooms to the trailhead pavilion.