Merrill Area Public Schools Superintendent, Dr. John Sample, announced today that over 650 community members and visitors attended the school forest for the Annual School Forest “Family Fun” Day on Saturday, Jan. 20.
“I want to publicly thank Steve Lee and his family for the historic, horse-driven logging operation demonstration, the many Friends of the School Forest for working the event, and for those who donated, prepared, or served food to our families,” stated Russell Noland, MAPS School Forest Director.
Camp New Wood County Park, off Highway 107 across the Nels P Evjue School Forest, was utilized for overflow parking for the event. Families enjoyed the outdoors on this day, using complimentary equipment rentals for snowshoeing or cross country skiing, and had a chance to tour the on-site Animal Museum, Wisconsin Logging History Museum, and Cordwood Education Center. The Friends of the School Forest worked in full force, offering free food to all attendees.
The Nels P. Evjue Memorial Forest has been an important part of the Merrill Area Public Schools since 1944. Philanthropist William Evjue, an 1899 Merrill graduate, donated most of the 764-acre forest to the district, along with the majority of the funds needed to build a lodge, which originally served as a warehouse for the Civilian Conservation Corps.
Reacting to the event, MAPS Superintendent Dr. John Sample said, “This is such an excellent opportunity! The School Forest is our treasure and this event exemplifies a true community partnership.”