457 (5/6/09)

     If our crew keeps up the pace we’ve set in the past two weeks, we’ll be ready to take on the world before you know it. A winter of waiting has these kids ready for anything as they continue their eager assault on the spring flood damage.

     An entertaining morning mission last Saturday was the removal of a tractor tire from the riverbed at Billy’s Rest. This tire seemed to appear out of nowhere when the flood waters subsided, and it was a wet and muddy affair to pry, roll, and drag it to the bank and move it to the parking lot for proper disposal. It was a great group effort, largely self-managed (under watchful eyes) by the kids themselves. It was a sight to see!

     And it’s not only the Trail Guard kids that are motivated--our morning took on an exciting tone of community involvement with the work of a special task force that repaired our damaged footbridge. Kids and adults worked hand-in-hand to completely restore the structure to it’s original condition, just as it was built in 1992--our first year of Trail Guards, and the beginning of the restoration of the 12 acres of city-owned land now called the Crow River Nature Park.

     And there was much more. Another special morning treat was a short, but wonderful presentation by Paynesville Police Chief Kent Kortlever. Chief Kortlever had our young crew’s complete attention as he talked about the various aspects of policing, and the variety of ways our lives are made better by their services. It was a great connection for the 23 Trail Guards in attendance.

     Much of this action was caught on tape by a Life Touch Video Productions crew taping on location for a summer Trail Guard segment on WCCO-4’s Saturday night “Life to Max” show. Guest-host Dan Monskey and producer Donny Koshiol (my brother) conducted interviews and taped images that hope to capture the essence of our organization, and what we mean to the kids, the community, and to society at large.

     Dan is a world-class kayaker, and he and Donny will also be joining us with their cameras on this summer’s whitewater rafting trip, and possibly on a portion of our BWCA and other trips. Their presence added to the excitement of the day, and we’re looking forward to the airing of that show later in the summer (watch here for a date and time).

     Thanks to Cathy Christinsen for organizing some firemen and others for the bridge crew, and to Dale Klein, who originally built the bridge, for taking a lead role. Also on that hard working crew were Cathy’s husband, Rodney, and their boys: David, Dylan, Daniel, and Dalton; Dusty Veldkamp and his son; Jamie Soine; and young Nathan Meyers. Great job!