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Snowshoeing class attracts young and old

Participants enjoyed perfect conditions for snowshoeing at Stanton County Forest Saturday afternoon as part of a class taught by Aleisha Miller on behalf of St. Croix County Parks and Environmental Education. (Photo by Tom Lindfors) 1 / 4
Aleisha Miller, environmental educator for St. Croix County, helps a participant adjust her snowshoes during a snowshoe class Saturday at Stanton County Forest. (Photo by Tom Lindfors)2 / 4
Sophia Powell gets a hand from her folks during Saturday’s snowshoeing class at Stanton County Forest. (Photo by Tom Lindfors)3 / 4
Ava Powell, 6, proved she was equal to the challenge at Saturday’s snowshoeing class held at Stanton County Forest. (Photo by Tom Lindfors)4 / 4

Thirteen lucky snowshoers could not have asked for a better day to tour the Stanton County Forest in Deer Park Saturday afternoon. A snowshoeing class there was one of four planned by Aleisha Miller, an environmental educator contracted by the St. Croix County Resource Management Division.

“Healthier Together, a county-wide initiative, wrote a grant for snowshoes for five different schools. Turns out one of the schools had already purchased snowshoes before the grant came through, so they had extra snowshoes. They split the extra snowshoes between St. Croix County Parks and Environmental Education and Willow River State Park,” Miller explained.

In addition to the Stanton County Forest class, Miller has scheduled two more classes at the Kinnickinnic Forest in River Falls on Feb. 8, and at Glen Hills Park in Glenwood City on Feb. 22.

The idea is to make people aware that county parks are a year-round resource and an excellent excuse to get outdoors in the winter.

Saturday’s group was a mix of experienced as well as novice snowshoers.

“When putting on your snowshoes, it’s important to keep the balls of your feet over the cleats to keep from slipping and sliding,” Miller instructed. “If you lift your feet straight up out of the snow instead of dragging them, and push them straight down, the shoes will create more of a wedge in the snow and you’ll get more benefit from your snowshoes.”

Sisters Ava Powell, 6, and Sophia Powell, 4, had no idea what the forest had in store for them. The additional two inches of fresh snow that had fallen the day before brought the total on the trial to 16 inches, a hefty test for adults, let alone snowshoers with a 14-inch inseam.

The cost to attend a class is $7 per family and attendees can rent snowshoes (though there is a limited supply) for $5.

“The money will be used for additional educational programs. This is the first time we’ve done this and it’s been really successful, so I can imagine we’ll do this again next year,” Miller said. “Come out and have some fun!”

To sign up for either of the two remaining classes, contact Miller at 715-531-1915 or by email at aleisha.miller@co.saint-croix.wi.us.

Micheal Foley
Micheal Foley worked at RiverTown Multimedia from July 2013 to June 2015 as editor at the New Richmond News. 
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