IRONWOOD — Sunday morning a group of seven came to the Miner’s Memorial Heritage Park to plant trees for the third year in a row. This year, Mike Fauerbach donated 200 trees to the effort; 100 white spruce and 100 White Pine trees.
This year the planting was focused along the SISU ski trail area, as it gets quite windy during cross country skiing, said Monie Shackleford, president of Friends of Miner’s Memorial Park.
The park consists of 167 acres, and the cross country ski trail is 2.6 miles, said Shackleford. It was established in 2009 by city ordinance, and a subcommittee was formed on the city’s Parks and Recreation Committee. This inspired the Friends group, and in 2010 a resolution was passed, said Shackleford.
The Friends take care of the maintenance of the park, and in the future hope to get grants for improvements, said Shackleford. This summer they will do more chipping on the Aurora and Pabst trails, as well as place between four to six historical signs. It takes time to get the history of each mine, and to find out how many people died at each mine. Sixty-six people died at the Aurora Mine, and about 56 people died at the Pabst Mine, said Shackleford.
One sign will mark the site of the Pabst G Shaft disaster, which happened in 1926. Forty-three people were trapped for five days before being rescued via the H shaft. Three people died.
A vigil is held on September 24 each year to remember the miners who lost their lives.
A long term plan for the park is to erect a headframe at the main entrance of the park at the corner of Bonnie and Ayer streets to overlook the park, said Shackleford.
“People used to use it as a dump, but we’re trying to keep people from doing this. We’re trying to establish regular trails so that ATVs don’t tear up the hiking trails,” said Friends member Charlene Schaffer.