The Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway Association is regarded as an energetic organization, but this summer, PBSBA members may have surprised even themselves with the number of projects done since the snow melted in late spring:
Podcast: Several locals lended their voice to create a 35-minute podcast, available as one entire listening session or in seven individual downloads of three to seven minutes each. With major sponsorship from KLKS Radio, the podcast became available online (www.paulbunyanscenicbyway.org) this spring - in time for the busy summer traveling season.
Governor's Fishing Opener tour bus: Media representatives covering the Governor's Fishing Opener were treated to a narrated tour of the Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway. Pine River Chamber director and Byway board member John Wetrosky and Byway board member Lynn Scharenbroich set up the tour and provided the narration of byway highlights.
Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway Association projects since spring included exhibit room enhancements.
Exhibit room enhancements: Added to the Paul Bunyan Exhibit Room at the Crosslake Corps of Engineers administrative building: A listening station with CD of the podcast stories about the Byway, information sheets about the specific exhibits, and a Byway site sign was added at the campground entry turn.
By-The-Way Players live performances: For the second season, a day in the life of Ben Knebel, Ideal Township's mailcarrier from 1930 to 1969, was showcased through the talents of several local actors, directed by Gary Hirsch. Daren Blanck portrayed Ben Knebel in 20 free outdoor performances in Crosslake and Pine River.
Sustainability plan: Kathy Moore of Moore Consulting, working under a federal byways grant, developed a five-year sustainability plan and, in September, began implementation of year one of that plan, aimed at significantly boosting local awareness of the byway and its positive contributions to the area, from the health and wellness aspects of the byway walking paths to the economic significance of the enhanced tourism draw of this nationally designated byway route.
Webisode: (in progress) This three-minute glimpse of the many features and faces of the Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway is known as "Paul and Babe's Favorite Sites Along the Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway." Filmed in late summer and narrated by the voice of Paul Bunyan, Dave Skyberg, the webisode will be available on Minnesota's state tourism Web site, www.exploreminnesota.com, under the "My Favorite Minnesota" section in early fall, thanks to support from the Whitefish Area Lodging Association, Minnesota Power, Crow Wing Power, KLKS Radio and the Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway Association.
Paul Bunyan Footprints: (in progress) Seven of the Byway's 14 jurisdictions are participating in the project, spearheaded by the Byway Association and the City of Pequot Lakes Parks Department and mayor Cathy Malecha. The 5-foot-by-14-foot concrete footprints will be poured this fall at public property locations, such as parks, chosen by each participating city or township. The footprint size is based on the Paul Bunyan boots on display at the Pine River Chamber of Commerce. Eighty percent of the project cost is sponsored by the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe. Remaining costs are covered by the participating jurisdictions and the PBSBA.
To learn more about these projects and find what's coming up next, plan to attend the PBSBA's annual dinner and meeting on Nov. 12 at the Marina Restaurant in Breezy Point. Contact the PBSBA at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
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