A new community center for learning and collaboration is taking shape at our Lake Superior Reserve, thanks to apprentice carpenters from the Carpenter’s Union Local #361. Their generous contribution of time and labor has helped ensure that the Lake Superior Estuarium will open this fall.
“This interpretive center will engage and challenge locals and tourists to care about the natural resources around them—in particular the St. Louis River Estuary and Lake Superior,” says Reserve Manager, Erika Washburn.
The partnership between the reserve and Carpenter’s Local #361 was the brainchild of Douglas County Supervisor Terry White, who serves on the reserve’s advisory board.
“I was very pleased to introduce another partner organization to help with the learning center,” White says. “The apprentices spent countless hours helping in the remodel process; it was a great to see how proud they were to be helping the community in which they live.”
Local #361 participation not only made the project possible by keeping remodeling costs down, it also provided valuable hands-on experience for local carpenter apprentices to hone their craft.
“This was an ideal training situation and represents the values we strive for in our carpenter training programs,” says Thad Lintula, apprenticeship instructor for Local #361, who praised the partnership for the “realistic, on-the-job, hands-on training” it provided.
In addition to the estuarium, the newly renovated building next door to the Lake Superior Reserve’s offices on Barker’s Island will house office space for the Friends of Lake Superior Reserve nonprofit group, as well as conference and classroom spaces for community groups. For more information, contact Reserve Manager Erika Washburn at 715-399-4085 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks to Deanna Erickson, reserve education coordinator, for contributing this story.