Tuesday, November 24, 2020

President’s message: Nov 8, 2020

By LLAA's President, Carolynne C. White. (Source: Fall Newsletter)

To start this article with a statement about how “odd”, “weird”, or “nerve wracking” this year has been, would hardly even cover the range of upset to our lives since the last newsletter. But during this bizarre time, Long Lake was abuzz with families and activities. It has been years since I have seen so many people water skiing or wakeboarding and not just pulling big tubes around. There was a lot of fishing, kayaking, paddle boarding and even some sailing -- Families trying to make the best of pandemic.

Then we found Zebra Mussels at the south end. 
(See two articles about Zebra Mussels further on in this newsletter.)

What a summer! Hopefully the winter season will help us all find some calm and keep everyone in good health.

The lake was not the only place to spend time outside. During the summer there were more families out hiking in our tree farm. People would stop to ask permission to walk the trails, but many also asked, “What does that sign mean?". The sign says, “Delpha Hays White School Forest”. 

Delpha was my grandmother who came to Long Lake about 1929. She and my grandfather, Harold, were caretakers for the Pine Haven Beach Development. When the Development project failed during the Depression, they stayed on this land and as they could, they bought the out lots to the west of them. The main goal was to keep the area forested and not build on it. In the 1970s Minnesota enacted a tax plan to encourage people to use their lands to grow trees and preserve habitats. My grandmother was never one to spend money unnecessarily, especially on taxes, so she contacted the DNR and one of their foresters, Alan Wickman, came out to inspect the land between County 6 and Chippewa Loop. A plan was written up to show how a tree farm would benefit the land, the wildlife, and the people. The trails, made to be used in case of a fire, became wonderful walking and cross-country ski trails which we are glad to share with our neighbors. {But please no motorized vehicles.}

When my father retired and moved back here, he contacted one of the 5th grade teachers in Park Rapids. They arranged field trips for the kids to the tree farm. At the end of the trip each kid planted a 2-inch pine tree next to a stake with their name on it. Thus, it became an unofficial school forest. Unfortunately, only about 10 of those trees survived as the soil in the meadow proved to be of very poor quality. But those trees that survived add to the lovely view over our “beaver pond”. (There were actual beavers there about 5 years ago, but they have moved on.) The Tree Farm is now a MN Land Trust property, www.mnland.org.

If you want more information and pictures about the Tree Farm check out this page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/White-Family-Trust-Tree-Farm-100228668545910
(You will have to log in on your Facebook account to view this link.)