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Volunteers work to maintain trails

Brandon Weathers
Updated: July 17, 2020 08:48 AM

Duluth's abundant greenspace means miles of nature trails, but these trails don't maintain themselves. That's where the volunteer based group Cyclists of Gitchee Gumee Shores (COGGS) comes in.

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COGGS Chair Alec Kadlec said, "We are currently 94 miles of trails across the city, and last year that took over 4,000 hours of volunteer work to maintain."

The group is made up of people you would find using the trails, from runners to mountain bikers, with a shared interest in a high quality outdoor experience.

COGGS trail steward for Hartley Park Jim Shoberg said, "I think when I first moved to town I noticed the trails needed some love, I found there was an organization dedicated to the maintenance of the trails and bettering riding in town, and I said, 'I want to help,' and I showed up, and I've been showing up ever since."

The more traffic a trail sees, the greater the need is for upkeep. Lately, Shoberg says Hartley trails are getting much more use than is typical.

"There's a counter in Hartley and it ticked over 100,000 trail users in 2019. And 2020 is looking to be almost double that," Shoberg said.

So every week, volunteers pick up a shovel and a weed whacker to try and keep up with demand. Weekly maintenance entails moving soil, stacking rock, raking leaves, and cleaning off the edge of the trail so water can flow over it.

Kadlec said, "There's a lot of work to be done and we're happy to do it and happy everyone's out there enjoying the trails."

And they're always recruiting.

Shoberg said, "Come out and help us. We are a mix of all kinds of different people, we're friendly, we're open arms, and we've got new people every week."

Find out more about how to get involved with COGGS here.

Join WDIO News at Ten every Thursday to get the latest tips and tricks you need to enjoy the trails in the Duluth area as well as updated trail conditions.

Credits

Brandon Weathers

Copyright 2020 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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