Bloomer students blaze a path at Ice Age National Scenic Trail - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Bloomer students blaze a path at Ice Age National Scenic Trail

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Chippewa County (WQOW) - On Wednesday, Bloomer High School seniors are in the backwoods, leaving their marks behind for generations to come.

While most students spend their time in the classroom, Bloomer High School students were spending it in the woods.

"As a teacher, an adviser and a community member, I think it is important for our students to be able to come and give something back," said Vanessa Sieg, a teacher at Bloomer High School.

So, students are putting down their pencils, picking up shovels and getting their hands dirty.

"It is kind of fun to get all of our senior classmates together," said Trey Baker, a senior at Bloomer High School. "We all get separated into groups. We're working on the same thing, like a group bonding project which is a lot of fun".

Bloomer High School Senior Payton Dachel echoed Baker's sentiments. 

"You know, I think a lot of the seniors are enjoying it out here just doing what we can to contribute to it, and I think each and every one of us can make a difference," Dachel said.

The students are creating nearly two new miles of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail. An ATV route put a portion of the trail out of commission, so the project is bridging the path back together.

"We're digging up rocks, we are digging up tread, we are making flat tread where there used to be slope," said Jerry Zazama, a member of the Ice National Scenic Age Trail Alliance. "It is a lot of hard work."

As a graduation requirement, the 93 senior students have to participate in a service project, and educators said there is no better way to learn than in nature's back yard. 

"We're learning teamwork. We are learning some geology, and so there's lots of things that can be learned outside of our everyday classroom," Sieg said.

At the end of the day, the new 1.7 mile addition will add to the more than 1,000 miles already in the Ice Age route.

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