The Mayor’s Commission on Communities of Color is adopting the newly constructed Makwa Ziibiins Miikana (Bear Creek Trail).

The trail runs from the Osaugie Trail near Bear Creek Park to Wisconsin Point Road.

Through the city’s adopt programs, individuals, businesses and organizations help with the upkeep of the city’s parks, gardens, streets, trails, beaches, ballfields and outdoor ice rinks on a voluntary basis.

Volunteers work with parks, recreation and forestry staff to select an area, then work to keep that area beautiful by planting flowers, painting, reporting vandalism or damage, planning cleanup days and other maintenance activities.

Commissioner Deonne Nelson questioned whether commissioners would take on the task of maintaining the trail individually when they are out on the trail or whether they would plan to work as a group.

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“Groups choose how they want to move forward with how they care for the parks and trails that they adopt,” Mayor Jim Paine said. “A lot of larger organizations that adopt parks and trails, they tend to have events. Like, let’s get together on a Saturday morning and walk the trail and pick up garbage.”

Paine said he envisions the commission hosting an event a couple times in the summer and inviting the community to help out. He said it would give people the opportunity to learn more about the commission as well.

“If (people) aren’t willing, I could just jump in and ask some of my church people to do it,” Nelson said. “If it’s a commission thing, I do think some of us should represent.”

Nelson said she would like to see commissioners bringing the community together in the effort.

“I wouldn’t want to do it if we aren’t going to do it as a collaborative effort,” Deanna Reder, commission chairperson, said. “I wouldn’t want to put it on one person — I already know how busy all of us are.”

There will be logistics to work out, Commissioner Jenny Van Sickle said.

“I think it will be really great for community connection … a good way to support the trail, the Native community,” Van Sickle said. “I would be able to help organize events for sure.”

Commissioner Kat Werchouski, director of equity, diversity and inclusion at the University of Wisconsin-Superior, suggested opening up the volunteer opportunities to help maintain the trail to student organizations in her department.

Commissioners unanimously approved adopting Makwa Ziibiins Miikana (Bear Creek Trail).