Twenty Years, and Skiing!!!

Trail Conditions: Poor.  Ice covered by puddles. But come out for a spring hike!

lots of beannies
This is the 20th Anniversary of our school/community ski loan program. On  Saturday, March 14,  Free-For-Ski will be extended  from 12:00-4:00 and participants are invited to enjoy hot chocolate and cake to celebrate two decades of  environmentally friendly winter recreation.

Twenty  years ago, John Rosenthal, then a social studies teacher at T.J. Walker Middle School, gave birth to the program be we now call  Ski-for-Free.   John had the vision of providing a cross country ski experience for his students.  “It was a matter of providing a physical outdoor activity for kids and having them enjoy the winter environment we have in Door County”, said Rosenthal.
It all started with Beanie Babies, which  were hot items in 1995.  John and his students raised money by selling  raffle tickets for Beanie  Babies (which were donated by the Dancing Bear). Several thousand dollars later, he purchased enough slightly-used skis, boots and poles to equip class field trips to Crossroads, which at that time was  “The School Forest.”
After several years of creatively storing ski equipment in his classroom and closets, John was relieved when the Collins Learning Center was built,  giving the growing collection of skis and snow shoes  a home.   John and his colleagues built ski racks and found boot storage shelves to house the equipment in the Lower Level of the Learning Center.
Also at that time, Jim Maki and Paul Anschutz began grooming the Crossroad trails with equipment purchased with room tax money and donated to Crossroads by the City of Sturgeon Bay.
Over two decades, Ski-For-Free has grown thanks to  Friends of Crossroads volunteers and supporters:  Ministry Door County Medical Center , UW-Extension-4-H Leadership Program,  Door County Silent Sports,  Door Community Foundation, and the Raibrook Foundation.
Sunday—the Ides of March—will be the last day (this year). 

Thursday, March 12
1:00-3:30 Ski-For-Free…if we have adequate snow
Friends of Crossroads and Door County Silent Sports will lend ski and snow shoe equipment free of charge. Equipment must be used at Crossroads. Come to the Lower Level of the Collins Learning Center.
Saturday, March 14
12:00-4:00  Ski-For-Free/20th Anniversary Celebration
You and your whole family are invited to come and borrow free cross country ski equipment and snow shoes.  Enjoy hot chocolate and cake to celebrate 20 years of free, healthy winter recreation.
Sunday, March 15
1:00-3:30 Final Ski-For-Free
This is your last chance this winter to borrow skis and snowshoes. Come to the Lower Level of the Collins Learning Center.
Tuesday, March 17
1:00 St. Patrick’s Day Hike
You are  welcome to wear the green (or not) as we search for green in the Crossroads Preserve. About an hour. Free and open to the public.

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