NEGAUNEE - Kids and teenagers who participate in the Future Historians group through the Michigan Iron Industry Museum might be used to role playing, dressing the part of 1800's-era Upper Peninsula residents, but last week they dressed in shorts, t-shirts and work gloves.
The group was assisting in the third annual Cliffs Natural Resources tree planting, which took place this year along the new road leading from U.S. 41 to the museum in Negaunee Township.
The tree planting, held along the Iron Ore Heritage Trail and Carp Creek in its first two years, will help improve the aesthetics of the new road and help prevent erosion damage.
Members of the Future Historians group through the Michigan Iron Industry Museum help with the third annual Cliffs Natural Resources tree planting, which took place recently along the new road leading from U.S. 41 to the museum in Negaunee Township. (Journal photo by Johanna Boyle)
And it gives the Future Historians a way to give back to the museum.
"It shows we do velue the landscape of the U.P. and that we want to give back to the museum," said Michelle Weygandt, 17, of Ishpeming.
The group of youth pitched in to help plant the 20-30 trees, purchased by Cliffs, along the slope of the road.
"It's all part of our sustainability committment to the community," said Cliffs spokesman Dale Hemmila.
In addition to helping improve the area around the museum road, Hemmila said the tree planting helps provide volunteer opportunities for area youth. In previous years Cub Scouts and the Ishpeming Ski Club members have helped plant the trees.
"You want to expose them to the volunteer opportunities," Hemmila said. "They're going to come back and see how these tres have done."
The Future Historians group allows young people interested in history to learn more about the area, including the mining industry. During the school year, members meet once a month to see speakers and learn about particular aspects of the area's history. During the summer, the group gets the chance to step even further into history, taking on the job of role playing at Fort Wilkins near Copper Harbor or at the Lafayette State Park.
The young historians dress and act the part of historical figures so that visitors to the two parks can experience history.
Johanna Boyle can be reached at 906-486-4401.