SPRING CLEANUP!

Mark your calendars for Spring Cleanup at Bertram ~ Volunteers Needed! Will meet at the South Entrance parking lot at 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 2nd. Email for details at friendsofbertram@hotmail.com. ☼

Posted by Friends of Bertram Chain of Lakes Regional Park (YMCA Camp Manitou) on Monday, April 13, 2015

In the previous tidbit, Farms II, I mentioned that the farmers who owned and operated the Bertram Lakes land were stewards or “trustees” of the land.  As we enter the final stages of the purchase of this land, we must remind ourselves of this stewardship. I recently came across a quote that is very fitting for us.  It reads as follows:

STEWARDS OF THE LAND QUOTE

As we enter our own stewardship, let us remind ourselves that we need to preserve, protect, and improve when we can so that future generations can enjoy the land also.

 

Capture the Seasons Photo Contest ~ Call for Spring Pictures!

Snow Sculpture Contest Winners!

Snow Sculpture Contest February 21st at the Monticello Community Center ~ Ca$h Prize$ !

The George Bertram Family Tree

To begin looking at George Bertram’s family, we must back up one generation to his parents, Andrew Bartram and his wife, Alison Monilaws Bartram.  Andrew and Alison Bartram immigrated to the United States from Glasgow, Scotland in 1812.  George was one of four boys and six girls born to Andrew and Alison, and he was born March 4, 1820.
George married Julia Hamilton on September 30, 1841 in Newark, New Jersey and their family tree is as follows:

GEORGE - JULIA - CHILDREN FAMILY TREE

* Thomas was born 4 months after Minnesota became a state!

 

 

Announcing 2nd Annual Photo Contest!

Single Track Trails May Be Closed!

Photo Contest Winners Announced!

Fall Turtle Migration Has Begun

The First Annual Photo Contest was a Success!  We received over 60 entries in 5 categories.  Many amazing photos were submitted and the judging was extremely difficult but the votes are in and the winners have been announced!  Shown below are the winning photos.  Click on the tabs in the drop down menu to view all photos submitted in each category!

Thank you to all who participated in this event.  We love your photos and are looking forward to making this an annual event!

BEST IN SHOW - JILL SCHNABEL - REFLECTLANDSCAPES - 1ST PLACE - JILL SCHNABELLANDSCAPES - 2ND PLACE - MELISSA BENJAMINLANDSCAPES - 3RD PLACE - ESTHER WATSONLANDSCAPES - HONORABLE MENTION - JEFFREY LUNDYOPEN - 1ST PLACE - PAUL LUNDBERGOPEN - 2ND PLACE - ASHLEY JOZELICOPEN - 3RD PLACE - KEITH SONNENBERGOPEN - HONORABLE MENTION - MACKENZIE HEDGE - MISS MONTICELLO 2014PEOPLE - 1ST PLACE - LISA MOISPEOPLE - 2ND PLACE - KIKI ROGERSPEOPLE - 3RD PLACE - LAUREL AHSENMACHERPEOPLE - HONORABLE MENTION - JILL SCHNABELPLANT-WILDLIFE - 1ST PLACE - PAUL LUNDBERGPLANT-WILDLIFE - 2ND PLACE - MACKENZIE HEDGE - MISS MONTICELLO 2014PLANT-WILDLIFE - 3RD PLACE - TOM JOHNSONPLANT-WILDLIFE - HONORABLE MONTION - JILL SCHNABELRECREATION - 1ST PLACE - KIKI ROGERSRECREATION - 2ND PLACE - JERRIE AHRENSRECREATION - 3RD PLACE - DAN FORSMAN

The Monticello Parks Department just completed building the new fishing pier on Bertram Lake!  

Enjoy hiking or biking on the trails this weekend and don’t forget to take a break and check out the new pier!

photo 2

Our Park Continues to Grow!

A $3.8 million, 164-acre acquisition successfully closed on June 5, 2014,  bringing the park total to  721 acres. The purchase was made possible with $2.2 million in grant funding and additional match funding from Wright County and the City of Monticello.

The next acquisition of  80 acres is slated for 2015.  The  estimated cost is $2.3 million with $1.4 million coming from grant funding.

With the closing of the latest acquisition, the county and city will now own the beach at Bertram Lake and the 12-acre parcel where the YMCA intends to build its new Day Camp Manitou.   The YMCA will operate Camp Manitou on the county and city property through the end of the 2014 season and will transition over to their new camp for the 2015 season. The county and city will look into the options for opening the beach to the public after day camp hours.  There are many issues that need to be resolved prior to opening the beach; therefore, it is assumed the public opening of the beach will commence in 2015. Furthermore, the city has secured grant funding to begin Phase I of the Athletic Complex sometime in 2015.

Minnesota Off-Road Cyclists (MORC) will continue building the single track mountain bike trails in the park this summer.  Currently MORC volunteers are working to reroute and rebuild a 10-mile mountain bike loop open to non-motorized use; however, it is expected that the trails will grow to 14 miles.  MORC volunteers work on the trails in the park on Wednesday evenings through the summer. Bertram Chain  of Lakes Regional Park is the one place in Wright County that offers mountain biking.  The trails are signed and bikers are encouraged to test out the trails.  The topography is fun to ride and there are a lot of great switches, so there can be challenging parts!

Once Bertram reaches its planned 1,050 land acres (1,200 acres including water bodies), it will become the largest regional park in Wright County!

10440776_492352564234821_2833416249704220643_n

Winter Block Party 2014 a Success!

Thanks to the hundreds of folks who came out for the
1st Annual Monticello Winter Block Party
and
Friends of Bertram Snow Sculpting Event!
Although it was a bit chilly, there were four snow sculptures carved on the front lawn of the Community Center and lots of warm conversation and fun inside the building.
Snow sculptures were judged with cash prizes going to
1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners!
Kids snowman building contest winner received an
MCC Gift Card and Certificate!
This was a great event for introducing and updating the Monticello Community on the growing park and its activities.

Hope to see you next year!

IMG_2981IMG_3014IMG_3000IMG_3021IMG_2975KIDS CONTEST WEB PHOTO

 

 

The Farms ~ Part II

The YMCA’s interest in the Bertram Chain of Lakes land first came from donations/purchases by the Lehigh Cement company which owned land on the east side of the lakes, including First Lake.

During the next 15 years (from 1952-1967) neighboring farms were bought up as they began to cease operations.  Most of these farms were small one-family operations of dairy, small grain, sheep and cattle and provided a life for these families for almost 100+ years (from 1850-1950+).

These farms were purchased one at a time until the current land area of the Bertram Chain of Lakes was created.  All together there are nine (9) farmsteads that can be located on the land, several of which have old foundations and other remains to show where they were.

In the future when all of the land has been purchased and the entire natural area of the park is open to the public, these farmsteads will be marked showing the last two farmers/owners of the land.

Several of these farms produced some specialty crops:

  • The corner of Briarwood & 90th Street (horse pasture) was originally a field where sheep were raised for many years.  They produced wool, mutton & chops.
  • Inside the south entrance and just southeast of the parking lot was the site of a very specific crop; this was the site of a mink farm.  The pelts of the mink were used for coats and stoles.  Changing attitudes led to its demise.
  • Rumor has it that there was a celery farm located near Long Lake but the specific location has not been found.
  • Of course,m the YMCA used the land to farm Christmas trees for sale in the cities.  Several of the areas are still in existence today but will be redone in the future.

We must be sure to remember and celebrate these early stewards of the land!

sheep farm

We Appreciate Your Support!