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!

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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

“Capture the Seasons”

CAMERA WITH SEASONSIt’s time to get out your cameras and explore Bertram Chain of Lakes Regional Park to “Capture the Seasons” in the Friends of Bertram 2nd Annual Photo Contest.  We are looking for creative and captivating visual interpretations of each of the four seasons highlighting the natural beauty in the Bertram Chain of Lakes Regional Park and the various activities and recreational opportunities available at this wonderful park!

Over $1,000 in Cash & Prizes will be awarded and the Contest is open to all photography enthusiasts ages 14 and over, including professionals who do not earn a living from photography.  Please click the links below to review the complete contest rules before entering any photos.  Contest entries will be accepted from January 1 through November 6, 2015.  Winners will be announced at an Awards Reception at the Monticello Community Center on December 1, 2015 from 6-8 p.m.

Participants may enter up to 4 times in each category, limited to 1 photo per category depicting each of the seasons: Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall.  The Photo Contest Categories are as follows:

  • Land & Waterscapes
  • Sunrises & Sunsets
  • Recreation & People
  • Plants & Wildlife

We look forward to your entries!

Please click the links below for the complete contest rules, release forms and entry form:

Photo Contest Rules – 2nd Annual        

PHOTO CONTEST – BROCHURE – SEASONS           

☼ Release by Photographer

  ***ONLINE ENTRY FORM***

 

Still have Questions?  Email Us

 

 

YMCA Detached Worker

jims cornerI first became aware of this phase in the mid 1970′s when a YMCA Detached Worker was assigned to the Monticello area through the Manitou Camp, located on the south end of Bertram Lake.  A worker by the name of Mike M. came to the Monticello High School and introduced himself to be the YMCA person who would be coordinating programs in the schools in conjunction with Camp Manitou.  The YMCA has always been instrumental in the social issues of children and created the Detached Worker Program to help struggling children with school, home and personal issues.  I asked Mike where the “Detached Worker” part came in because I didn’t see him coming “apart” in any way!  We laughed and he explained that he was a YMCA employee but that he had no office or specific role other than to help disadvantaged, neglected and/or forgotten children who needed help, guidance, structure, and a person to care about them.  Since the detached worker was not restricted to hours, he or she could work with children of all ages and at all times ~ especially afternoons and evenings outside of regular school times.

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Some of the activities included camping trips, group work, volunteer activities, sports, games, and family referrals. One very popular program the Mini Bike Program.  The YMCA had secured a partnership with Honda to provide some mini bikes to Camp Manitou.  Each year students would learn about the bikes and how to handle and ride them safely. After the basic introduction, they would practice riding them in an oval to help them hone their skills.  The final result was to go on a trail ride throughout the YMCA-Bertram property. In the end they would clean and maintain the bikes for the next trail ride; similar to the book, “Zen and Art of Motorcycle Maintenance”, except they were mini bikes. This program lasted over 25 years and educated hundreds of children in the Monticello area on mini bike safety.

We Appreciate Your Support!