Moving bog on northern Minnesota lake a slow slog
LEGIONVILLE, Minn.-- The monstrous bog will continue to keep its home in front of the Legionville School Safety Patrol Training Center at least for the long Memorial Day weekend.
Volunteers with the North Long Lake Association, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the Minnesota American Legion—the owner of the camp—hoped to move a piece of the bog Thursday, May 24, but had no success.
Equipped with four boats Thursday, volunteers tried to move a piece of the bog that was cut away from the main mass. The section, with tamarack trees on it, was one of several pieces of bog that was cut away. The volunteers used boats to pull and push the piece and were able to move it a little, but a corner of the bog was still stuck to the bottom of the lake, Kevin Martini with the Brainerd DNR office said.
Volunteers anticipate cutting the bog into even smaller parts and will take a break for the Memorial Day weekend. Martini said they will tackle the bog again next week.
The bog became a problem last fall after it detached from shore, just northeast of the camp. The bog floated around the bay for days as the wind shifted—damaging property in the process—until it found its final resting place for the winter in front of the Legionville camp's swimming beach.
People have been checking out the status of the bog the past two weeks. With the bog still on the Legionville camp beach, people continue to check on it and offer suggestions on what volunteers should be doing. Martini said they have received good and some not so good ideas on how to move the bog. He said many people told them to blow up the bog with dynamite.
Martini said using explosives is not a good idea and would only make a larger mess. Martini refers people to check out the infamous YouTube video of how highway authorities blew up a dead whale, weighing 8 tons, on a beach in Oregon. Blowing up the whale did not work and Martini said it also won't work on the bog.
The Minnesota DNR reported the bog is about 200 feet by 800 feet and estimated to be 4,000 tons, or 8 million pounds. The bog is a natural wetland consisting of marsh, dead plant materials, cattails and a line of tamarack trees.
The mission is to remove the bog from its current position on the camp's swimming beach—where about 700 children swim each summer—and place it close to where it came from. Kids are expected to be at the camp in June.
The Legionville camp was established by the Minnesota American Legion for the purpose of training Minnesota young people in correct school patrol procedures. School safety and bus patrol training is the primary focus of the camp, however other classes campers attend are first aid, watercraft and swim safety, according to Legionville's website.