North Star Trail Stewardship Activities
The North Star Ski Touring Club (NSSTC) is the leading advocate for cross-country skiing in the Twin Cities and Minnesota.
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The mission of the club is "to enjoy and promote the development of cross-country skiing." We fulfill our mission through group activities, education and trail development.
Cross-Country Skiing and More
Although skiing is prominent in NSSTC’s name, the club plays a role in outdoor recreation-
oriented issues year round. Through a formal grant program and organized volunteer initiatives, NSSTC contributes to developing and improving ski trails across Minnesota. As a member of the Minnesota Recreational Trail Users Association, NSSTC helps the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources prioritize approximately $2.5 million in annual funding for trail projects.
North Star Grant Program
The club’s grant program has provided substantial financial support to ski
trail improvements and related projects. Previous grant rewards supported:
• The Loppet Foundation’s construction of the Trail Center at Theodore Wirth Park
• Norpine Trail Association’s construction of a trail-maintenance equipment facility
• The Sugarbush Trail Association’s purchase of trail-grooming equipment in Tofte
The club evaluates grant applications throughout the year. “We are proud of our long history of
giving back in every way possible to the cross-country skiing community in Minnesota,” says
Bruce Nelson, president of the North Star Ski Touring Club.
Trail Clearing and Development
Every fall the club schedules trail-clearing trips to several Minnesota ski areas. Rolling up their
sleeves and brandishing hand tools, rakes and chainsaws, club members clear brush to get cross-country ski trails ready for the winter. Schedule information is found on the Master Event Calendar.
Cross-Country Skiing and Year-Round Outings
The club also hosts trips to build community and share passions for outdoor
recreation. Cycling, hiking and paddling trips are examples of warm weather outings. Club
leaders with years of know-how make outings stress-free, fun and inviting for outdoor
enthusiasts of all ages and experience levels.
New Mentoring Program
In Fall 2018, the club plans to launch a pilot-mentoring program to help outdoor enthusiasts
enjoy cross-country skiing as a lifelong sport. Volunteer mentors from NSSTC will contact
people who have recently completed skills training programs offered by local parks, snowsports
retailers and other organizations. After completion of basic skills training programs, NSSTC
mentors connect to answer questions, offer advice and continue skills training as needed.
"Cross-country skiing is an inexpensive, easy-to-learn winter sport. It’s a lifelong recreational
pursuit that appeals to outdoor enthusiasts of all ages. After a few lessons you will have the
basics to explore hundreds of miles of trails in the Twin Cities," says Nelson.
The club’s website, www.north-stars.org, is a clearinghouse for trip calendars, grant applications and information about local trails.
Mission of the North Star Grant Fund
Funds were bequeathed by Norm Oakvik in 2015-16 to the North Star Ski Touring Club to be spent as grants for activities to enhance and ensure the vitality of the club so that it may thrive and continue into the future. Grant amounts ranging from $500 to $5,000 are anticipated. The limits for a grant amount may be waived by the NSSTC Board as part of its review and approval of a specific grant award.
To apply for a grant, please click on the link below. Complete the electronic form and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org by March 31 of each calendar year.
North Star Grant Program Policy and Criteria
North Star Grant Fund Application