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Help for Chapin Pit
October 9, 2012 - Blaine Hyska
Let’s here it for the Lilja Trust Fund.
The private fund established years ago by Madge Lilja to help beautify Iron Mountain is tackling the city’s greatest unused asset — Chapin Pit.
Chapin Pit, a leftover from the region’s renowned mining heritage, is nearly invisible to local folks. It looks like a small lake in the middle of town, and hasn’t changed in years. Area residents drive past it without a glance.
The public has been fenced out of the area. No hiking or biking, no fishing, no stopping, standing or parking. It’s a shame. Generally, waterfront property is the most valuable land in a community. In private hands, it is taxed to the hilt.
Here, the Department of Public Works building and its recycling compost area overlook the scenic lake. On the other side of the highway, the pit is a receptacle for the snow that has been scraped from municipal parking lots.
That’s a fine way to treat a body of water.
But all of that may be changing. The Lilja Trust Fund, the same fund that financed the scenic improvements at the entrance of City Park and at the Dickinson County Library, is slowly landscaping and improving the area along Chapin Pit. The project will take years.
Years ago, the city of Norway transformed Strawberry Lake into a beautiful park area for residents and visitors.
Who knows? Iron Mountain may one day be able to brag about its charming downtown lake park.
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