Paul Bunyan to Promote Safe Boating
by Ray Nelson, US Army Corp. of Engineers, Crosslake/Byway Association Liaison
The U. S. Army Corps of Engineers is the leading provider of water-based recreation nationwide. With such popularity, the St. Paul District Corps of Engineers makes huge efforts to educate visitors on responsible ways to be safe when recreating on the many lakes within the district.
In conjunction with the Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway Association, the local cooperative partner with the Crosslake Recreation Area, the idea was proposed to utilize the popularity and visibility of Paul Bunyan to promote wearing a life jacket when boating.
A-Pine Restaurant owner and Byway Board member Rick Beyer suggested outfitting his 13-foot statue of Paul with a life jacket. This icon statue is strategically located along traffic flow heading north on State HWY 371.
The Byway Association also possess the largest rag doll in the world (of Paul Bunyan, of course!). Paul the doll sits prominently in the leased display space provided by the Corps in the office Conference room in Crosslake.
Outfitting the two Paul’s with easily identifiable, appropriately-sized life jackets has become the goal of Corps Park Ranger Renee Hanson and the Byway Association. Renee has been in contact with a major life jacket manufacturer in an attempt to have two custom jackets completed (and worn) by the 2011 Minnesota Fishing opener.
Measurements perhaps may lead to a new world record on the Byway…look for Paul modeling the possible Guiness record life jacket along the Byway beginning in spring 2011.