Tosanak log cabin to be purchased by Floyd County Conservation

By Kelly Terpstra, kterpstra@charlescitypress.com

The goal is near and the dream will soon be realized.

This wide-load special delivery that will make its way to the Tosanak Recreation Area come early spring has been in the works for quite some time.

Once the paperwork is complete, a four-season, family-sized log cabin will become a reality and available for public use.

The shipment of the log cabin is a giant step forward for the Tosanak Cabin Fund and Floyd County Conservation. The fund has been generating revenue to build the cabin for well over 18 months. The goal of $120,000 has not been met yet, and Floyd County Conservation is still soliciting funds for the construction of the seasonal retreat that will overlook the Shell Rock River near Marble Rock.

“The cabin will be ordered this week,” said Floyd County Conservation Vice President Joel Cannon at a conservation board meeting Tuesday. “We transferred some money from the savings account to the checking account. We have to put 20 percent down. Adam (Sears) is going to go sign the papers this week.”

St. John Lutheran Church in Charles City recently donated almost $1,300 to the cabin fund. That pushes the total close to the $120,000 goal, but Cannon said Floyd County Conservation is still accepting donations.

“We think we’ve got enough money to do it. But I’m a firm believer, you’re never going to have enough money. So we’ve still been soliciting money,” said Cannon, who helped spearhead the movement to build the cabin.

Sears, Floyd County Conservation director, said there is enough money to order the cabin that will be shipped in pre-fab form in early May. He said there will still need to be funds generated toward helping build the deck and to install plumbing before families can rent it out.

The 1,100-square-foot cabin will be fully furnished, handicapped-accessible and will feature three bedrooms and two bathrooms.

Sears also said at the meeting that the online reservation system is up and running. That gives anyone the ability to reserve cabins for lodging or to secure other sites in advance that are offered in the 370-acre recreational area.

Another topic brought up by Sears at the meeting was a maple syrup operation that could possibly be up and running by the spring of 2020 at Tosanak. This could provide the public with an interesting educational tool, he said.

Sears was contacted by Bruce Bergland about whether or not there could be some fundraising involved that would allow the public to learn how maple sap is harvested and then cooked into syrup.

“It’s a way to provide the public with another outdoor opportunity and experience,” said Sears. “It has an amazing educational component to it.”

Sears said the public could collect sap from trees in the Tosanak Recreation area and see how the process works to turn that into maple syrup. Sears said Floyd County Naturalist Heidi Reams could instruct and lead many groups through the maple syrup-making setup.

The board voted to move forward with the maple syrup operation if the funds were generated and volunteers could be arranged to help out with the cooking part of the operation.

“As long as they have the people to cook it so staff doesn’t have to be involved,” said Cannon. “If they raise the money and got the staffing, let them go tap the trees and use our buildings.”

Anyone interested in helping this Tosanak Cabin Fund project can contact Floyd County Conservation at 651-756-3490.

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