CAMP RIPLEY -- This year’s Warrant Officer Candidate School class is conducting a civil-military project in conjunction with Beyond the Yellow Ribbon and Minnesota Power Friday, Aug. 16, near Brainerd.
The project is part of the Warrant Officer Candidate School course under the 175th Regional Training Institute on Camp Ripley. The WOC candidates participate in a public project as part of their course curriculum in order to give back to the community they work in, Camp RIpley officials reported in a news release.
This year, the WOCs will help work on a nature park at 12509 Little Pine Drive in Brainerd recently donated by Minnesota Power.
Candidates will clear a 50- to 100-foot standoff zone of brush and overgrowth along the mile long trail to allow for the healthy growth of previously planted 35,000 white pine, red pine and jack pine seedlings by Minnesota Power.
In addition to community outreach, the project also tests skills candidates learned throughout the course, such as preparation, teamwork, forward planning and technical skills.
The trail when completed will be a memorial trail dedicated to the Minnesota National Guard service members who have died in a combat zone since 9/11 and to designate an area near the river in recognition of the silent casualties in the global war on terror, the victims of suicide and other unseen injuries.
Several similar projects were completed by the WOC course over the years such as tree removal and cleanup from the public areas of the Pine Grove Zoo, multiple community parks and a habitat for humanity venue in Morrison County.