Winter UP program encourages outdoor adventures


Katarina Rothhorn/NW

WINTER WONDERLAND – The Winter UP program provides students with 15 different outdoor locations to explore over six weeks. By scanning the QR code through The Hub, students earn points and can win prizes such as a beanie, gift card and tumbler.

Katarina Rothhorn, Features Editor

The Marquette area has a multitude of hidden trails and picturesque locations that students, especially freshman new to the U.P., may not be aware of. Exposing students to these wilderness gems is the goal of the Winter UP program which gives students prizes for simply being outside. 

“When I’d have people visit me, I loved being the tour guide and being like, ‘Oh, here’s this beautiful place,’” Tyler Davis, Superior Edge Volunteer Center Coordinator, said. “We want students to be able to have this longer list of locations that [they] know about in Marquette and have a better understanding of this area we’re in.”

The Winter UP program runs for six weeks from Jan. 17 to Feb. 25 and rotates through five different locations every two weeks. For every QR code students scan at the five locations, they receive one point which they can collect for prizes at the end of the program. 

After three points, students get a beanie. Earning four points enters students into a drawing for 14 different Downwind Sports gift cards and after five points they get an insulated tumbler. 

“We tried to keep [the locations] within the city limits of Marquette,” Davis said. “We picked different sceneries, different wildernesses you’ll have to go through.”

A similar Winter UP program happened last year in the Winter 2021 semester with students being able to attend guided tours, self-guided tours and virtual informational webinars on the outdoors in order to earn points. This year, the program is currently limited to self-guided tours throughout the Marquette area but includes new locations and adventures for students.  

“Last year, we had a much larger budget because [we] knew COVID was going to be a factor in everything and we wanted to provide outdoor spaces for people to go and do things,” Davis said. “This year, it wasn’t as sure how much COVID would still be a factor … but we still wanted to provide this well-structured program to get people out to these beautiful places around Marquette.”

Some of the locations include Wright Street Falls, Lakenenland Sculpture Park, Wetmore Landing, Schwemwood Park, Chocolay Bayou, Picnic Rocks and Giants Foot Park. All of the specific locations and information about them can be found in greater detail on The Hub

Along with self-guided tours, students can also earn a point for renting outdoor winter equipment from the Outdoor Recreation Center including snowshoes, bikes and cross country skis.

“There are some really, really great trails for all of that equipment to be used,” Davis said. “I just really encourage people to take advantage of that.”

While the Winter UP program provides students with directions and information about the location, Davis encourages students to still be cautious and safe about exploring in wintery conditions. 

“There are some logistical things about parking because some things aren’t plowed,” Davis said. “I just would say people should pay attention to those.”

Despite the cold and snow, Davis hopes the Winter UP program encourages students to get outside, discover new places around Marquette and make good memories with friends.