On blustery day, ribbon clipped for summertime trail
May 2, 2023
Friends and co-workers of the late Fred Berner braved unseasonably chilly conditions Monday to formally dedicate a new section of the city’s extensive trail system in his memory.
City officials, friends, and co-workers of the late Fred Berner on Monday clip the ribbon
at the dedication of a city trail segment in his memory.
Berner's longtime companion, Kay Schroeder, holds the scissors.
The Fred Berner Memorial Walkway, completed in 2022, was named in honor of the longtime editor of the Antigo Daily Journal months after he died at his office desk on Nov 25, 2019, at the age of 71.
“I think Fred could have been named Citizen of the Year for Antigo every year,” Antigo City Council President Tom Bauknecht said. “He probably would have been somewhat embarrassed by all the attention, but it is well-deserved.”
City Council President Tom Bauknecht addresses friends and co-workers of the
late Fred Berner at the dedication of a city trail segment in his memory.
Bauknecht introduced “three strong women” who he said were among the keys to Berner’s successes and the trail’s completion. Chief among them was Berner’s longtime companion, Kay Schroeder, who Bauknecht said, “was the woman beside the man.”
Sarah Repp, director of the city’s parks and recreation department, was cited for her leadership and efforts to expand the ever-growing trail system, creating what Bauknecht termed an “unqualified success.”
Repp credited Berner’s advocacy through the pages of the Antigo Daily Journal for much of the trail’s success.
“This trail remains a work in progress,” she said. “Thank you to Fred for his positive publicity.”
Lisa Haefs, retired ADJ news editor, reflected on Berner’s love and support for his community.
“Fred was not one for accolades, preferring to shine the spotlight on others through his newspaper,” Haefs said. “But he surely would have gotten out his Schwinn and gone for a pedal on the newly-paved section.”
The half-mile section extends the existing trail system along the eastern edge of the Langlade County Fairgrounds, connecting the city’s core park system with north side residential and retail areas.
Currently, the city’s Springbrook Trail offers 2.5 miles of paved trail, just over a mile of rough trail, 420 feet of low-level boardwalk plus the 1,800-foot raised boardwalk that meanders along the creek and wetland. There are four overlooks, two bridges, and a pavilion and picnic area.
City officials are planning a trail expansion that, over the next several years, will connect the east and west sides of the community. The new route will extend to Langlade County’s multiuse trail, the city’s dog park, a new housing development and Remington Pond.
Once that segment is completed, the total city trail will provide 13.4 miles of on-street bike routes, 5.8 miles of paved trails and boardwalk and 3.5 miles of secondary trails.