Iron Ore Heritage Trail seeks artistic solution to falling pellets

NEGAUNEE TOWNSHIP — The Iron Ore Heritage Recreation Authority is looking for a creative solution to an issue on one of their trails in Negaunee Township.

The stretch of trail in question runs beneath the LS&I trestle that crosses US–41. Trains running across the trestle can drop iron ore pellets on the trail below, which inspired the authority to build a “pellet pavilion” to protect trail users.

“We needed to build something to keep them from coming directly on people’s heads, which we did,” said Carol Fulsher, administrator at the Iron Ore Heritage Recreation Authority. “Now what we’re finding is that the pellets build up on the hillside, and then they roll onto the trail in the summer, which is not conducive to a walker or biker.”

Now, the authority is putting out a request for proposal to artists to find a functional art solution to help further combat the plummeting pellets. Artist’s designs also need to provide interpretation of the history of pelletizing or the railroads themselves.

“We’re always looking for an artist or a creative means to tell the iron ore history heritage story here. I always feel like we’re off the beaten path and we just need to do things a little nicer to get noticed,” Fulsher added.

The project is being funded in part by a grant from the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs. Proposals are due by March 20th, with the winning art being installed at the end of August.

Requests for proposal can be picked up a the Marquette Arts and Culture Center, and prospective artists can also visit for more information.