MICHIGAMME HIGHLANDS — Hikers, outdoor enthusiasts, and painters embraced Wildcat Canyon Creek just off of the 595 road proposal.

These visual artists and environmental activists trekked deep into a rugged, challenging, and unpaved territory of Marquette County for more than just a routine pleasure hike in the woods. Save the Wild U.P. Director Alexandra Maxwell stated that the focus of the trip was to help community members develop and build an intimate relationship with the area, which is part of the route for the proposed County Road 595 project.

“We’re really concerned about the 22 different wetland and stream crossings that would be impacted, all of the wildlife, the threat to native plants that are out there,” said Save the Wild U.P. Director Alexandra Maxwell, “we really wanted to help our community have that primary experience of place so that they can start to build an emotional attachment to some of the most wild and rugged remote parts of Marquette County.”

Wildcat Canyon Creek can be an incredibly demanding hike at times, but the view makes it all worth it. The group aspires to use the paintings as a way to disperse their passion for this woodland region to the masses.

“I want to be more conscious of where I live,” said Iron Worker Apprentice Thane Padilla, “I’m also a visual artist so that’s my way to help me understand it and also bring some of this understanding to the rest of my community.”

The grassroots environmental group views this as a prime example of a situation that the community should be aware of for the sake of preservation and prosperity of the U.P.

“I think that it’s time that we really start to think about the way we live and the impact we have on our environments,” added Maxwell. “Water is precious and we are blessed to be surrounded by one fifth of the world’s fresh water, but that doesn’t mean we need to be careless with it.”

Click here for more about Save the Wild U.P. or here for more about the 595 road proposal.