Remembering Paul Sandgren at this year's Birkie.
Birkie K marker 3 has been dedicated to Paul Sandgren; the heart, soul, and laughter of nordic skiing in the southern Kettle Moraine.
Paul was the superintendent of the Wisconsin Kettle Moraine State Forest southern unit for most of his professional life. He loved the parks and dedicated 35 years of service to the park system and the people who enjoy it.
People always knew Paul by his contagious laugh and friendly smile. He was a hero to many. Whenever he was involved in a project it got done and got done well. He was considered a “people person” and had a gift of creating partnerships with his “big heart” that touched people in the ski community and beyond. He treated everyone he knew from employees to park users as family. He headed the effort to create the Friends of Lapham Peak in 1989. He was instrumental in getting snowmaking off the ground at Lapham Peak State park. He could often be found out grooming the trails at 3AM with a smile on his face. His guidance provided the construction of the only lighted nordic trails in the southern Kettle Moraine. In 2013 he was named Outstanding Department of Natural Resources Land Manager.
He loved the American Birkiebeiner and all it stood for. He completed 14 Birkies and 4 Korties. His life was taken by brain cancer at the age of 61. He skied his last Birkie in 2015 and now friends will think of his contagious spirit as they pass by K marker 3.
Stop by K Marker #3 this Birkie to share a smile, a laugh, or even a shot for Paul.