Edit ModuleShow Tags

Surly Gives a Damn in Duluth, Builds Trail

Surly Brewing Co.’s charitable component, Surly Gives a Damn, completed its latest project by building a trail in Duluth’s newest park.


Published:


Courtesy of Mary Sellke

In 2010, the owner of Minneapolis-based Surly Brewing Co., Omar Ansari, decided to start giving a damn. He wanted to add a charitable component to the business, and he asked Mary Sellke to lead it. Sellke serves as executive director of Surly Gives a Damn (SGAD), contacting organizations in Minnesota and beyond to see who needs volunteer help completing a project. Its latest project took place around the end of July and called for 37 Surly lovers to help build a hiking trail in the new Quarry Park in Duluth.

The majority of those volunteers were from Duluth, which is exactly what SGAD wants. “We’re trying to do local projects where our beer goes, and get people involved in their communities,” Sellke says.

Quarry Park opened in Duluth in May 2016, and a master plan of hiking trails came with it. The city of Duluth decided this would be the ideal project for SGAD. The city supervised the SGAD crew and gave them the tools, but the hard work was done by volunteers. “We started pulling out stumps, hauling away brush, taking away rocks, compacting the soil down,” Sellke says. “It’s hard, sweaty work.”

There is now a trail from the bottom of the quarry to the top, which, with a large volunteer crew and strong work ethic, was completed in less than four hours. When it’s all said and done, Surly doesn’t plan on getting any recognition for their work on the trail. The real gift comes from knowing they’ve created something for masses of people to enjoy years to come.

The leader of the project said something that resonated with Sellke. “He said to the volunteers, ‘This is a trail that people are going to be using for hundreds of years.’ My kid, who’s 13, who came up to do the project—he’s going to bring his kids up there and say, ‘I built this.’ That’s pretty amazing.”

The full master plan of trails will take years to complete. On its next annual visit to Duluth, SGAD hopes to return to Quarry Park to see what else they can work on.

Although Surly is based in Minneapolis, “Surly Nation”—a pet name for the people who love Surly—stretches far and wide. That’s why Sellke and SGAD have worked to get people involved in their communities here, in Wisconsin, Iowa, and Illinois.

If you’re interested in volunteering and then drinking a beer with fellow Surly lovers, check out SGAD’s website for upcoming opportunities and sign-ups.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

About This Blog

Whether you are a seasoned Twin Cities traveler or planning your first trip to Minnesota, this blog will introduce you to many new adventures to add to your itinerary. From day trips and scenic discoveries to luxurious girls weekends, travel tips, and insider scoops, our editors will give you all the information you need to enjoy your stay Up North.

Learn about the contributing writers.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Travel Blog

InterContinental Hotel Opens at MSP Airport

New lodging, restaurants, spa, gym, and skyway update the MSP Airport experience

Plan a Trip to Roanoke, Virginia

This East Coast visit comes with history, a burgeoning craft beer scene, the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Appalachian Trail, and more

Cannon Falls Wine & Art Fest

Taste Minnesota wines and ciders, browse through local art vendors, and eat delicious food at Cannon Falls Wine & Art Fest, July 21-22

Day Trip to Taylors Falls

A Taylors Falls day trip made up of beautiful river views and a classic malt shop.

Record Store on Wheels

Like a food truck, but for music—and debuting this Sunday at Open Streets Minneapolis

Green Thumb Gardens

The 2018 Hennepin County Master Gardener Learning Garden Tour flaunts its foliage July 14

Best Caves of Minnesota

Explore Minnesota’s man-made and natural curiosities this summer

Amble Over to Afton

While you’re in Afton for Selma’s, stay a while and check out the state parks, historic buildings, quaint downtown, and more

Take a Trip for (Frozen) Treats

Grab a scoop from the state’s oldest ice cream shop in Afton: Selma’s Ice Cream Parlour

Journeys: A Minnesotan’s Happy Place

Time wasted at the lake is time well spent

Journeys: The Start of Adventure

To prep for wilderness canoe trips, Les Voyageurs brings campers out on the Mississippi River

Top 5 Instagram Spots Along the Mississippi River

Bluffs, hiking trails, and waterfalls make for beautiful summer photos

Summer Sunburn Solutions

Six ways to beat the burn

Brews and Views at the Hopped Up Caribou Festival

There's no better place to tie the knot than at a craft beer festival, and if you're not into that, you can cliff climb, too
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags