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Ted Okerstrom receives Jim Mudgett Award

Fri, Oct  28, 2005 - By Missy Luyk

TRAVERSE CITY (October 28, 2005)- Last evening, at a dinner event at Black Star Farms, the officials of Traverse Area Recreation and Transportation Trails awarded the 2nd annual Jim Mudgett Trail Pioneer Award.

The Jim Mudgett Award was presented to Ted Okerstrom by past recipients, George Lombard, Dave Monstrey and June Thaden.

Ted has been an active trail user in Northern Michigan, across the country, and abroad. He has been involved organizing and promoting events to get people out to enjoy our beautiful area and our trails.

Ted served on the original planning committee for the Boardman Lake Trail, and then served as a founding board member of TART Trails, Inc. Ted worked with a broad range of trail supporters, property owners, and governmental officials to get the east-side Boardman Lake Trail built. Ted’s not finished either. He still has a vision for a permanent trail all the way around Boardman Lake and south into the Boardman River Valley.

Even before his work on trails, Ted had a vision in the 1970’s of a local cross-country ski race modeled after the great Nordic ski races in Europe. His Swedish nationality of course affected the name chosen for our local race – the Vasa.

Ted Okerstrom has been a positive force in Traverse City over the years by visioning trails in our community, creating the North American Vasa ski race, and by being a healthy-living role model. A quote from a nomination letter stated: “I have worked with Ted… and the one thing that stands out about [him] is his love for Traverse City. He will definitely leave Traverse City a better place.”

With the recent opening of the east Boardman Lake Trail, it seemed to be timed just right, for Ted, to receive the Jim Mudgett Award this year. “As TART Trails moves forward and continues to advocate for bicycles and pedestrians in the Traverse area, we are always standing on the shoulders of those who have come before, and we appreciate all of the hard work, perseverance and dedication from these leaders,” said Bob Otwell, TART Trails Executive Director. “The TART Trails organization would not be where it is today without the foresight and guidance of those who created the dream,” continued Otwell.

The Jim Mudgett Award was created to honor and pay tribute to individuals who have shown leadership and passion for our local trails. The award is given annually at TART’s Octoberfest dinner party.

PHOTO: Ted Okerstrom holding the Jim Mudgett Award.
Also pictured is Dave Monstrey, who was a co-presenter of the award
and also was a past recipient of the award.