The Cedar Tree Institute is a small nonprofit organization that carries on its mission in the remote Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Located in a geographically isolated area, sometimes referred to as America's Second Appalachia, it's the home of five American Indian tribes and two National Forests.

For sixteen years the Institute has provided leadership for collaborative interfaith efforts initiating projects in the areas of mental health, religion and the environment. It's received commendations for its work from the US EPA, the Sierra Club, and the Governor of Michigan. Its Director, Jon Magnuson, a former Peace Corps Volunteer and ELCA campus pastor, is a good friend and colleague from his fifteen years serving ministries in Oregon and Washington. On my journey down the Mississippi, my kayak will be carrying a Brunton #58 compass and an all weather NRS map case, gifts from the Institute.

As I paddle down the Mississippi during the days of June, Jon will be planting 10,000 Northern white cedar trees with a team of at-risk youth, church folks, and volunteers from the Native American community. If you wish to make a donation in honor of my trip to help with CTI's ongoing work, it can be made by paypal via or sent by mail in honor of "Dave Ellingson's Paddle to New Orleans" and addressed to The Cedar Tree Institute, 403 E Michigan St., Marquette, Michigan. All gifts are tax deductible.

1 comment:

  1. Most old hippies just gradually burn out, Dave. I was inspired by this morning's Snohomish County Herald article to see that some old hippies prefer to "flame on." Joneen and I will send a gift of $37 to White Cedar in honor of our anniversary of same number on May 24. We have x-country skiied the Lake Itasca region and served a rural parish in and around Wadena-Staples, MN 30+ years ago. God bless your "paddle trip" in so many ways. Pierre Trudeau's quote will hopefully become more true as you go. Try not to pick any bar fights in Rock Island, IL (rough, Loot'run college town, ya know).
    Jack Richards/Everett, WA