In devastating downturn, Iron Range ‘hangs in there’

Photo: Change the Range Facebook page

A movement that has been growing in parts of the U.S. has reached the Iron Range.

People are making or buying hats, scarves, and gloves and then leaving them tied to trees or other public locations for people to take if they need them.

Stephanie Hashey of Virginia saw the idea in a community on Facebook and pitched the idea, dubbed “Change the Range“.

“I said ‘wouldn’t it be fun to do?’” she tells the Hibbing Daily Tribune. “The others chimed in and it really took off.”

The group was concerned they’d run afoul of littering laws with the effort, so cities have set up specific public areas where the goods can be posted.

Biwabik — Hang site is in the park by Honk the Moose, 505 N. Fourth St., and the donate/pick-up site has yet to be determined. Begins Dec. 6.

Chisholm — Hang site is O’Neil park on designated Christmas trees, which will be marked. The donate/pick-up site is Carousel Thrift Store, 12 W. Lake St., from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

Eveleth — Details are being worked out with the Eveleth City Council and Eveleth Police Department.

Grand Rapids — Hang sites are Central School Grounds-Big Pine, 10 N.W. Fifth St., and Manor House Assisted Living, 722 N. Pokegama Ave. Donate/pick-up sites are Community Presbyterian Church, 703 N. Pokegama Ave. from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Sunday and Manor House Assisted Living main office.

Hibbing — Hang site is pending. Donate/pick-up sites are Nina Brooke, 115 E. Howard St., and The Secret Closet Consignment Shop, 214 E. Howard St.

Virginia — Hang sites are Mesabi Family YMCA, 8367 Unity Dr., from stops signs without covering them up and on city-owned property. Donate/pick-up sites are Mesabi Family YMCA from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, the Virginia Police Department, 327 First St. S., and the Virginia Fire Department, 115 N. Fourth Ave.

The group hopes to expand the movement to Duluth and the Twin Cities.

Related: Rich history, stark present, unknown future for iron and steel (Aaron J. Brown)