Lakeshore Natural Resource Partnership, Inc.

Inside This Issue

Brico Fund Supports LNRP Initiatives for 2017

Lakeshore CurrentsLNRP is grateful for once again receiving considerable support from Brico Fund for our 2017 operations. Brico Fund “builds the collective capacity of people and organizations to actively and sustainably improve the civic, cultural and natural environments.” One of their priorities is to improve the water quality and quantity of Lake Michigan and surrounding waterways. 

This financial support will help guide and strengthen our efforts to further cultivate a water ethic through our watershed partners, regional networks, and Restore the Shore restoration projects. Our model of interconnected leadership has been reinforced with strong LNRP board liaisons to each partner group. We are now supporting seven local watershed groups and three regional networks. We support this leadership by providing shared staff resources with individual staff representation for the primary areas of activity: strategic planning, development, outreach, community relations, and fiscal management.

In early 2016, we put together a partner development checklist that has now morphed into a partner operational plan that includes strategic planning, an annual action plan, and a corresponding development plan. All of these activities continue to follow and build upon our mission: Cultivating Community and Stewardship from the Ledge to the Lakeshore.

Brico FundWith this generous support, LNRP will focus on three goals:

1) Provide support with shared staff resources to our regional networks and watershed action teams to build a "Common Ground Network" that respects and engages northeastern and east central Wisconsin's agricultural landscape. We must work together with farmers and rural landowners to reach sustainable solutions to protect the region's natural resources. Support comes from the model of shared staff resources and using the talents of LNRP to find commonality and Common Ground in the watershed to create the optimum triple bottom line of vibrant economies, social well-being, and healthy ecosystems.

2) Develop a strong youth initiative program that engages K-12 students in acquiring the knowledge and developing the tools to become stewardship leaders in their local communities. We plan to integrate the youth initiative and meaningful watershed experiences with our Restore the Shore restoration projects efforts. Ultimately, we seek to instill and strengthen a Sense of Place.

3) Develop the already strong voice of the Climate Change Coalition of Door County into a self-sustaining regional network across the lakeshore. The voice we want to use is intended to increase awareness of the impacts of climate change on Door County and the rest of the Lakeshore, and to strengthen efforts to engage community leaders and members of the public in meeting the challenges of climate change by raising awareness, facilitating open dialogue, and fostering cooperative action.


Climate Change Coalition of Door County Hosting Annual Forum

Register today for the Climate Change Coalition of Door County’s upcoming information-rich community forum, Addressing Climate Change: What’s Happening, Who’s Leading, What to Say, May 20, Stone Harbor Resort, Sturgeon Bay. Registration begins at 8 a.m. and the program runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Dr. Steve Vavrus, a Senior Scientist with the Nelson Institute Center for Climatic Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will address Climate Change and Extreme Weather: What to Expect Here and Around the World. He will discuss the relationship between climate change and increasing extreme weather events and potential adverse consequences on human health.

Door County Climate Change ForumIn our region, ‘warmer and wetter’ is the shorthand forecast with critical changes in extreme weather, lake ice cover and lake-effect snow. This odd winter brought us a seasonal experience of this preview of what’s to come and serves as a test for how we can adapt to a changing environment.

Dr. Sharon Dunwoody will follow with Talking About Climate Change: Strategies to Reach Beyond the Choir. She has studied the construction and use of science based messages for more than 30 years as Evjue-Bascom Professor of Journalism and Mass Communication and an affiliate of the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at UW-Madison.

Dr. Dunwoody will discuss the challenge massive, hard-to-detect processes such as climate change present to our traditional messages and storytelling communications strategies to energize, inform and inspire the public. She will identify and characterize our audiences, offering strategies to improve our ability to move hearts and minds to help rebuild a bipartisan approach to action.

Finally, Dr. Jeffrey Thompson will present A Cleaner Environment…Better Health…Lower Costs…Stronger Economy. He is a pediatric intensivist and neonatologist, executive advisor and chief executive officer emeritus at Gundersen Health Systems. As a founding member and past board chair of the Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality, Jeff has led Gundersen’s nationally-recognized initiatives for patient care, quality improvement and sustainability, and presented the stunning results of their climate change initiatives at the Paris climate talks, the World Health Organization in Bonn, Germany; Oxford, England; and Beijing, China.

Jeff will discuss why health care organizations have an obligation to aggressively address climate change to improve patient health, lower operating and care costs and support the local economy. Over the last nine years, Gundersen met its goal, becoming 100% powered by locally sourced renewables and reducing its greenhouse gases by 90%.

This important annual forum is sponsored by the Lakeshore Natural Resource Partnership, Clean Water Action Council of Northeast Wisconsin, and the Outrider Foundation. Supporters include Innovative Printing, LLC; LfpDesign; and Trust Local Foods. Cost is $25/person by check payable to LNRP with ‘Climate Forum’ in the memo line; mail to PO Box 474, Sister Bay, WI 54234. For questions, contact Katie Krouse at Check out their website, for additional details.


Annual Chautauqua and Barn Dance

Please join us Saturday, September 16, for the 8th Annual Chautauqua and Barn Dance celebrating Wisconsin farms, locally sourced food and refreshments, and healthy urban and rural communities. The event runs from 4:30 to 10:30 p.m., at the historic Saxon Homestead Farm in Cleveland, located near the Lake Michigan shore in southern Manitowoc County.

The Lakeshore Technical College Culinary Institute instructors and students join Generations of Plymouth in preparing the buffet dinner that starts at 5:30 p.m. Entertainment begins at 7:30 with music by Copper Box accompanied by complimentary refreshments from 3 Sheeps Brewery and Terra Verde Coffeehouse, along with sustainable wines.

Jim VandenBrookThis year’s event focuses on the Food, Land & Water Project co-founded by Jim VandenBrook. Jim is the executive director of the Wisconsin Land and Water Conservation Association whose mission is to protect, conserve, and enhance Wisconsin’s natural resources by representing all 72 county land conservation committees and departments. 

The Food, Land & Water Project invites all Wisconsin stakeholders to join in a conversation about our state’s natural resources and the human demands that impact them. The project offers us a chance to look beyond the present moment, see the big picture and think about our shared resources in a more systematic and collaborative way. Work groups are developing draft recommendations related to surface water quality, groundwater quality and quantity, and the future of Wisconsin working lands. Jim will share their progress and next steps in this effort.

Partnering for Progress, organizers of the Chautauqua Barn Dance, is a collaboration and fundraiser for three nonprofit organizations: Lakeshore Natural Resource Partnership, Gathering Waters, and the Wisconsin School for Beginning Dairy and Livestock Farmers. Since 2009, the Klessig families have hosted this event annually, bringing diverse speakers to the area to address challenges and opportunities in our rural communities.

New this year, we are launching the Common Ground Network to bring stakeholders together from all sectors (agricultural, business, industrial, government and private) to balance the needs and challenges of farming with those of the environment. We will showcase Nourish, a local collaboration of farmers and families that empowers the community to make wholesome food choices by providing equitable access to hands-on education and connections to local, sustainable food systems. 

This year, the event offers early bird pricing at $50 per ticket, $80 for a pair, and $20 for students. Beginning September 1, ticket prices increase to $60 per ticket, $90 for a pair, but remain $20 for students. Ticket fees include an annual membership to both LNRP and Gathering Waters.

For more information and to register, please visit, or contact Jenn, 920-627-1799, or


Lake Michigan Day Celebration in Manitowoc, August 11

Lake Michigan DayMark your calendars to celebrate the waters of Lake Michigan at the annual Lake Michigan Day on Friday, August 11, hosted by the Lake Michigan Stakeholders!

This year’s event will take place once again at the Wisconsin Maritime Museum in Manitowoc. The organizing team is putting together a strong set of knowledgeable speakers and the overall structure of the day-long event.

During lunch, we will honor the 2017 Lake Michigan Champions of Conservation for their great work to protect our waters.

And, of course, we encourage you to bring your table displays to share your good projects and programs that help protect and improve Lake Michigan.

We will be sending out updates as they develop or you can check our website at

The event costs $20/person, including lunch, materials and the afternoon tour. To register for the Lake Michigan Day event, go to the Lake Michigan Stakeholders’ website and fill out the registration form: Registration is due by August 1st. Be sure to fill in the sections if you’ll be bringing a table display, if you’ll be going on the tour, and if have any dietary restrictions.


Home As Habitat Lecture Series

LNRP hosted three workshops this past spring as part of their Home as Habitat series to explore ways homeowners can improve their environmental footprint. This series included Nature’s Garden, Safe Lawns/Safe Beaches, and a Rain Barrel Workshop.

In Two Rivers on March 11, nature and garden author/radio host Rob Zimmer shared ideas on how to bring butterflies and bees to our yards and gardens with Nature’s Garden. He discussed the local pollinators found in our yards and their role in our environment. Rob suggested new concoctions to attract beneficial native moths, insects, bees and butterflies, and shared the native plants that will thrive in this area, regardless of the size of our property. The seventy participants left with a packet of native wildflower seeds to enrich their yards.

Rob Zimmer presenting to a full house at the FOTR/Woodland Dunes-hosted pollinator workshopHe explained how to create winter food sources for birds and bees, including leaving the stalks and seed heads of perennials on the ground. Also, placing used fruit, peels and rinds out on a platter provides a great source of food and energy for many birds.

Aside from using birdhouses as habitats, Rob shared how creating butterfly houses and bat houses invites creatures that eat pesky mosquitoes. Butterflies, bees and birds love open water sources from puddles containing rocks and sand, and honey bees feed on maple trees and birdfeeders in late winter and early spring.

Lessons that surprised some participants were how to rethink weeds and ants as beneficial members of our landscape. Often, what we consider a weed or obnoxious plant is actually a source of nutritious food and other uses. Dandelions, violets and nettles can be used for salads, jellies, lemonade, soaps, and more.

Rob helped us appreciate ants as by showing how they provide natural pest control, keeping aphids down, pollinate plants such as squash, melons and zucchini, and make good ground aerators.

This workshop was co-sponsored by Next Era Point Beach Nuclear Plant, Woodland Dunes Nature Center, and the Friends of the Twin Rivers – a partner program of the Lakeshore Natural Resource Partnership.

Safe Lawns/Safe Beaches

FMRW Co-Chairs Wendy Lutzke (far left) and Kim Kettner (far right) host speakers Pat Fitzgerald and Kim Busse Friends of the Manitowoc River Watershed hosted the Safe Lawns/Safe Beaches workshop on Monday, March 20, at the Wisconsin Maritime Museum in Manitowoc.

Safe Lawns: Jacksonport resident Patrick Fitzgerald initiated the formation of Safe Lawns in Door County, a working group whose mission is “to create awareness of the environmental health risks posed by traditional lawn care practices and to provide information regarding viable landscape options that will enhance the habitat for all living creatures.”

Safe Beaches: UW-Oshkosh staff member Kimberly Busse brings 10 years of experience and passion to improve recreational and drinking water quality. This year, Kim was nominated and elected as President of the Great Lakes Beach Association.

Kim focused on helping us understand the status of Manitowoc County beaches and their health, efforts to protect them, and what we can do to keep them safe and clean.

Kim pointed out the economic benefits that come from protecting our beaches, attracting visitors who spend on average $45-60/day/person in our communities and greatly boost our economy. 

Kim’s recommendations for best management practices include having a beach monitoring and public notification plan, regular beach maintenance; keeping them clean; managing algae and invasives.

Rain Barrel Workshop - Reduce Your Water Footprint

rain barrelsFriends of the Manitowoc River Watershed and LNRP hosted a rain barrel event on April 29 also at the Wisconsin Maritime Museum, drawing participants from several LNRP watershed partners. Twenty-six participants learned how to construct, operate and maintain a rain barrel, received guidance on how to reduce their water footprint, and learned other ways of improving water quality in and around their home and communities.

Wendy Lutzke, co-founder of the Manitowoc group, also addressed storm sewer stenciling, in place since 2007, conducted throughout the city, managed by Matt Smits of its Engineering Department. Citizens stencil messages on the storm drains to remind people to only release water in the sewer and keep toxic chemicals, lawn clippings, pet debris, etc. out to keep pollution out of Lake Michigan. Since the stencils wear off, Smits keeps a detailed record of which sites need replacing and invites citizens to help in this worthwhile project.

This educational event, sponsored by the national River Network and Coca Cola, was the only one in Wisconsin. The River Network provided conversion kits to create the rain barrels. Following a short presentation, 18 lucky winners of a raffle received free rain barrels to take home.


Great Lakes Day 2017
by Lisa Vihos

The 2017 Great Lakes Day in Washington DC had a special urgency to it.

Nearly 200 environmental advocates from across the Great Lakes region convened in our nation’s capital on March 15 and 16 to lobby for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) and the many projects it has supported in our region over the last eight years. There were representatives present from all eight states that touch the Great Lakes: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and of course, Wisconsin.

The Wisconsin contingent met with a legislative assistant to Congresswoman Gwen Moore. From left to right: Todd Brennan, Andrew Struck, George Robinson, Nicole Carver, Terry White, Lisa Vihos, Chris Goldson (legislative assistant to Gwen Moore), Mike Carlson, Brenda Coley, Chris Danou, Dave Giordano. Not in photo: Molly Meyers, Nels Swenson.I was honored to be there for LNRP, along with Wisconsin colleagues from the Alliance for the Great Lakes, Cummins Inc., the Douglas County Board of Supervisors, Ducks Unlimited, Gathering Waters, Milwaukee Water Commons, the Ozaukee County Planning and Parks Department, the Root-Pike Watershed Initiative Network, and the Environmental Management & Business Institute, a joint project of the Alliance for the Great Lakes and UW-Green Bay.

On our main day of lobbying, March 16, the federal budget proposal was released to the public. As you know by now, this budget includes a complete slashing of the GLRI’s funding to zero. We felt our work was cut out for us as we met with the staff of seven Wisconsin members of Congress, as well as an assistant to Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan. The presentations went well, and I felt we stated our cases to open ears (on both sides of the aisle) with ease, grace, and plenty of graphs, charts, and back-up material.

Right after we got home from our trip, Colleene Thomas from Tammy Baldwin’s office wrote to our group asking for quotes about how GLRI has supported us in the work we do. Here is what we sent from LNRP:

"As a Wisconsin grassroots organization, the Lakeshore Natural Resource Partnership has seen firsthand the crucial role that the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative plays in the continued health and well-being of the Lake Michigan Basin. This federal funding has leveraged local sources to restore Centerville Creek, the Little Manitowoc Coastal Wetlands, the Sheboygan River and so many other projects. We strongly urge that the funding to GLRI continue. We cannot ignore the fact that 'We All Live on the Water,' and there is so much more work to be done."

There have been follow-up phone conferences to plan next steps, one led by Freshwater Future, another led by Healing Our Waters. We will stay tuned to these conversations and keep you posted. There is sure to be work that private citizens can do to help protect the GLRI and the EPA, both. Not only do we all live on the water, but we are all in this together.


Lake Management Plan Will Improve Water Quality in Door County’s Forestville Flowage

The waters of the 72-acre Forestville Flowage, aka Mill Pond, in southern Door County empty into the already phosphorus-impaired Ahnapee River. This area contains great recreational potential with its historically significant lands and waterways. Due to its shallow lake depth, nutrient loading, algae blooms and lack of aeration, its water quality has become a serious challenge. An area management report dating back to 1996 will be updated with citizen input.

Forestville Flowage Public Access

About half of the nearly 18,000 acre watershed that drains to the Mill Pond is agricultural land, and the Ahnapee State Trail, part of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail, runs along the Forestville Flowage. And, it may be home to the endangered Hines Emerald Dragonfly.

Now, help is in sight thanks to funding from a WDNR Lake Management Planning Grant, and a collaborative effort between the Door County Soil and Water Conservation Department staff, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh lab, Lakeshore Natural Resource Partnership, and Door County Airport and Parks Department. They propose to update water quality data, inventory livestock operations and current cropland, point sources and non-point sources of pollution, with the ultimate goal to create an updated strategic management plan for the watershed. They’ll also evaluate how pollution sources or sinks have changed over time, and remedial efforts have impacted water quality. A local friend group will be formed to help carry out the recommendations they come up with. Watch for news as to how this progresses in future issues of The Source.


Niagara Escarpment Film Fest an Elevating Success

CinemaHundreds of fans of the Ledge came out to celebrate Earth Day in northeast Wisconsin, taking advantage of a rare opportunity to see two world premiere films. The Niagara Escarpment Resource Network (NERN), with event underwriter Trout Springs Winery and several regional organizations, presented two documentary films produced in Wisconsin featuring the Niagara Escarpment, its geology, cultural significance and natural history, to standing-room-only crowds.

All showings included an introduction and comments from the filmmakers, and concluded with a question and answer/discussion session following the presentation.

The Great Ledge, created by De Pere resident and seasoned filmmaker Dan Larson, took four years capturing the people and places along Wisconsin’s Niagara escarpment. This 40-minute film focuses on escarpment stories relating to the cultural history, geology, groundwater, flora and fauna, showcasing wonderful places to visit throughout its unique landscape. The passion of the knowledgeable people Larson interviewed express the ‘connectedness’ many of us feel here.

Some 185 people from near and far packed the De Pere Cinema on April 26, to catch the premiere of The Great Ledge, raising $2,000 for NERN’s Niagara Escarpment School Curriculum Project. This project will incorporate this film in its lesson plans and be designed for fourth grade students.  Following the showing, a viewer enthused, “I learned so much I never knew watching tonight’s film which is packed with interesting facts about its history, geology, ecological uniqueness and sense of place, despite living on the escarpment my whole life. Well done!” 

Film viewersPeople packed the auditoriums for two additional free showings of The Great Ledge in Door County on April 29, at The Clearing in Ellison Bay and at Crossroads at Big Creek in Sturgeon Bay. DVDs can be purchased at Trout Springs Winery near Greenleaf or through the Weis Earth Science Museum at UW-Fox Valley in Menasha.

Some 300 filled the Door County Auditorium in Fish Creek on April 22, Earth Day, for the premiere of Roger Kuhns’ Escarpment. Kuhns, a native of Door County and well-known leader in the sustainability field, produced his film over many years as well. His multi-faceted documentary focuses on the natural history of eastern Wisconsin and the Niagara escarpment region of the Great Lakes, taking the viewer on a fast-paced, fun voyage through billions of years of geologic history. This film was also shot on location with a Door County focus.

On April 27, fans filled The Clearing in Ellison Bay to see Escarpment. Watch for notices about future opportunities to catch these fine films later this summer and fall. The Niagara Escarpment Resource Network and LNRP thank the talented filmmakers, film stars, and event organizers and hundreds of viewers for making our first film fest so successful!


Spring 2017

Full moon over barn

LNRP Receives WDNR River Planning Grants to Support Watershed Partners

Four river planning grants will help support the annual action plans for LNRP’s watershed partners throughout the lakeshore. These grants run from February 15, 2017 through June 30, 2018.

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

LNRP acts as the fiscal agent for these grants along with providing membership management, outreach, event planning and administrative support by sharing staff resources with our watershed partners.

Sheboygan River Basin Partnership Helping Residents Engage With Their River

The Sheboygan River Basin Partnership is planning a diverse program to increase awareness and appreciation of the Sheboygan River. Activities include paddling events, clean-ups, topical seminars, adding informative signage, removing invasive species, improving fish passage, and agricultural best management practices (BMP) education.

Check their website at for updates and details for their planned activities which include: 1) a Sheboygan River paddling map and interpretive signage; 2) river paddles in May and June; 3) river and beach clean-ups; 4) an Area of Concern (AOC) workshop; 5) invasive species work days; 6) workshops on implementing Best Management Practices in the agricultural landscape; and 7) complementary work to improve fish passage on Willow Creek, a project supported by the Fund for Lake Michigan.

Friends of Hika Bay Continuing to Keep Pollution Out of Lake Michigan

LNRP is sponsoring a project to support the Friends of Hika Bay to help them build appreciation for and participation in stewardship initiatives to care for the frontal watersheds of Hika Bay that drain into Lake Michigan.

Specific project activities include: 1) facilitating water quality sampling and analysis in collaboration with the Lakeshore Water Institute at UW-Manitowoc where students will present their data at a public forum in October; 2) hold a beach clean-up event at Hika Park; 3) conduct a Project RED (Riverine Early Detection) event in the watershed; 4) host volunteer Restore the Shore work events and write State of the Park reports for Fischer Creek and Hika Parks; 5) host a volunteer appreciation event; and 6) host public education seminars with topics being announced soon.

Friends of the Manitowoc River Watershed Improving the Manitowoc River

This group of volunteers in Manitowoc and LNRP are hosting a project to help improve the overall health of the Manitowoc River watershed. Along with planning a series of events and workshops throughout the year, they continue to take care of and improve Lower Schuette Park—their adopted park, and co-hosting the annual youth Watershed Ambassadors Camp.

On July 8, they will host a SubFest River Paddle beginning at Lower Schuette Park in Manitowoc. Join these hard working volunteers for a river clean-up on July 15. For an intriguing evening on the river, experience a full moon paddle planned for August 7.

They will host a Project RED (Riverine Early Detection) invasive species training on July 18 to prepare for participating in the River Alliance of Wisconsin’s statewide annual Snap Shot Day in August where volunteers test for the presence of invasive species at bridge crossings. They will host their annual beach clean-up in cooperation with the Alliance for the Great Lakes on September 16.

For more information, contact co-chair Kim Kettner via email,

Friends of the Twin Rivers Raise Awareness and Appreciation

This group based out of the Woodland Dunes Nature Center in Two Rivers will continue to engage area citizens in educational and recreational activities in 2017 with events planned throughout the East and West Twin watersheds. Area high schools will be conducting Water Action Volunteer (WAV) monitoring on several stretches of the river. Watch for details coming soon on a July paddle and a fall river clean-up on the LNRP website calendar,

Friends of the Branch River Growing with Youth Outdoor Education

This group will offer one summer camp scholarship to 12–17 year olds through the Wisconsin Maritime Museum—Watershed Ambassadors Summer Camp! This scholarship requires a membership and some volunteer work. The week-long day camp is highly recommended for any young people who enjoy the outdoors! 

Youth fishing

Scholarships are also being offered to those students currently enrolled in Conservation or Natural Sciences-based secondary education majors. They are looking for like-minded individuals to continue the grassroots efforts benefitting the Branch River in the future. Become a member of FOBR and then show proof of your enrollment to be selected as a lucky recipient of up to $1,000 scholarship, depending on the number of applicants! Contact Emily Endter for more details at

Art of Water Celebration and FOCB Events for 2017

The James May Gallery in Algoma is hosting the Art of Water: An Exhibition Celebrating Our Most Vital Resource featuring more than fifty regional and national artists starting beginning with art openings and other activities May 5 and 6. The Friends of Crescent Beach put together an information table on Friday and Saturday as well. The weekend featured food, music and beach yoga. The art exhibit runs through May 29 at the gallery on Algoma’s historic Steele Street and nearby locations.

Gallery Director Kendra Bulgrin planned this exhibition benefiting Friends of Crescent Beach to draw attention to the pressing need to better protect our water resources. Look for details on the gallery’s Facebook page and website, and shared on Facebook by FOCB. James May Gallery is located at 213 Steele Street in Algoma.

James May Gallery, Art of Water

Friends of Crescent Beach hosted a February program concerning the proposed Wisconsin Lake Michigan National Marine Sanctuary, supporting Kewaunee County Board Supervisor Lee Luft’s effort to include their county. They also helped publicize the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association March visit to Algoma that drew more than one hundred people.

The group supported the Algoma Boy Scouts’ annual Earth Day beach clean-up, working with the Algoma Parks and Recreation Department to provide and organize supplies needed.  The Scouts removed 48 pounds of trash.

The Friends of Crescent Beach Committee is also working with the City of Algoma and LNRP to remove invasive species followed by planting native vegetation on the south end of Crescent Beach. LNRP Stewardship Fund support is providing additional reconnaissance this spring with treatment and planting planned for fall. The City of Algoma’s Parks and Recreation Department has purchased a cart for Crescent Beach maintenance use with funds the group provided.

Mark your calendars for the 3rd annual Crescent Beach Soar on the Shore kite event August 19, featuring colorful kites, food and fun family activities. Watch for details on the FOCB website and Facebook.

Regional and Local Partners Celebrate Earth Day/Week in Northeast Wisconsin

In addition to the Niagara Escarpment Film Fest, LNRP’s local and regional partners offered a full array of educational and hands-on activities to celebrate the 47th worldwide Earth Day, in Manitowoc, Door and Sheboygan counties.

On April 22, a picture-perfect Earth Day, dozens of volunteers with the Friends of the Manitowoc River Watershed and Friends of the Twin Rivers teamed up to host the popular annual beach cleanup of Manitowoc County beaches, now in its sixth year.

One hundred volunteers removed 338 pounds of garbage and litter from seven beaches in the City of Manitowoc. The list and amounts of what they collected will be shared with the Alliance for the Great Lakes. Their efforts were featured on the front page of the Herald Times Reporter.

Trash Cleanup

One remarkable story from Saturday’s event in Manitowoc features a five year old girl named Riley who recruited her grandparents to join her in cleaning up Blue Rail Beach. Together they collected 30 pounds of litter from that one beach alone in two hours. Riley was beaming with pride and demonstrates that no one is too young or small to make a difference!

Nine volunteers collected four bags weighing about 40 pounds of litter and debris from 1.4 miles of beach along Memorial Drive south of the Lighthouse Inn in Two Rivers.

Thanks to the many dedicated volunteers from the two groups and Lakeshore Tae Kwon Do who helped make Manitowoc County beaches more inviting and keep debris and pollution out of Lake Michigan. To date, they have removed some 5,000 pounds of garbage!

Earth Day group

On April 23, Friends of the Branch River Watershed presented a free event at the Manitowoc County Library with the Fox Valley Herp Club, drawing 40 families with kids of all ages who enjoyed interacting with snakes, turtles and other reptiles. The group also held a successful brat fry fundraiser at Rob’s Market on April 29.


The Sheboygan River Basin Partnership with Nourish Farms offered a workshop promoting beneficial pollinators on April 29 in Sheboygan, engaging with residents from the area who left inspired to help pollinators in their own back yards.

The Climate Change Coalition of Door County hosted several events from April 21-29 along with the Forest Recovery Project, all part of Celebrate Earth Week. Science on Tap on April 21 launched Earth Week, drawing more than 50 people who enjoyed lively discussions, camaraderie and entertainment at the Starboard Brewing Company in Sturgeon Bay.

On April 23, entomologist Dick Smythe presented The Paris UN Climate Change Conference: Some Sobering News, Some Hopeful News, addressing 25 people in a “Sunday School talk” at a church in Sturgeon Bay. He discussed international commitments to slow this global threat and prepare for its worst impacts. Following his talk, a woman said hearing him predict that, “Well-to-do Americans will lose their beach homes and, in poor countries, parents will lose their children from starvation” was the most significant comment she’d ever heard about climate change.

And that same day, architect Virge Temme hosted a packed open house at her first SAGE (sustainable, affordable, green and expandable) home under construction, engaging with 100 people at her presentation and discussion. A participant said, “Virge presented comparative data from times past and countries far away…The evolution to grand scale sizes of old building-style housing provided a great context urging people towards SAGE housing principles and green lifestyles.”

The Forest Recovery Project, Climate Change Coalition of Door County and The Nature Conservancy hosted an Arbor Day celebration at the end of Earth Week, planting some 5,000 native tree seedlings in the Mink River Preserve north of Ellison Bay and the Door County Land Trust Lautenbach Preserve located near Egg Harbor.

Tree planting for Arbor Day

Twenty-five students from Gilbraltar High School and 40 from Sturgeon Bay High School, along with 34 volunteers worked intensively to make this effort possible.

The Forestry Recovery Project is also launching a new logo, pictured here, as part of their efforts to raise awareness and to enhance, restore and sustain the native forests of Door County.

Forest Recovery Project

LNRP and its local and regional partners thank all the many volunteers, organizations and leaders who planned, participated and helped make these Earth Day celebrations so successful!

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