Inside This Issue
LNRP Model of Community Engagement
The Lakeshore Natural Resource Partnership uses a model of community engagement built on creating Board member liaisons with our diverse local and regional partners.
Current local watershed action teams include the Climate Change Coalition of Door County, Friends of Crescent Beach in Algoma, Friends of the Twin Rivers (East and West), Friends of the Branch River Watershed, Friends of the Manitowoc River Watershed, Little Manitowoc River Partnership, Friends of Hika Bay and the Sheboygan River Basin Partnership.
LNRP also provides a steering committee presence and staff support for the regional Lakeshore Invasive Species Management Area (LISMA), Niagara Escarpment Resource Network (NERN), and Lake Michigan Stakeholders (LMS).
Our board members participate on these leadership teams, ranging from separate boards of directors to steering committees to strategic planning committees. LNRP also provides shared staff resources to help guide and reinforce a strong volunteer network to help implement each partner’s action plans. Our staff assistance provides strategic planning support, fiscal management, collaborative grant writing, member management, event publicity, communications assistance and outreach.
Building community is at the core of LNRP’s mission. We see partnerships as essential vehicles to most efficiently engage significant buy-in from local, regional, statewide and federal stakeholders. We strategically created a support structure through a stewardship fund that invests in community projects and initiatives to spawn opportunities for ongoing stewardship of our land and water resources.
This year our stewardship fund is supporting our partners and additional community groups’ individual action plans through investing in over 25 different water resource, environmental education and land use protection projects throughout the region.
We will continue to report on each group’s activities in each issue of The Source and invite you to join their efforts if you’re able by contacting our Community Outreach Coordinator Jenn Hansmann at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yours in service to our lands and waters,
Jim Kettler, Executive Director
Area Volunteers Celebrate Earth Day
Folks from throughout Wisconsin’s lakeshore region celebrated the 46th annual Earth Day April 22 with events planned around that day and week.
In Door County, The Nature Conservancy of Wisconsin and Restore Door Ecological Services joined the Climate Change Coalition of Door County in planting a total of 8,000 trees, including Red Oak, Red Pine, White Pine and White Spruce, on different days at two locations. Experts supervised high school students from Gibraltar and Sturgeon Bay High Schools and citizen volunteers in planting 2,775 trees. They received detailed explanations of the restoration and potential water quality improvements. Bob Bultman of RestoreDoor planted by hand an additional 250. The remaining 5,000 seedlings were planted by tractor/machine at The Nature Conservancy’s Mink River Preserve as well.
On April 30, 12 volunteers with the Friends of Hika Bay joined forces to plant several dozen trees at the Fischer Creek Conservation Area in Cleveland (WI) to enhance it for erosion control, recreation, birds and wildlife.
Also on April 30, the Lakeshore Natural Resource Partnership organized a table for the Earth Day event at the Manitowoc-Two Rivers YMCA in Manitowoc, part of Healthy Kids Day. Staff from LNRP along with Friends of the Manitowoc River Watershed volunteers represented our other Manitowoc County friend groups as well, the Friends of Hika Bay, the Branch River Watershed, the Twin (East and West) Rivers; and three regional partners, the Niagara Escarpment Resource Network, Lakeshore Invasive Species Management Area, and Lake Michigan Stakeholders.
Several hundred participants and their children passed through the Y gymnasium. The LNRP table offered kids a chance to ‘fish’ by magnet to discover an interesting fact about Lake Michigan on the back of the paper fish, as well as learn about our events, projects and activities. The event organizer thanked LNRP for participating this year.
LNRP would like to thank the volunteers who took time out of a beautiful Saturday to help us plant trees and educate kids at both events.
Earth Day was founded in 1970 by former Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson. Every year since, communities celebrate April 22 around the globe, recognizing our need to conserve and protect our air, lands and water. Ironically, many of the same threats to our natural resources continue to this day. The hope is that community efforts such as these will continue and grow, spawning concrete actions citizens can take to improve the health of our environment and ourselves.
Successful Third Annual Climate Forum!
On May 7, the Climate Change Coalition of Door County (CCCDC) hosted its third annual Climate Forum at the Stone Harbor Resort in Sturgeon Bay. This year’s event brought together more than 100 supporters, interested citizens and policymakers to discuss environmental and human health implications related to changing weather patterns, steps forward in transitioning from our carbon-based energy systems, and how to optimize water and energy management with our waste water treatment plants. Businesses in the region showed their growing support by signing a climate declaration that has now grown to over 80 participants with almost 50 new signatures since last year’s forum.
This annual event is intended to increase awareness of the impacts of climate change on Door County and beyond and to foster discussion among community leaders and interested members of the public on cooperative actions to address those impacts.
This year’s panel of engaging speakers included Jonathan Patz, Director of the Global Health Institute at University of Wisconsin-Madison, a public health scientist and Nobel Prize winning author, who discussed the extreme implications for crops, environment, urban heat islands, severe droughts and flooding, as well as the human health threats from air pollution, diseases, crop failures, mental health, while offering concrete and hopeful solutions.
Rolf Nordstrom, President and CEO of the Great Plains Institute, discussed why the conversion from a carbon-based energy system is inevitable and profitable despite seeming impossible. He asserted some of the same reasons for hopeful optimism as Dr. Patz with his Institute’s initiative, the ‘cycle of energy diplomacy,’ using convening, informing, agreeing and acting as their focus.
He said that hope lies in the $1.3 trillion global clean energy industry whose growth is up 14% in the US market, a rate of increase 5 times that of the economy, and now greater than the airline industry, equal to pharmaceuticals, and just below consumer electronics in size. He’s optimistic with the recent Paris global agreement on climate, renewable costs decreasing dramatically, consumer demand growing, the ‘grand bargain’ and scale of needed investment creating opportunity for business and industry.
Kevin Shafer, Executive Director of the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewage District (MMSD) had his epiphany moment with the extreme flooding in July 2010, leading him to address ways to manage stormwater with a changing climate regardless of the cause. He’s on a mission to protect the public and Lake Michigan with 300 miles of sewers, two water reclamation facilities (Jones Island and South Shore) combined sewer and wastewater, and the ‘best investment’ MMSD has made in the 300’ deep tunnel for stormwater capturing and cleaning 98.3% of it.
A focus on ethics with Pope Francis’ Encyclical also gives us hope, bringing global awareness and success to the recent climate treaty. At the Paris meeting (COP21), 147 heads of state were present with a new record of 183 countries now committed to reducing energy by 25-64% in each locale.
The take home message of this year’s forum gave participants hope that we have a golden opportunity to reduce health care costs while creating business opportunities in clean water and alternative/complementary energy production.
Ledge Tours at Killsnake Marsh and Breaking Bread in the Holy Land
LNRP board member Rock Anderson, Chilton native and local river rat, guided participants on a serene paddle of the Killsnake River in Calumet and Manitowoc Counties on Saturday, May 21.
The beautiful Killsnake River and Marsh complex is seated on top of the Niagara Cuesta. Part of the 7,000‐acre Killsnake State Wildlife Area, this hidden gem’s subtle presence belies its vast expanse and importance for wildlife habitat and water quality. Thanks to its old grassy fields, numerous wetland and prairie restorations by the Wisconsin DNR, an increasing number of grassland birds and mammals enjoy its habitat and continue to grow in number and species.
Anderson shared stories about the Killsnake Marsh, his favorite preserve. When he worked for the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, Anderson developed a large waterfowl impoundment in 2007. Throughout the paddle, his reflections on the geology, history, and management of the area enlightened and entertained paddlers. Their journey took place during the height of the nesting season, allowing participants to view ospreys, shorebirds and waterfowl.
On Tuesday, June 14, 27 lucky participants were able to tour four local churches constructed from the rock substrate of the Niagara Escarpment. Participants enjoyed a unique and very special look at the cultural history associated with Wisconsin’s Niagara Escarpment. This was a rare opportunity for a guided bus tour of these historic churches located within the “Holyland” of Calumet and Fond du Lac counties.
Tour leaders discussed how the landscape was settled and why these churches were placed in such prominent locations atop this formidable geologic feature. The tour ended with dinner at the renowned Roepke’s Village Inn in Charlesburg where participants enjoyed an authentic Wisconsin supper club experience!
Order Your Tickets: 7th Annual Chautauqua Barn Dance September 24, 2016
Please join us for the 7th Annual Partnering for Progress Chautauqua and Barn Dance to once again celebrate Wisconsin farms, locally sourced food, and healthy urban and rural communities. The annual event will run from 4 to 10:30 p.m., Saturday, September 24, at the historic Saxon Homestead Farm in Cleveland, Wisconsin, located near the Lake Michigan shore in southern Manitowoc County.
The theme for this year’s Chautauqua presentation will feature the Future of Farming with keynote speaker Dick Cates, Director of the School for Beginning Dairy and Livestock Farmers, and additional presentations by Julie Mauer (President) and Melissa Bender (Executive Director) for the Wisconsin Agricultural Education Center.
Event proceeds benefit Partnering for Progress, a collaboration of three non-profits: Gathering Waters, the Lakeshore Natural Resource Partnership and the Wisconsin School for Beginning Dairy and Livestock Farmers. The cost of admission includes is as follows: $10 for students, $30 for an individual adult, and $50 per couple, which includes membership to LNRP and Gathering Waters. Musical entertainment in the fully restored Saxon Homestead barn will be provided by local favorite, Buffalo Joe.
Catering with an expanded assortment of locally sourced food will be provided by the Lakeshore Technical College Culinary Institute with instructors Kevin Kincaid, Rufina Garay, and Nate Meinnert and their students joining David Hansmann from Generations, and Tracy Leonard from Rosemary Gourmet. Tom Tittl will once again be serving his sought-after pizzas during the dance. Beer, wine, and refreshments will be provided by 3 Sheeps Brewery, Trout Springs Winery, and Terra Verde Coffeehouse.
For more information and to order tickets, visit www.lnrp.org/barndance, or contact Jenn, (920) 627-1799, or jenn@LNRP.org.
2016 Lake Michigan Champions of Conservation Announced
The Lake Michigan Stakeholders and Lakeshore Natural Resource Partnership congratulate all nominees and recipients of the 2016 Champions of Conservation awards. This environmental award program recognizes and honors the outstanding achievements of the following: 1) individuals, 2) businesses, 3) community organizations, and 4) policy makers.
||Individual Award, Water Resources Protection: John Kennedy formerly from NEW Water in Green Bay, for his vision to launch, maintain, and grow one of the largest freshwater databases on the Great Lakes. His data monitoring program is celebrating 30 years of monitoring the lower Fox River and lower Green Bay water quality. This monitoring program has helped us understand the leading water quality issues in this region;
||Business Award, Water Resources Protection: Stantec Consulting Services for creating partnerships in several local and regional projects and initiatives where they provide much of the “sweat equity” necessary to get projects off the ground including grant writing and necessary background for funding. Stantec staff Jon Gumtow and Melissa Curran also led meetings which brought together the various stakeholders representing community organizations and NGOs, state and federal agencies, and concerned citizens to clarify the needs, process, solutions, planning, etc. for all these projects. Jon and Melissa have been an asset as consultants on many of LNRP’s and Woodland Dunes Nature Center and Preserve’s initiatives and programs;
||Community Organization Award, Water Resources Protection: Lakeshore Tae Kwon Do, represented by Mark Weber, for their community-minded assistance with beach clean ups with the Friends of the Manitowoc River Watershed, bringing an average of 30 helpers twice a year since 2012 to clean area beaches of litter at Red Arrow Park. In addition, when improvements were made to the beach through the City of Manitowoc, Lakeshore Tae Kwon Do stepped up to help restore the beach grass to improve habitat;
||Policy Maker, Land Use Protection and Habitat Restoration: Port Washington Mayor Tom Mlada for his instrumental role in several recent successful large-scale initiatives to improve and protect Lake Michigan natural and cultural resources in the City of Port Washington, Ozaukee County, and the Lake Michigan basin. Mayor Mlada was a central figure in the development, advocacy and submittal of an extremely competitive Mid-Lake Michigan National Marine Sanctuary proposal to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Each year, the committee faces a daunting challenge to select the winners from an inspiring array of nominees, and this year was no exception. Awards will be presented over lunch at Lake Michigan Day, Friday, August 12, Wisconsin Maritime Museum, Manitowoc, as well as recognizing all nominees for their extensive efforts to improve the quality of Wisconsin’s Lake Michigan basin and the waters that drain into the lake.
LNRP Allocates Stewardship Fund
Thanks to investments from several major funders, the Lakeshore Natural Resource Partnership created a 2016 stewardship fund that allowed us to distribute monies to worthy projects throughout the Lakeshore region. A complete list of funders and projects will come soon as some allocations are still pending.
We focused on water quality improvements in three areas: 1) Water Resources Protection for projects that monitor or improve streams, rivers, lakes or wetlands; 2) Environmental Education and Outreach covering projects that establish or improve communication and education about water quality issues for the general public, youth and stewardship programs; and 3) Land-Use Protection and Habitat Restoration funding projects that focus on improving land development decisions to restore or protect water quality.
Our main objective is to promote LNRP’s mission, ‘Cultivating Community and Stewardship from the Ledge to the Lakeshore,’ by strengthening and building our local and regional partners with this financial support.
With these investments, we aim to cultivate a water ethic that recognizes the reliance of local economies, human health, and social values on our irreplaceable freshwater resources.
LNRP’s underlying campaign “We All Live on the Water” was initially launched with Wisconsin Coastal Management Funds in 2006 and continued as a seminar series, a signage program, and served as a primary theme of outreach and advocacy. We are now leveraging this campaign as the structural framework of a water ethic that in 2013 helped establish the Lakeshore Water Institute in collaboration with the University of Wisconsin-Manitowoc. This collaboration is currently leading us to our fourth Lakeshore Water Summit on October 12, 2016. The summit presents to the community annual water quality findings and trends from extensive sampling in Manitowoc County creeks conducted by student interns.
Friend Group Updates
The Forest Recovery Project and Climate Change Coalition of Door County joined forces with The Nature Conservancy of Wisconsin to celebrate community and Earth Day during an entire week of activities! Gibraltar and Sturgeon Bay high school students and community volunteers planted 3,000 trees in Door County, along with 5,000 seedlings planted by machine at TNC’s Mink River Preserve. Over 70 volunteers came together around the county to help enhance the region’s water, air and land. (See article on Earth Day in this issue.)
Friends of Crescent Beach
As summer temperatures rise, so do the number of visitors to Algoma’s Crescent Beach. FOCB volunteers continue their efforts to ensure their beach is a healthy and welcoming place to visit.
Area Boy Scouts helped prepare Crescent Beach for summer by participating in their annual spring beach cleanup June 4 along with an Eagle Scout project to provide new trash/recycling containers, supported in part by FOCB. The scouts submitted the data regarding the debris they collected to the Alliance for the Great Lakes Adopt-a-Beach program.
FOCB also coordinated with area teachers an opportunity for high school students to tidy up the beach and collect water quality data on the last day of school.
Donalea Dinsmore, Wisconsin DNR BEACH Act Program Coordinator, and Carrie Webb, DNR Water Regulations and Zoning Specialist, accepted the group’s invitation to visit Algoma in June. City officials, representatives of community organizations and interested citizens appreciated the information they shared about how to help their beach.
Equipped with beach cleanup kits supplied by FOCB, volunteers will conduct weekend beach walks throughout the summer months to keep the beach looking its best and to alert the City about any issues needing attention.
However, it is not “all work and no play” for this group. Watch for colorful kites to fill the sky over Crescent Beach once again on August 20 at the 2nd annual Soar on the Shore kite event presented by the Friends of Crescent Beach and the Algoma Area Chamber of Commerce. New this year will be the addition of a DJ to announce events and provide music, a kite candy drop for kids, a beach mosaic area and an evening sky lantern launch. Watch for details on the FOCB website and Facebook.
With Lake Michigan’s calm waves as their backdrop, the Friends of Hika Bay spent a warm and breezy spring morning digging holes, planting, mulching and watering trees and shrubs at Hika Park. New and old volunteers came together to plant a pollinator mix to attract a diversity of butterflies, insects and birds to this rare spot on the lakeshore.
The group would also like to thank Michaeleen Golay for all of her tremendous efforts and expertise with projects, planning and enhancing their community and wish her the best in her new endeavors.
The Friends of the Manitowoc River Watershed collected 50 pounds of litter and a huge water-logged sofa during their annual Manitowoc River cleanup on June 4. The volunteers found the typical debris until one paddler spied the sofa in the water and wondered how they were going to remove it from the river. After about an hour, they were able to cut off the cushions and balance it on the canoe. Once they stabilized it, they paddled back to Schuette Park and managed to get it on shore. The person who found the sofa is handicapped and was using the FMRW’s new kayak launch for the first time which allowed him to participate fully in the cleanup effort.
On June 22, co-founder Kim Kettner, Sara Schuetze, Connie Specht and several members of the Friend group joined three staff members of the Manitowoc Chamber of Commerce, City Council members, LNRP Executive Director Jim Kettler, Chad Scheinoha from the City of Manitowoc Department of Public Infrastructure along with 10 kayakers from the Manitowoc-Two Rivers YMCA Teen Leaders Summer Program to dedicate the new ADA-compliant kayak launch installed last fall at Lower Schuette Park.
At the Friends of the Branch River Watershed’s first spring event in April at Reedsville High School for Earth Day, they hosted the Fox Valley Herp Club. Thirty-eight kids enjoyed checking out the snakes, lizards, and turtles under the Club’s guidance.
Their first brat fry of the season on July 1 was a huge success with funds supporting the Vicky Mayer Memorial Youth Scholarship Fund and youth programs. The group gave away trees to new and existing members before planting the rest on the waste management landfill site.
The group welcomes their new President, Al Klingeisen, and interim Treasurer, Charlie Geiger. New director positions were granted to Tom Ward and John Meyer.
Friends of the Twin Rivers organized their first beach cleanup effort June 4 on Wayside Beach North on Memorial Drive in Two Rivers. Group leaders reported their successful results to the Alliance for the Great Lakes, collecting 60 pounds of debris from the Lake Michigan shoreline. Among the trash, they found food wrappers, cigarette butts, bottle caps, balloons, straws and stirrers.
The Sheboygan River Basin Partnership had 63 volunteers clean up part of the Sheboygan River on a beautiful spring Saturday in April. Participants cleaned up debris by foot, kayak and canoe to enhance the river. The group also organizes regular invasive species pulling events during which they’ve collected over 100 bags of garlic mustard.
LNRP Welcomes Sara Schuetze to Our Board of Directors
A native of Manitowoc, Sara’s concern for the environment inspired her to join like-minded people involved with our local partner, the Friends of the Manitowoc River Watershed. Along with other volunteers from FMRW, she is also active with the Adopt-a-Park program in her community, and helps to care for Lower Schuette Park, a city park situated on the Manitowoc River.
Sara works in the library department of the Manitowoc Public School District. She is looking forward to being on LNRP’s Board to network with others who share her concern for water quality and environmental issues. All of us at LNRP are very happy to have Sara join us!
Partners Host Successful Healthy Wetlands Workshop
On June 4, a number of partners came together to host a day-long landowner workshop on the topic of creating healthy wetlands. This event took place at the Woodland Dunes Nature Center in Two Rivers. Partners included the Wisconsin Wetlands Association, Lakeshore Natural Resource Partnership, Natural Resource Conservation Service, the Wisconsin Waterfowl Association, Stantec Consulting Services, Glacial Lakes Conservancy, and Woodland Dunes.
The workshop focused on private individuals and families who own wetlands and are interested in doing more to maintain and improve the health of those wetlands. The presentations provided practical information about 1) how to identify wetlands on their property, 2) the different wetland types found in Wisconsin, and 3) actions one can take to maintain and improve wetland health.
Participants also were able to spend time in the field with wetland experts discussing options for improving wetland health and function at a Woodland Dunes site. Throughout the day, landowners learned about local opportunities for continued learning and support from the partnership team. As one participant stated, "I’m here to connect with folks that face the same challenges with their wetlands and to get advice from the experts."
The overall presentation drew on information from My Healthy Wetland: A Handbook for Wetland Owners (eastern edition), which was published in 2014 by the Wisconsin Wetlands Association. Katie Beilfuss, Outreach Programs Director at Wisconsin Wetlands Association, led the workshop planning. She coordinates WWA's Private Landowner Outreach Program among other responsibilities, and enjoys helping landowners connect with information and resources to help them care for their wetlands. Katie was joined by Tracy Hames, Executive Director of the Wisconsin Wetlands Association, who shared his extensive experience as a waterfowl biologist and wetland restoration practitioner.
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