Believe it or not, Riveredge Nature Center is older than Earth Day. Every year we celebrate this young buck of a holiday (Riveredge was founded in 1968, Earth Day 1970), which has grown into Earth Week with a variety of projects celebrating the habitat we all share. We like to envision ourselves as celebrating Earth Day everyday and during this time in spring we work to use this time to orient our efforts throughout the warm weather months.
26th Annual Milwaukee Riverkeeper Spring Cleanup
This spring, join together in a community-wide effort across more than 70 locations throughout Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Washington and Waukesha counties to remove over 100,000 pounds of trash from our river system during the 26th Annual Milwaukee Riverkeeper Spring Cleanup! Milwaukee Riverkeeper provides the gloves, trash bags and FREE T-SHIRTS, you provide the people power, and together we will restore our waterways! *Pre-registration is required this year. Click here for more details and registration. Riveredge and Community Rivers Program are overseeing cleanup efforts at Peninsula Park in Saukville, Lime Kiln Park in Grafton, and Upper River Hill Park in Kewaskum.
Riveredge Roadside Cleanup | Tuesday, April 20 4:00pm – 5:30pm
Join the Community Rivers Program team from Riveredge in an effort to clean up HWY Y along Riveredge Property. We’ll provide orange vests and gloves along with guidance. As a group we will walk the roadway to collect any trash that’s accumulated over the winter into spring to keep our environment clean and to prevent the trash from making its way into the Milwaukee River waterway. Pre-registration is required. Space is limited to 30 humans. Appropriate for ages 8 and up. Free to Attend, Click Here to Register
Earth Week in The Riveredge School
When you attend a Nature Based School, Earth Day becomes Earth Week if not Each Year! This year we have planned a bur oak habitat restoration project with the students of the ROLES and Riveredge Nature Center staff. Each class will be creating their own thicket of bur oak trees in select spaces around Riveredge Nature Center and the Yurt Village. During the week of April 19th each class will spend a portion of each school day planting and protecting these groupings of bur oak trees to help insure their survival from a number of animals (namely white tailed deer, rabbits and voles) that selectively browse them. Oak trees are amazing due to the number of insects and bird species that depend upon them. For example, oak trees attract over 250 insect species. They are also so heavily browsed by deer that we have very few young trees staged to succeed in our forest and woodland canopies. We will create observation posts for each planted thicket so that students can document growth and changes over time. These thickets will provide great spaces for hands-on science exploration during their establishment and beyond!
Join the Community Rivers Program with Riveredge Nature Center and our friends from Stantec and SweetWater for an Earth Day storm drain stenciling activity in Grafton on April, 22nd! Storm drain stenciling will be happening from 3 to 6 pm and begin at Veterans Memorial Park. Please wear shoes and clothes you are comfortable walking in and potentially getting paint on. This activity is recommended for ages 9 and up. Free to attend, pre-registration required here.
Land Restoration Projects with Port Washington State Bank
We’re pleased to welcome groups of volunteers from Port Washington State Bank to aid in land restoration projects across the 379 acres of Riveredge Nature Center. If you’re looking for an excellent outdoor team building experience to improve the habitat at Riveredge, please contact Senior Director of Philanthropy & Communications Courtney Rogaczewski at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Plastic Bag and Film Recycling at Riveredge
One of the common misconceptions about plastic bags and films is that they are recyclable; when in fact these plastic pieces aren’t typically recycled and can cause jamming issues with recycling equipment. At Riveredge, however, we’re taking donations of clean bags and plastic films that will be combined to become a bench at Riveredge. The above picture is of our donation box in the front entryway of the Visitor’s Center. Feel free to drop your plastic bags and films in this receptacle and when we eventually have collected enough material it will be repackaged to become a bench. Join us in putting your refuse to good use!
Cedarburg School District and the Riveredge Scientist in Residence
Earth Day is turning into Earth Day Week at CSD. After a year of no structured clean ups due to COVID-19 we are feeling the strong need to clean up the trash that has collected. All three Elementary Schools will be participating in a trash clean up around their schools’ green spaces, surrounding forests, and at a nearby park.
Arbor Day is on April 30th. 4th and 5th graders have been called to action from Cedarburg Green to identify the benefits of trees around the school’s green space! This activity was provided by Cedarburg Greens Focus on the Trees- Walk along Washington from 2020. Students will become scientists by identifying the trees, taking data measurements, and then calculating the benefits of trees!
The aforementioned curriculum is adapted from both Project Learning Tree, LEAF – Wisconsin’s K-12 Forestry Education Program, and Wisconsin Community Tree Map. Students’ data will be turned into tags that students will hang on the trees outside of their school to share with the community. Additionally, 4th & 5th graders will receive free trees from the Fourth grade Arbor Day free tree program and are encouraged to plant them at home. Kevin Westphal of the Cedarburg Forestry Department will visit 4th and 5th grade classes to discuss the benefits of trees, how to plant their trees, and plant some trees on the school grounds with students.
During this time the elementary schools and middle school in Cedarburg have created and will launch their Green Squads. These groups are composed of PTO members, parent volunteers, and teachers. Green Squads will take on projects to enhance and maintain the school green spaces and forests. This group will facilitate school clean up and maintenance days, outdoor education days, and quarterly Story Strolls in the woods! These projects will ensure that forested areas and green spaces are user-friendly for students and teachers to engage in more learning outside.