Community

Rivers

Program

river

Coming Together For Clean Water

We all benefit from having clean and healthy rivers. That's why we're coming together as a community to take positive actions towards improving the health and quality of the Milwaukee River for generations to come.

The Need

NEW FOCUS

Pollution continues to be a serious concern in the Milwaukee River, with our friends at Milwaukee Riverkeeper recently giving the overall health of the river a "D+" on their 2019 report card, dropping from the C- grade in 2017. While the overall health grade of the river has declined, amazing efforts are still being made in Milwaukee's urban areas to improve the health of the river, but less attention has been paid to rural and suburban parts of the watershed. We know making a river that is swimmable, fishable, and liveable for all requires the cooperation and effort of all communities along its banks, and we want to help do just that.

THE MISSION

Connecting rural and suburban communities with their watershed to inspire appreciation, educate, and enable positive land management changes.

THE VISION

Healthier ecosystems and communities within the Upper Milwaukee River Watershed.

How It Works

In each Healthy River Community, we're taking a three-pronged approach to transforming a community's relationship with the Milwaukee River. Ultimately, we hope to develop a model that is replicable across the region, creating long term sustainability in the health of the Milwaukee River watershed. In each participating community, we'll work to:

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Inspire

We protect the things we care about. That's why one of the first steps of the project is reaching out to residents and helping them to develop a passion for and connection with the Milwaukee River watershed right in their own backyards! From kayaking programs to community-wide festivals to watershed tours, we want to make sure everyone sees and feels the incredible value of being a healthy Milwaukee River community.

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Inform

We know most people want to make a difference, and that often the only thing holding them back is the knowledge of what they can do. That's why we'll be offering one-on-one property consultations, property owner workshops, family friendly programming and more that makes the problems (and more importantly, their solutions!) easy to understand and act on.

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Engage

Working hand in hand with residents, land owners, elected officials, scientists, and stakeholder groups, we'll coordinate programs, discussions, trainings, and resources aimed at empowering communities and their residents to implement best practices for keeping their river healthy and clean. This isn't top-down regulation, but instead bottom-up change emanating from community members working together to design a plan that best fits their own town, village, or city.

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Where we're headed.

In 2017, we launched the Community Rivers Program with our neighbors in the Village of Newburg, the first Healthy River Community in the state. In 2018, we were pleased to have the Villages of Saukville and Grafton join Newburg, and in the summer of 2020, the Villages of Fredonia and Kewaskum joined the Community Rivers family!

We won't be stopping there, however! The Community Rivers Program will continue to work hand-in-hand with new towns, villages, or cities to become a Healthy River Community and to inspire new connections with and care for their stretch of the Milwaukee River.

Click HERE to view our 2020 Impact Report.

Upcoming Events

Ready to join the excitement? We are planning 2021/22 events for our Healthy River Communities and here is a sneak peek of some of the upcoming programs. The best part? All activities are FREE to CRP residents. Keep checking for updates on events as the seasons change.

Want to stay updated on all the fun? Sign up here for the Community Rivers email list and we'll share upcoming events!

You can also check our Facebook page for more information on upcoming events!

**Events are for those residing in the Villages of Newburg, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, and Kewaskum

CRP residents are invited to the upcoming programs...

 

All CRP Villages

 

Watershed Bus Tour

Saturday, September 18th from 9:00 - 3:00 PM, Departing from Riveredge Nature Center

Jump on a bus with the Community Rivers Program to see the Milwaukee River Watershed from a new perspective! This exclusive tour experience involves barnstorming sections of the river to visit the Fredonia Wastewater Treatment Facility, the Paulus Dairy Farm, and Bratt Woods Preserve highlighting local actions for the betterment of the Milwaukee River! Lunch will be provided and bus travel space is limited to 13 individuals. We hope you can join us!

Registration form can be found here

 

Village of Newburg

 

Storm Drain Stenciling

Tuesday, October 19th from 4:30 - 6:30 PM, Meeting at Newburg Community Center

As the seasons change, have you ever wondered what happens to the leaves after they fall? Join the Community Rivers Program for a storm drain cleanup and stenciling to prevent this ‘leaf litter’ from leaching excess phosphorus and nitrogen into our waterways. Along the way, you will learn more about how this process impacts aquatic critters and plants. Sign up as a family, a group, or an individual; we provide the supplies and you provide the manpower! Children must be over the age of 6 and be accompanied by an adult.

Registration Form can be found here

 

Water Trivia Night

Wednesday, November 17th from 6:30 - 8:00 PM at Newburg Community Center

Join the Community Rivers Program and the Newburg Community Center for a fun evening of water trivia! Show off your nature smarts as you compete with other CRP residents in this competitive water-centered event. Prizes for 1st and 2nd place! Space is limited - so sign-up early! Teams are not necessary but encouraged if you have friends and family that want to participate.

Registration form can be found here.

 

Village of Saukville

 

Storm Drain Stenciling

Tuesday, September 28th from 4:30 - 6:30 PM, Meeting at Veterans Park

As the seasons change, have you ever wondered what happens to the leaves after they fall? Join the Community Rivers Program for a storm drain cleanup and stenciling to prevent this ‘leaf litter’ from leaching excess phosphorus and nitrogen into our waterways. Along the way, you will learn more about how this process impacts aquatic critters and plants. Sign up as a family, a group, or an individual; we provide the supplies and you provide the manpower! Children must be over the age of 6 and be accompanied by an adult.

Registration form can be found here

 

River History Day

Saturday, October 16th from 10:00 - 3:00 PM, At Saukville Historical Society Crossroads Museum, 200 N. Mill St.

Join the Community Rivers Program and Saukville Historical Society for a free family-friendly event highlighting the importance of the Milwaukee River to the community of Saukville in the past, present and future.  The event will feature hands-on activities for children, speakers, tours of the 1915 Firehouse (including a photo opportunity with a vintage pumper truck!) at Crossroads Museum, a DPW demonstration, food like fry bread and much more!

 

Water Trivia Night

Wednesday, November 17th from 6:30 - 8:00 PM at Newburg Community Center

Join the Community Rivers Program and the Newburg Community Center for a fun evening of water trivia! Show off your nature smarts as you compete with other CRP residents in this competitive water-centered event. Prizes for 1st and 2nd place! Space is limited - so sign-up early! Teams are not necessary but encouraged if you have friends and family that want to participate.

Registration form can be found here.

 

Village of Grafton

 

Storm Drain Stenciling

Tuesday, October 5th from 4:30 - 6:30 PM, Meeting near the stage at Paramount Plaza

As the seasons change, have you ever wondered what happens to the leaves after they fall? Join the Community Rivers Program for a storm drain cleanup and stenciling to prevent this ‘leaf litter’ from leaching excess phosphorus and nitrogen into our waterways. Along the way, you will learn more about how this process impacts aquatic critters and plants. Sign up as a family, a group, or an individual; we provide the supplies and you provide the manpower! Children must be over the age of 6 and be accompanied by an adult.

Registration Form can be found here OR through the Grafton Parks & Rec Activity Booklet

 

Water Trivia Night

Tuesday, December 7th from 6:00 - 7300 PM at Grafton U.S.S. Liberty Memorial Public Library

Join the Community Rivers Program and the Grafton Library for a fun evening of water trivia! Show off your nature smarts as you compete with other CRP residents in this competitive water-centered event. Prizes for 1st and 2nd place! Space is limited - so sign-up early! Teams are not necessary but encouraged if you have friends and family that want to participate.

Registration form can be found here.

 

Village of Fredonia

 

Storm Drain Stenciling

Tuesday, October 12th from 4:30 - 6:30 PM, Meeting at Garton Company Furniture Store parking

As the seasons change, have you ever wondered what happens to the leaves after they fall? Join the Community Rivers Program for a storm drain cleanup and stenciling to prevent this ‘leaf litter’ from leaching excess phosphorus and nitrogen into our waterways. Along the way, you will learn more about how this process impacts aquatic critters and plants. Sign up as a family, a group, or an individual; we provide the supplies and you provide the manpower! Children must be over the age of 6 and be accompanied by an adult.

Registration form can be found here

 

 

Village of Kewaskum

 

 

Storm Drain Stenciling

Tuesday, October 26th from 4:30 - 6:30 PM, Location to TBD

As the seasons change, have you ever wondered what happens to the leaves after they fall? Join the Community Rivers Program for a storm drain cleanup and stenciling to prevent this ‘leaf litter’ from leaching excess phosphorus and nitrogen into our waterways. Along the way, you will learn more about how this process impacts aquatic critters and plants. Sign up as a family, a group, or an individual; we provide the supplies and you provide the manpower! Children must be over the age of 6 and be accompanied by an adult.

Registration form can be found here

 

Water Trivia Night

Tuesday, December 14th from 6:00 - 7:30 PM at Kewaskum Public Library

Join the Community Rivers Program and the Kewaskum Public Library for a fun evening of water trivia! Show off your nature smarts as you compete with other CRP residents in this competitive water-centered event. Prizes for 1st and 2nd place! Space is limited - so sign-up early! Teams are not necessary but encouraged if you have friends and family that want to participate.

Registration form can be found here.

Do you belong to a service club or school group?

If you have a school or club group looking for a fun activity to do and want to help the Milwaukee River, we will work with you to schedule storm drain stenciling, river cleanups, or other service projects that will help keep your community a Healthy River Community.

FREE Yard or Land Assessment

The Community Rivers Program is offering FREE 1 hour land consultations of any size residential property in all five CRP participating communities- Newburg, Grafton, Saukville, Fredonia, and Kewaskum.

If you are interested please contact: Matt Smith | Land Manager | msmith@riveredge.us | (262) 375-2715 ext 147

Let's connect!

If you have any questions regarding the Community Rivers Program, would like more information, or want to get involved, please let us know! You can use this contact form to get in touch or you can reach out to Patricia Gerber, Riveredge's Community Rivers Coordinator, at (262)375-2715. We look forward to connecting with you!

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The Community Rivers Program is an initiative of...