Coming Together For Clean Water

The Need

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 “C-” on their 2020 report card, improving from the D+ grade in 2019.

The overall health grade of the Milwaukee River is increasing thanks to amazing efforts being made throughout the entire Basin to improve the health quality, but less attention has been paid to rural and suburban parts of the watershed where our Healthy River Communities are located.

We know making a river that is swimmable, fishable, and liveable for all requires the cooperation and effort of every community along its riverbanks, and we want to help do just that.

Communities located in the Upper Milwaukee River Watershed are invited to join the Community Rivers Program and become a Healthy River Community!

Inspire

We protect the things we care about. From kayaking programs to community-wide festivals to watershed tours, we want to make sure everyone sees and feels the incredible value of caring for our Milwaukee River and being a Healthy River Community.

Inform

Partnering communities are provided 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.

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 is bottom-up change emanating from community members working together to design a plan that best fits their own town, village, or city.

5 years

of partnering with rural communities to create healthier ecosystems and communities

5 Healthy River Communities

The Villages of Newburg, Saukville, Grafton, Kewaskum, and Fredonia

“I’ve never kayaked the Milwaukee River before and I was amazed with how beautiful it is. Getting in the river helped me appreciate the need to keep it clean and free of pollutants.”

– CRP Kayaking Participant

110+

programs offered (all communities, all years, combined)

3,000+

resident participants

“We are so grateful for the rain barrel we received, especially this year. It was very easy to install and it is hidden amongst our raspberry bushes!”

– CRP Rain Barrel Workshop Participant

65+

of rain barrels installed

25+

stewardship projects completed in communities…everything from river clean-ups to water monitoring to prairie plantings!

50+

hours of land management consultations provided community residents

Upcoming CRP Events

Free Programming For All CRP Villages:

Storm Drain Stenciling in the Village of Grafton

Tuesday, April 19th from 4:30-6:30PM at Paramount Plaza, Grafton

The week of April 18th is a busy week! Water Week starts April 15th and Earth Day is on Friday the 22nd! Join the Community Rivers Program for a storm drain cleanup and stenciling evening to help improve our freshwater and Milwaukee River health. As leaves fall throughout the year, this ‘leaf litter’ can leach excess nutrients, phosphorus and nitrogen, into our waterways and negatively impact the lives of aquatic critters, plants, and our communities. Sign up to participate in this fun, educational activity as a family, a group, or an individual; we provide the supplies and you provide the manpower! Please wear clothing and shoes that you are comfortable getting dirty. Children must be over the age of 6 and accompanied by an adult. Registration is through the Grafton Parks & Recreation Department Activity Guide.

Rain Barrel Workshop

Thursday, April 21st from 6:00-7:30PM at Riveredge Nature Center Barn
Riveredge Nature Center and the Community Rivers Program wants to help our communities take action to manage storm-water and improve water quality. Families are invited to learn about some backyard green infrastructure through the use of rain barrels. Simple step-by-step instructions on how to set up and then put your rain barrel to use will be provided. 1 barrel per household. Rain barrels are limited to the first 20 families registered. Individuals who are interested in this topic can still attend and learn even though they may not be able to go home with a rain barrel. Pre-registration is required in advance and can be found here.

Milwaukee riverkeeper spring cleanup

Saturday, April 23rd from 9:00-12:00PM, Various site locations
Join the Community Rivers Program at one of our four site locations along the northern portion of the Milwaukee River to pick up litter and improve the health of the river! Site locations are Fireman’s Park in Newburg, Peninsula Park in Saukville, Lime Kiln Park in Grafton, and Waubedonia Park in Fredonia. Registration is through Milwaukee Riverkeeper.

The Village of Newburg

Community Conversation about the Milwaukee River

Tuesday, May 10th, 5:30-7:00PM at Fireman’s Park (look for the CRP sign)
Bring a picnic dinner and join us for a Community Conversation about our Milwaukee River along the Milwaukee River! This is an open conversation to share thoughts and concerns regarding the health and quality of this local freshwater resource. We’ll identify issues and
connections to the Milwaukee River and the Milwaukee River Watershed as a whole and develop strategies for reaching future aspirations. This event is free and for the Village of Newburg residents. Pre-registration is not required.

Paddling the Milwaukee River

Sunday, June 12th from 1:00-5:00PM, Starting at Fireman’s Park and ending at Hwy A
Paddling takes a mix of knowledge and skills! Village of Newburg residents are invited to join a Riveredge Adventure Guide starting at Firemen’s Park for an unforgettable evening paddling experience that will begin with safety and end with a splash! Kayaking will end near Highway A. The best part? Newburg residents will have the chance to learn about their river and do it for free! We will use 1 person kayaks. Ages 10+. Space is limited to 12 people. Pre-registration is required and can be found here.

The Village of Saukville

Tubing the Milwaukee River

Friday, June 10th from 5:00-7:00PM at Ehlers County Park
Hop on inner tubes and float down the Milwaukee River in Ehlers County Park! Along the way, we’ll discover the diversity of living things that make their home in the river. Wear sturdy closed toe shoes and clothing that can get wet. Children must be older than 7 and accompanied by an adult. This event is free and for the Village of Saukville Residents only. Pre-registration is required and can be found here.

Family Fishing Fun

Thursday, July 7th from 5:00-7:00PM at Ehlers County Park
Spend the afternoon on the banks of the Milwaukee River at Ehlers County Park with a pole in your hand and hopefully a few bites on your line! Learn how to tie a hook on your line, bait your hook, and safely cast your line into the water. With the assistance of a CRP team member, we will try to catch and identify the fish before releasing them back into their home: The Milwaukee River. Bait and poles provided on a first come, first serve basis or feel free to bring your own. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Children 16 and under do not require a fishing license. Pre-registration is not required.

The Village of Grafton

Community Conversation about the Milwaukee River

Thursday, May 26th, 5:30-7:00PM at U.S.S. Liberty Memorial Public Library Grafton
Join us for a Community Conversation about our Milwaukee River at the local Grafton library! This is an open conversation to share thoughts and concerns regarding the health and quality of this local freshwater resource. We’ll identify issues and connections to the Milwaukee River and the Milwaukee River Watershed as a whole and develop strategies for reaching future aspirations. This event is free and for the Village of Grafton residents. Pre-registration is not required.

Kayaking the Milwaukee River

Friday, June 3rd from 5:00-7:00PM and Sunday, August 7th from 1:00-3:00PM both at Veterans Memorial Park
Paddling takes a mix of knowledge and skills! Village of Grafton residents are invited to join a Riveredge Adventure Guide at Veterans Memorial Park for an unforgettable evening paddling experience that will begin with safety and end with a splash! The best part? Grafton residents will have the chance to learn about their river and do it for free! We will use 1 person kayaks. Ages 10+. Space is limited to 12 people. Pre-registration is required and can be found through the Village of Grafton Parks and Recreation Department Activity Guide.

Family Fishing Fun

Thursday, July 21st from 1:00-3:00PM at Veterans Memorial Park
Spend the afternoon on the banks of the Milwaukee River at Veterans Memorial Park with a pole in your hand and hopefully a few bites on your line! Learn how to tie a hook on your line, bait your hook, and safely cast your line into the water. With the assistance of a CRP team member, we will try to catch and identify the fish before releasing them back into their home: The Milwaukee River. Bait and poles provided on a first come, first serve basis or feel free to bring your own. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Children 16 and under do not require a fishing license. Pre-registration is required and can be found through the Village of Grafton Parks and Recreation Department Activity Guide.

The Village of Fredonia

Paddling the Milwaukee River

Friday, June 24th from 5:00-8:00PM, Starting at Waubedonia Park and ending at Ehlers County Park
Paddling takes a mix of knowledge and skills! Village of Fredonia residents are invited to join a Riveredge Adventure Guide starting at Waubedonia Park for an unforgettable evening paddling experience that will begin with safety and end with a splash! Kayaking will end near Ehlers County Park. The best part? Fredonia residents will have the chance to learn about their river and do it for free! We will use 1 person kayaks. Ages 10+. Space is limited to 12 people. Pre-registration is required and can be found here.

Family Fishing Fun

Thursday, July 12th from 51:00-7:00PM at Waubedonia Park
Spend the afternoon on the banks of the Milwaukee River at Waubedonia Park with a pole in your hand and hopefully a few bites on your line! Learn how to tie a hook on your line, bait your hook, and safely cast your line into the water. With the assistance of a CRP team member, we will try to catch and identify the fish before releasing them back into their home: The Milwaukee River. Bait and poles provided on a first come, first serve basis or feel free to bring your own. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Children 16 and under do not require a fishing license. Pre-registration is not required.

The Village of Kewaskum

Community Conversation about the Milwaukee River

Tuesday, May 17th, 5:30-7:00PM at Kewaskum Public Library
Join a Community Conversation about our Milwaukee River at the Kewaskum Public Library! This is an open conversation to share thoughts and concerns regarding the health and quality of this local freshwater resource. We’ll identify issues and connections to the Milwaukee River and the Milwaukee River Watershed as a whole and develop strategies for reaching future aspirations. This event is free and for the Village of Kewaskum residents. Pre-registration is not required.

Paddling the Milwaukee River

Friday, June 24th from 5:00-7:00PM at Lower River Hill Park meeting near the Dam
Paddling takes a mix of knowledge and skills! Village of Kewaskum residents are invited to join a Riveredge Adventure Guide starting at River Hill Park for an unforgettable evening paddling experience that will begin with safety and end with a splash! . The best part? Kewaskum residents will have the chance to learn about their river and do it for free! We will use 1 person kayaks. Ages 10+. Space is limited to 12 people. Pre-registration is required and can be found here.


  • Our Impact

    View the most recent Community Rivers Program Impact Report

    Download
  • Questions? Contact Patricia Gerber

    Watershed Education Manager and Community Rivers Program Coordinator, pgerber@riveredge.us

    Email Patricia

Become a Member

Take advantage of all the benefits of a Riveredge membership year round!

Learn More