Community Rivers Program 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.

The Community Rivers Program takes a three-pronged approach to….

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.

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

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

120+

programs offered (all communities, all years, combined)

3,100+

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

45+

rain barrels installed

30+

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:

CRP Lecture Series: Restoring our waterways – the problems with Invasive Species

Tuesday, February 21st from 6:00-7:30pm at the Riveredge Nature Center Barn
Purple Loosestrife, Buckthorn, Rusty Crayfish.. What do all these species have in common? They are invasive and can wreak havoc on our native ecosystems! Join us to learn how to identify some of the invasive aquatic and plant species within the Milwaukee River Basin. You’ll not only find out how to identify species, but how to prevent them from spreading further and what management techniques can help control them. Registration can be found here.

The Village of Newburg

Storm Drain Stenciling in Newburg

Tuesday, April 11th from 4:30-6:30pm, 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 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.. Please use the Google Form to register.

The Village of Saukville

The Village of Grafton

Winter Senses Hike

Sunday, January 15th from 10:00-11:30am at Lime Kiln Park, Grafton (Reschedule date: 2/5)

Join a Riveredge Educator on a wintery morning hike along the Milwaukee River at Lime Kiln Park! This is a family-friendly hike where we will look for patterns in the snow, listen to the winter “creak sounds”, search for animal tracks, and even play a game or two! Children must be over the age of 6 and accompanied by an adult. Pre-registration is required. Depending on the weather and snow cover, this hike may include strapping on snowshoes or venturing out on your own feet, but either way we will practice our hiking and nature identification skills while on the trails! Space is limited to 15 participants. Visit the Grafton Parks & Recreation Department Activity Guide to register.

The Village of Fredonia

Winter Senses Hike

Sunday, February 19th from 1:00-2:30pm at Waubedonia Park, Fredonia

Join a Riveredge Educator on a wintery hike along the Milwaukee River at Waubedonia Park! This is a family-friendly hike where we will look for patterns in the snow, listen to the winter “creak sounds”, search for animal tracks, and even play a game or two! Children must be over the age of 6 and accompanied by an adult. Pre-registration is required. Depending on the weather and snow cover, this hike may include strapping on snowshoes or venturing out on your own feet, but either way we will practice our hiking and nature identification skills while on the trails! Space is limited to 15 participants. Please use the Google Form to register.

The Village of Kewaskum

Winter Senses Hike

Sunday, February 19th from 10:00-11:30am at River Hill Park, Kewaskum

Join a Riveredge Educator on a wintery morning hike along the Milwaukee River at River Hill Park! This is a family-friendly hike where we will look for patterns in the snow, listen to the winter “creak sounds”, search for animal tracks, and even play a game or two! Children must be over the age of 6 and accompanied by an adult. Pre-registration is required. Depending on the weather and snow cover, this hike may include strapping on snowshoes or venturing out on your own feet, but either way we will practice our hiking and nature identification skills while on the trails! Space is limited to 15 participants. Please use the Google Form to register.


  • Our Impact

    View the most recent Community Rivers Program Impact Report

    Impact Report 2021-2022
  • Questions? Contact Patricia Scuglik

    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