August 11th, Bill Staines and Dead Horses Concert at the Meyer Theatre (117 S. Washington St.)– This event will be used as a fundraiser for local organizations that encourage high school students to become more involved in monitoring water quality in the tributaries of the Fox River. Keep checking back for more information on the concert details.
August 12-15th, the Aldo Leopold Foundation is holding a conference in Baraboo, WI titled, Building a Land Ethic: Teaching and Learning Across Boundaries. This conference will be a unique professional development opportunity that will convene people from diverse professional and personal backgrounds who share the common goal of wanting to both understand and apply Leopold’s land ethic concept to their work. For more information about the conference, please click on the following link: http://www.aldoleopold.org/Programs/conference.shtml
October 10, 2015, 5K Trail Run/Walk– Join the nearly 400 runners that will take the challenge and tackle “The Big Hill” at Triangle Hill (500 Beverly Road) in the 3rd Annual Run for the Hill of It 5K Trail Run Presented by Nicolet Bank on October 10, 2015. Proceeds from the event directly benefit the Baird Creek Greenway. Check back in early August for registration information.
Last summer Alex Kuepper completed a boardwalk project through a wet and heavily eroded trail area in the Baird Creek Parkway. The boardwalks were built as an Eagle Scout project. Alex began the project in March 2013 and finished in August of 2014. The project required approval of the Green Bay Parks Department, the Baird Creek Preservation Foundation, and the Boy Scouts of America.
Alex said that the most difficult aspect of the project was finishing within the time limits of the grants he received for building materials. Alex received grants from Lowes, Home Depot, and from family members. The boardwalks required over $1,000 of building supplies and took over 150 man-hours of labor to build. There are two boardwalks, one 20 feet long and the other 25 feet, and fencing to steer walkers away from some wet, sensitive locations.
Alex said that the thing that gave him the most satisfaction in the project was seeing the way it turned out, so beautiful and functional at the same time. Several times hikers stopped by and complimented him on the project and made donations for building materials.
If you would like to see this project as well as one built several years earlier by Eagle Scout Chris Harrelson, park at the bottom of Superior Road and hike in on the trail just south of Baird Creek. The boardwalks are about 100 yards in from the trailhead. The one built by Chris is the boardwalk furthest west, and the two by Alex are to the east.
They are both beautiful projects that help protect water quality and plant diversity, as well as enhancing the hiking experience for park users.
Prescribed Burn 2013
This fall, the Baird Creek Preservation Foundation (BCPF), in conjunction with Fox Valley Technical College, the City of Green Bay and Brown County, will be conducting a prescribed burn of a small part of the Baird Creek Greenway.
A prescribed burn is a fire set intentionally to remove accumulated ground litter left from previous years of growth. The benefits of the fire are many: it provides the stimulation necessary for some seeds to germinate; it allows other seeds to reach the ground so they can also germinate; it discourages the growth of cool weather invasive plants; and it recycles nutrients to the soil. Natural fires have been a part of the growth cycle in our area since before recorded history. Prescribed burns have been used for many years by city, county, state, and national park services throughout the country as a way to benefit native plant communities. We are looking forward to bringing the benefits of this tool to Baird Creek.
The BCPF has worked extensively with the Green Bay Parks and Recreation Department and the Fire Department to insure that public safety will be maintained at all times. Because they have the expertise, extensive experience, and specialized equipment necessary to insure safety, instructors and students from the Wild Lands Fire Program at Fox Valley Tech will conduct the actual burn. Members of the BCPF will be stationed at key trail locations to keep any trail users informed of the burn in progress.
The burn area is at the base of the south side of Triangle Hill, just to the west of the area that was burned in 2013. The paved trail provides one of the fire breaks, and the rest of the fire breaks have been cleared by BCPF and the City of Green Bay – and approved by Fox Valley Tech and the Fire Department. The area is approximately 5 acres.
Because the burn requires very specific weather conditions to insure safety, an exact date cannot be set in advance. If you have concerns about smoke please call Jon Kellermann, Prescribed Fire Specialist, at 920-225-5901.
The Baird Creek Greenway is providing a great way for students to learn, have a little fun and enjoy the outdoors. The ongoing restoration activity within the greenway provides students with hands-on restoration experiences and first-hand exposure to citizen-based conservation. Our organization greatly benefits from a stronger direct link to local K-12 schools.
BCPF will be working with the FIELDS Program (Field Investigations, Environmental Learning, Decision-making by Students) to provide environmental education for three local elementary schools. Fourth and fifth graders from Danz, Aldo Leopold, and Wequiock Schools will be learning about the effect of urbanization on water quality. The students will be given in-classroom instruction on erosion and water quality issues, and then be transported to the greenway twice per year to conduct water quality sampling and analysis.
These classes will serve not only as a way to cultivate appreciation for nature, but as a reminder that conservation is necessary for future generations to enjoy the natural beauty within the city of Green Bay.
This unique opportunity was made possible through a grant from the Wisconsin DNR.
The Board of Directors of the Baird Creek Preservation Foundation (BCPF) is expressing our opposition to Governor Walker’s proposed 13 year moratorium on funding for the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program. The Stewardship Fund was created in 1989 as a means to preserve valuable natural areas and wildlife habitat, protect water quality and fisheries, and expand opportunities for outdoor recreation. The authors of the bill to create the Stewardship Fund were Republican Warren P. Knowles and Democrat Gaylord Nelson. Since its inception the Stewardship Fund has aided in the preservation of hundreds of thousands of acres of land in Wisconsin.
Since our founding in 1997 the BCPF has partnered with private citizens, residential developers, and local government leaders to protect and assist in management of over 600 acres within the Baird Creek watershed, and importantly we have done so in a manner that has integrated recreation, natural resource preservation, outdoor education, and quality residential development to make Green Bay a stronger city. Today our collective community efforts have made the Baird Creek Greenway one of the signature amenities for the City’s east side, supporting tens of thousands of visitors of all ages every year. Let it be clear however, that these accomplishments, and the collective resource that we have created, were only possible through the cost-matching support of the Stewardship Fund.
The BCPF has used the Stewardship Fund to acquire approximately 150 acres for the benefit of NE Wisconsin residents, with the Fund paying less than half of the total cost of these properties. The value in this program lies in its ability to allow us, a non-profit organization, to leverage private, state, and federal dollars to purchase properties essential to our larger shared vision for the Greenway. The Stewardship Program is a real bargain for the taxpayers of Wisconsin, resulting in an immediate doubling of the state’s initial investment, and collectively allowing the state to work in cooperation with many non-profits organizations such as the BCPF to protect valuable natural areas.
In the future, with increasing development pressure and demands on the state’s water resources, the Stewardship Fund is going to be even more necessary to protect water quality and preserve natural spaces for the public to enjoy. Acquiring a piece of land for these purposes is an extended process requiring several years of planning and effort to complete. A moratorium of even a year disrupts the ability of private organizations to work with local governments on planned expansions of public lands. Wisconsin parks, public forests, and wildlife refuges are important in maintaining the high quality of life that attracts people to Wisconsin. A 13 year moratorium on funding for the Stewardship Fund will make it extremely difficult to move forward in protecting these important resources.
Board of Directors
Baird Creek Preservation Foundation
Neal Van Ess