Annual Baird Creek Cleanup- Saturday April 26th

Join us as we honor Earth Day by volunteering in the annual cleanup at Baird Creek on Saturday, April 26th at Christa McAuliffe Park (3100 Sitka St.) from 8:30 a.m. to noon.   Registration begins at 8:30 and the cleanup will take place from 9 a.m. to noon. Volunteers can assist with cleanup efforts as well as planting native species in the Greenway.

Light snacks and drinks will be provided.  Participants will divide into teams based on their interest and head out to explore, pick up litter and debris or plant native species throughout the Greenway.  Anyone can participate; children just need a parent or guardian.  Volunteers should dress for the weather and wear work gloves if desired.  If you are part of a group of 10 or more, please let us know by sending an email to execdirector@bairdcreek.org.

Thank you to our Earth Day Cleanup sponsor: Lox, Stock’n Bagel

Upcoming Events: Save the Date!

  • Saturday, May 10th, 6 a.m.  – Bird Hike at Christa McAuliffe Park (3100 Sitka St.) Leaders: Bob Meade and Charlie Frisk
  • Saturday, May 10th, 1 p.m.  – Wildflower Hike at Christa McAuliffe Park (3100 Sitka St.) Leader: Mathew Dornbush

BCPF Annual Banquet was a Success!

The Baird Creek Preservation Foundation’s 16th Annual Banquet and Meeting on Monday, April 7th, 2014 was enjoyed by all.  The banquet was fun, entertaining and educational.  Our Keynote Speaker, Dr. Val Klump, shared his expertise on keeping lakes healthy and how we can make a positive difference in our local freshwater community.

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March—the Awakening Month by Charlie Frisk

“In wildness is the preservation of the world,” said Henry David Thoreau.  Occasionally he is misquoted as having said, “In wilderness is the preservation of the world,” a nice thought but not what he said.  The Baird Creek Greenway is definitely not wilderness, the area is too small, and much of it was farmed and logged at different times in the past.  But we do have wildness, and today on my hike through Baird Creek I was reminded of that several times.  First when I heard a pileated woodpecker hammering on a hollow tree followed by its rollicking call.  As I was watching one pileated to the west of me, I heard its mate calling from the east.  The pileated, Wisconsin’s largest woodpecker, and possibly the world’s largest, depending on whether you believe the ivory billed woodpecker is extinct or not, is wildness incarnate.  A huge, very wary woodpecker, it is found only in large stands of forest with old mature trees.  It is a spectacular bird, with both the male and female having a bright red crest, and its contrasting black and white plumage.

Later I heard what sounded like crows mobbing an owl.  Crows are a species that are prone to excitement, but they definitely get most pumped up when mobbing an owl.  A moment later I heard the great horned owl, and then saw it when it flew in an attempt to rid itself of its tormenters.  I have read that crows mob owls in revenge for the owls stealing crow babies off the nests at night, but I often wonder if they just do it because they like it.  Anytime we humans try to determine the rationale behind wild animal’s behavior we are wandering into dangerous territory.  After suffering harassment for a few minutes the owl found a safe refuge in the dense branches at the top of a tall white pine, and the crows moved along to find different entertainment.

March is the month of transition at Baird Creek, not quite winter anymore, but also not quite spring.  The first flower to bloom at Baird Creek will be the skunk cabbage, and in a more normal year some would be blooming already.  I guess I’m sort of drawn to plants and animals that are a little weird, and the skunk cabbage certainly fits that bill.  Rather than having a nice sweet smell, its flowers spell like skunk, an adaptation to attract flies and gnats.  By the time pollinators that are attracted to pretty smells are around, such as butterflies, the skunk cabbage will be long done blooming.  If we get a late March snowstorm you can see an even more unusual adaptation.  The skunk cabbage produces enzymes that cause it to give off heat and it will melt its way out of the snow.  I have been fortunate to witness this twice at Baird Creek.  The best place to see this event is in the low swampy area just to the east of Superior Road and south of the creek.

I plan to write a regular article chronicling the changes taking place at Baird Creek.  If any of you readers have sightings or events to report e-mail them to me at chkafrisk@yahoo.com.  If you have good pictures e-mail them to Maureen Meinhardt at execdirector@bairdcreek.org.

Skunk Cabbage

Skunk Cabbage

Pileated Woodpecker

Pileated Woodpecker

Baird Creek Parkway Expands by 34 Acres

A partnership between the City of Green Bay, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and the Baird Creek Preservation Foundation has resulted in approximately 34 acres of beautiful woodland added to the Parkway.  The property is on the east side of Huron Road, just south of the rail line.

Much of the property borders a proposed residential development, and already contains a paved trail through some of the public area.  The eastern portion of the property boasts some beautiful mature trees.  According to Maureen Meinhardt, Executive Director of the Baird Creek Preservation Foundation, “We are extremely pleased and proud that the partners involved in this project were able to obtain a significant amount of land for all of the community to enjoy.  The property will also help protect natural habitat and water quality in Baird Creek.”

We would like to thank the City of Green Bay and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for their generous support for this acquisition.

What’s Happening in Baird Creek

 ”Run for the Hill of It” was a Success!

Please click on the tab above for more information on the first annual Baird Creek Preservation Foundation “Run for the Hill of It” 5K Trail Run Presented by KI held on October 12, 2013. Congratulations and thank you to everyone that participated in the Run for the Hill of It 5K Trail Run Presented by KI!  It was a HUGE success and we thank all of you!  We couldn’t have this event without all the wonderful volunteers and generous sponsors.  A huge thank you to our sponsors for your support.

Baird Creek Preservation Foundation is a non-profit organization whose mission is to assist the City of Green Bay in acquiring land in the Baird Creek Greenway and to help enhance the Greenway’s value as an ecological, recreational, and educational resource for Northeastern Wisconsin. Our goal is to preserve natural woodland in our Green Bay metropolitan area. 

Controlled Burn in Baird Creek on May 8, 2013

It’s a Success!

Even though it doesn’t look like much after the controlled burn behind the Triangle Hill chalet, it looks just like it should… think of it as a bit of a clean slate as we encourage some beautiful native plants to thrive in the area. The weather was perfect for the event, the Fox Valley Tech team and our volunteers did a great job, and there was never cause for safety concerns.  Great job, everyone!