A standardized sign system is a means of creating a cohesive and consistent image for the Baird Creek Greenway, and enhancing the overall appearance of trails and the Greenway. There is currently little trail signage, and the need exists for both navigating and educating visitors about specific trails and what they are designed for. The signage will be used to mark Greenway trails; hiking trails, mountain bike trails, ski trails, and provide mile markers/identification for location and safety. Signage will include parking lot Kiosks with full Greenway maps, trailhead posts, mile markers, and directional arrows. Signage increases trail safety and promotes recreational trail use in the Greenway. BCPF will ensure that trail signs are maintained in good order and that the signs continue to reflect the nature of the trails. The goal is to have new trail signage implemented by Summer 2019.
Oak Savanna Restoration
Oak savannas were once one of the most widespread habitats in the Midwestern United States, but there are few remaining examples in pristine condition. Based on time-lapsed aerial photos and various criteria met, 40 acres within Baird Creek have been identified as highly restorable oak savanna remnants. BCPF has developed a long-term sustainable plan to both restore and maintain the savanna areas through the removal of invasive species, conducting prescribed burns to rejuvenate the native wildflowers growing in the understory, and reintroducing native ground flora through planting. The funds will be used from October 2018 to July 2019 for workers, equipment, seeds, and signage.
BCPF has worked extensively with local schools and education organizations to provide environmental education in the Greenway for years. Students from pre-school age through grad school learn about water chemistry, macro-invertebrates, fish, birds, forest, stream ecology, and plant identification. The Greenway is home to 18 different biological communities, over 400 plant species, and a mixture of macroinvertebrates and wildlife; perfect for hands-on exploration and study. In June 2018, BCPF launched summer camps with a focus on science based curriculum and hands-on learning. The current goal is to raise enough funds to support the development of additional courses, cover costs of programming, and offer scholarships to classrooms and individuals. Surplus funds will provide free busing for our underprivileged schools that we are currently working with.
As of November 2018 BCPF has raised enough funds to continue our education programs throughout 2019!!! This doesn’t mean we are going to stop however; any additional funds received for education will go to funding for 2020 and providing summer camp scholarships, free busing, and to furthering our educational outreach.
Restoration & Acquisition
At the present, Wisconsin has lost 47% of it’s original ten million acres of wetlands. Water quality is often dependent upon wetlands because they trap sediment, remove nutrients and pollutants from water, protect shorelines and help slow the effects of flood water. The implementation of BCPF’s wetland plan will both restore previously lost wetlands as well as enhance those that need a little extra help. With time and funding, acres can be turned into sedge meadows, wet meadows, floodplain forests, and shrub swamps. BCPF also works to acquire land to restore to forest and prairie habitats. Acquisition, planning, treatment, and planting in these types of habitats mean an increase in native flora, a decrease in invasive flora, help with storm and floodwater storage, water quality protection (both surface and groundwater), and increased wildlife habitat.