Category Archives: Education

Wisconsin School Forests Celebrate 90 years

On a bright, spring fifth of May – like today, but 90 years ago – a small group of students in Laona, Wisconsin planted a tree in a forsaken area outside of town. In 1928, the land around the logging town had been subjected to great deforestation. The townspeople thought the land was useless, but the students of Laona seized an opportunity that would make history. This planting marked the start of the school forest movement...

Nature Play in the city

Making mud pies, testing balancing skills to move acorns from basket to basket, making nature art, identifying animal tracks, collecting bugs, and building onto a fort using nothing more than sticks and leaves. These are just a few of the activities that children are doing to learn about nature in the Zoological Society of Milwaukee’s Nature Play program—a new initiative to provide nature-based free play for children and families in the city. Last autumn, two...

GO Fund Grants Awarded

The Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin has awarded a total of $5,447 to 11 schools through the Go Outside Fund (GO Fund). The GO Fund provides funding to teachers to bring environmental education for students outside of the classroom by helping to pay for field supplies, substitute teachers, transportation or assistance from resource professionals and educators. Go Outside Grant Recipients Brillion Middle School: 8th Grade Water Action Volunteers-Stream Quality Monitoring Lodi Primary School: Nurtured in...

Bat Talk and Walk Program

One of the goals of the North Lakeland Discovery Center, a nonprofit environmental education center in northern Wisconsin, is to connect our community to the natural world. We do this through outdoor education programs, hikes, lectures, workshops and most importantly, citizen science. Our citizen science project this summer and early fall was our Bat Walk and Live Education Bat Programs....

Future of Environmental Education in Wisconsin

At the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin we are honored to share some important news about the future of environmental education in Wisconsin. Our partners at the Wisconsin Environmental Education Foundation have done so much to further environmental education for over a decade. We are excited and honored to be handed the baton and to bring our collective passion and resources together in this important effort. Please read on for an important message from Janet...

Grant Project Blends Art and Conservation

Katie Martin-Meurer and her 3-D Concepts classes at UW-Milwaukee displayed their beautiful work at Lakeshore State Park in Milwaukee in spring 2017. This unique blend of art and conservation was the culmination of two semesters of students who chose to commit their projects to promoting a better understanding of insects in our world. Insect populations are on the decline in Wisconsin and throughout the US. Martin-Meurer and her students hope their work raises awareness for...

Eagle watching on the Fox River

Eagle watching in Wisconsin was once impossible. In the winter of 1987-1988, 1000 Islands Environmental Center in Kaukuana, Wisconsin, was the location of the first bald eagle sighting in decades. Slowly and steadily, thanks to many legal protections and regulations (including those offered by the Endangered Species Act and the Environmental Protection Agency), those wintering eagle populations have grown. We’ve come a long way Today, bald eagles are flourishing all over the country, but especially...

Study maps long-term impact of climate change on plants

Climate experts are predicting a northward shift in forests and wetlands in the coming decades. In order to test how and if that is happening they must establish a record of past and current plant cover for historic and future comparison. To aid this important work the Natural Resources Foundation is contributing to a project that began over 50 years ago in the Brule River Watershed of Douglas County, Wisconsin....

An outdoor lab in the city of ravines

By Kelly Koller, Fox River Academy (guest blogger) Hidden amid the pulse and flurry of modern life, every city, village and countryside offers monuments, both natural and human-made, that weave together the rich fabric of history from thousands of years ago until today. For the students of Fox River Academy, that natural landmark is the Ravine. A refuge from the bustling downtown City of Appleton and an important sanctuary for wildlife in the sprawling development of the Fox Cities, the Ravine is home to what our students estimate...

Battling invasive species with herbicide and education

By Jill Hapner, Southeastern Wisconsin Invasive Species Consortium, Inc.   Give the natives a hand At first glance, it looks like a peaceful grassland. But if you look closer, you will see a battle unfolding. Controlling invasive species is challenging, and replacing those invaders with native species can be a long process. In 2011 the Southeastern Wisconsin Invasive Species Consortium (SEWISC) initiated plans to establish a small native prairie restoration demonstration site on the grounds...

Getting students outside: Peter Ostlind and the Teachers Outdoor Environmental Education Fund

By Brooke Hemze and Lindsay Renick Mayer, Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin When Peter Ostlind was invited to take a 45-minute hike with a full class of kindergarteners up the ridge adjacent to their school, he wasn’t sure what to expect. What he did know was that getting kids outdoors would benefit them in ways big and small, even helping to foster the next generation of conservationists. In the end the kids came together hiking...

Bad River Youth Outdoors: Good waters, good life

By Caitlin E. Williamson, Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin Bad River Youth Outdoors is gearing up for its third summer of watershed education with tribal youth from the Bad River Ojibwe Indian Reservation, a four-week program designed to get kids outside and to learn more about the waterways of Lake Superior and the Bad River watershed. In its first year, BRYO received funding to purchase equipment from the Natural Resources Foundation’s C.D. Besadny Conservation Grant...

Get involved in one of Wisconsin’s many great citizen science opportunities

By Lisa Gaumnitz, NRF volunteer and local freelancer My husband and I settled onto a camping pad on a hill overlooking a pond and waited in the dark. Armed with binoculars, hot coffee and a clipboard, we were ready for the start of our second stint as participants in the Annual Midwest Crane Count. Our task was to count and record the sandhill cranes we saw or heard in the early morning hours at a...