What Environmental Organizations does GGR Work With?
GGR has promoted other environmental organizations from its inception through collective projects, displays at EcoFest, with sponsorship of AmeriCorps volunteers, and by featuring them at our Fall conferences.
GGR will continue to promote them in various ways in the future.
Scroll down to learn about the extraordinary number of organizations that are fully devoted to the environment or that incorporate sustainability as part of their mission.
To become more familiar with each other, to promote and support each other, to work together, and to take the process of “greening greater Racine” to new levels.
Network of Environmental Organizations
● Spring 2015, 40+ reps met for a workshop on the Natural Step and Visioning Process led by Karl van Lith, Development Director of Madison, WI.
● October 2015, 50 reps met in October 2015 to promote environmental groups and begin process of collective action around areas of need in greater Racine: Energy, Food, Water, Native Plants/Land Use.
● October 2016, about 60 reps met to hear reports from all GGR initiatives and programs. To become more familiar with each other, to promote and support each other, to work together, and to advance the process of greening greater Racine.
● Fall 2017. Meeting of GGR network to give reports about sustainability activities in greater Racine. How can we go to the next level? Speaker: Steve Perkins, Center for Neighborhood Technology in Chicago and founding member of Sustainable Evanston.
● Fall 2018. Eco-Summit with many reports about environmental activities in greater Racine. How can we institutionalize sustainability in our local governments? Speaker: Kumar Jensen, Sustainability Coordinator for the City of Evanston, IL.
Here are Descriptions of Organizations for whom the environment is the central focus of their mission and some organizations who consider Earth-care an important part of their purpose.
Alliance for the Great Lakes
- The Alliance is dedicated to conserve and restore the world’s largest freshwater resource using policy, education, and local efforts to ensure a healthy Great Lakes and clean water for generations of people and wildlife. We involve tens of thousands of people each year in advocacy, volunteering, education, and research to ensure the lakes are healthy and safe for all. www.greatlakes.org.
- Three teams mobilized over 406 volunteers (including Red Apple students) to 4 Adopt-a-Beach cleanup events at 3 different beaches in Racine County and removed 130 pounds of trash.
- We work with the Great Lakes Community Conservation Corps to provide an educational experience for high school students.
- Worked with 30 high school students from J.I. Case High School Ecology Course along with City of Racine Health Department to develop a Problem Based-learning place-based ecology unit for Sam Meyers park and habitat.
- Submitted comments questioning WDNR’s interpretation of state compact application approvals for Racine’s requested diversion to Mount Pleasant largely going to the Foxconn complex.
- Advised the Great Lakes compact regional body and compact council to update and improve the process by creating procedural rules, improved guidance, and the sequence for review processes for future water diversion applications.
- Successfully advocated for the reinstitution Great Lakes restoration funding in the current federal budget despite it being zeroed out for the two years in a row in the white house budget. Continued full funding at $300 million has been budgeted.
- Presented on “Policy and Oversight” at a Oct 25 Greater Racine Water Council sponsored event at Gateway iMET Auditorium called “Water Matters and Foxconn Development: Updates.”
- A recreational-based organization certified as a Land Trust with 200+ acres of land. The stewards of the land are all volunteers. They provide equestrian paths, walking trails, dog walking paths, and trails for cross country skiing, nature programs for adults and children, and community events. For public access addresses, see http://www.caledoniaconservancy.org.
- Booth at Eco-fest – Gateway March 17, 2018
- Flower Walk and bird walk at McCalvy-Tabor Woods & Cameron-Erlandsson Woods
- Spring “School to Nature” 6th graders at McCalvy – Tabor Woods & Cameron-Erlandsson Woods
- Fall “School to Nature” 4th graders at Trout Ponds Prairie
- Garlic Mustard Pull at Trout Ponds Prairie
- Hosted AmeriCorps workers for trail clearing.
- Created a parking area for automobiles and horse trailers at King’s Corner property and new signage on Hwy. 31 frontage.
- Volunteer recognition dinner in March
- Major Donor Appreciation event held Sunday, May 6
- Published spring and fall Willow Times newsletter
- Bird Walk at Trout Ponds
- Students from Racine Schools participate in Trail maintenance on Make a Difference Day and Earth Day.
- Partnered with “The Wealth of Nature” for SE Wisconsin, established by Preserve our Parks.org (MKE).
- Land Trust Alliance Grant for consultant to work with CC Board on Board Development and coaching board on their priority topics.
- Participation in 3-year Grant process under Ozaukee Washington Land Trust, implemented under their GLRI project for invasive plant control work on CC’s Short Road Trail Head
- Created new Stewardship plan for King’s Corner
- Annual Supporter and friend’s picnic
- Published CC 2019 Horse Calendar
- Holiday Fundraiser and Wine-Tasting, Nov. 30, 2018 at Racine Masonic Center
Citizens’ Climate Lobby
- The mission of CCL is to develop the political will for a livable planet and to empower individuals to have breakthroughs in their personal and political power. CCL educates and networks citizens to help them effectively engage with their members of Congress and other stakeholders to develop solutions to the climate crisis. In the past year, CCL volunteers have expanded the climate solutions caucus, which is now 90 members, 45 Democrats and 45 Republicans.
- Four members of the local chapter attended the annual conference in June, 2019 where they met with members of Speaker Ryan’s energy staff.
- Monthly calls help CCL volunteers stay apprised of developments and working in concert.
- Various action teams network and support outreach efforts at the national level. For example, the Business Climate Leaders Action Team organized a well-attended forum on carbon pricing at the Global Conference on Climate Action in San Francisco. This event was attended by both members of the business community (Excelon, for instance) and the environmental community (Greenlining and The Nature Conservancy, for instance).
Clean Power Coalition
- The CPC is a collation of concerned groups dedicated to the health of people and the well-being of the air, land, and lake by getting WE Energies to close down the coal-fired power plant in Oak Creek. We expose and protest the pollution from the plant and promote renewable energy options. We meet monthly to receive reports and to plan next steps. The group is led by Miranda Ehrlich, a worker sponsored by the Sierra Club program, “Beyond Coal.” Here are some of our activities:
- Held major public event in November 2017, a screening of the film Cheshire, Ohio, about a town next to a coal plant that was bought and bulldozed by the utility. Over 100 people attended.
- Over the winter, CPC’s Data Committee analyzed data from We Energies’ air monitor in Caledonia and uncovered that neighborhoods north of the plant were at significant risk of coal pollution based on the wind direction and placement of a new coal pile.
- In March, coal dust began appearing in Oak Creek neighborhoods in a big way. CPC worked to get the dust tested, and results showed definitively that the black substance was coal.
- CPC then hosted a “Coal and Health Forum” with doctors, so that concerned residents could learn more about the health impacts of coal dust, which include respiratory and cardiac issues and even a heightened risk of cancer.
- Held a “Listening Session” at Oak Creek City Hall, with utility executives from We Energies as well as Madison Gas and Electric and WPPI, Over 30 people spoke, and over 160 in total attended.
- In May, a group of local residents and shareholders attended We Energies’ annual shareholders meeting and protested outside the meeting to raise awareness about coal.
- Hosted a film screening of the movie Reinventing Power, which discussed the promise of renewable energy. About 80 people attended.
- Hosted a bike tour around the coal plants called the “Ride for Renewables.”
- Also in August, CPC worked with Greening Greater Racine to deploy a fleet of PurpleAir monitors around the coal plants to monitor the air quality.
- Recently, CPC has begun knocking doors in Racine along the train routes where coal trains pass to determine if coal dust is an issue with the trains as well. More volunteers are needed. [email protected].
Covenant Presbyterian Church
- We formalized a new Caring for Creation Committee in May 2018. Our Mission is to inspire members and neighbors to respond to God’s call to appreciate, respect, and responsibly care for God’s gifts of the Earth and all living creatures. Specifically, our goals are to: Embrace and protect God’s creation; Educate ourselves & others; Share our knowledge and passion with our members and our community. In our first 6 months, we have had several accomplishments. Contact: Linda Webster [email protected]
- Built a 3-bin Compost System with the goal of building soil and reducing waste. This church-wide program has diverted over 400 gallons of food and yard waste from going to the landfill.
- With the help of over 20 church members, planted and cared for over 200 native plants in a bioswale area of our property which functions to minimize/remove debris and pollution from surface run-off, attract pollinators and beautify our grounds.
- Reduced waste and improved recycling practices inside our church.
- Hosted a presentation from John’s Disposal and continue to share knowledge about recycling with the congregation through our church newsletter.
- Purchased reusable dinnerware for our fellowship gatherings.
- No longer use disposable table cloths.
- Use compostable plates and washable flatware whenever feasible.
- Helped educate our youth during Vacation Bible School about container gardening. We helped make buckets/water reservoirs and helped our youth plant cherry tomatoes. The youth continued to care for the tomatoes throughout the summer.
- Conducted a Tomato Canning Workshop where we invited church and community to participate.
Eco-Justice Center (EJC)
- The EJC is a non-profit organization dedicated to environmental education and care of Earth through the use of sustainable energy, conservation, organic gardening, educational programming for youth and adults, and care of the animals who share the 15-acre site. www.racinedominicans.org/eco-justice.
- School and other group tours throughout the year
- Spring-break ecology camp for 5-8 year olds
- Four Summer ecology camps for 6-14 year olds
- Solstice and equinox celebrations
- Farm Corps Program for high school students and college interns to learn how to grow, cook, and sell produce
- Annual Fall Festival and Farm to Table dinner
- “Growing Healthy” field trips for RUSD 1st graders in collaboration with Hawthorn Hollow
- Hermitage available for personal contemplative time
- Booth at EcoFest, Root River Festival, and Open House for Racine County
- Site for those wanting to volunteer and do community service
- UW-Extension’s FoodWIse program employs a combination of evidence-based educational strategies, accompanied by environmental supports, designed to facilitate voluntary adoption of healthy food choices and active lifestyles. They accomplish this by empowering families with limited financial resources to choose healthful diets and become more food secure by spending dollars wisely, exposing children to new fruits and vegetables and why they are important, and teaching parents how to plan and prepare healthy meals. https://kenosha.uwex.edu/nutrition-education.
- In 2017, they served 7,184 learners in Racine and Kenosha Counties making over 24,000 teaching contacts with those learners! 2018 numbers not yet available.
Friends of Island Park
- FIP has concentrated on minimizing the disruptive plants in the four gardens. Three of the gardens are along the East side of Island Park and a fourth is just west of the Steel Head Facility at Lincoln Park. The gardens are each 2400 square feet, planted with species native to Wisconsin and favorable to pollinators. We have removed most of the rank weeds and woody brush that developed between planting in 2010 and 2016 when FIP began work.
- This season we have cut and recut, at ground level, Reed Canary Grass, Canada Thistle, and Canada Goldenrod. The plants regrow but with less and less vigor. They have been cut three times between June and September. We hope that by suppressing these disruptive plants, there will be an even better bloom sequence in 2019.
- FIP has added improvement of the rain garden, at the most western edge of the Corinne-Reid Owens Transit Center, south of the parking lot at 1419 State St. to our work. We now include the ongoing work in the northeast section of Colonial Park.
- The number of FIP volunteers has increased. FIP and two nearby High Schools are developing a mutually beneficial, resource-based relationship with Island Park as the centerpiece.
Gateway Technical College and EcoFest Racine
- GTC and Greening Greater Racine collaborate to put on an environmental fair for the community. EcoFest is designed to showcase all the environmental organizations and activities in the Greater Racine Area, including table displays, children’s activities, presentations, food and drink, free gifts, and an eco-art fair with music.
- In 2018, there were over 50 display booths, 10 presentations, a Vital Art Exhibit, and over 1,000 in attendance.
- Jointly sponsored a program at the Golden Rondelle theater in March on “Zero Waste” with representatives of the community presenting.
- Next EcoFest Racine will be on March 16, 2019 from 9 to 1 at Gateway Racine.
Great Lakes Community Conservation Corps
- The mission of GLCCC is to leverage resources among Great Lakes communities to train and educate disadvantaged populations for credentials that close the skills gap, improve water quality, build habitat, grow the legacy of the original Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1930s, and make the region more competitive in the global economy. Especially active in the greater Racine area, the GLCCC has carried out many environment projects including removal of invasive species, Lake Michigan water quality testing, cleaning up brownfields, and helping to install solar panels. www.greatlakesccc.org.
- Solar installations by Great Lakes CCC in Racine and southeastern Wisconsin.
- Minor home repairs, energy assessments, and water consumption assessments of homeowners in Racine.
- Scattered-site single-family rehab and new construction.
- Commercial and affordable housing deconstruction and redevelopment.
- Invasive species removal in Racine parks and public land trust properties.
- Habitat restoration at Samuel Myers Park.
- Beach monitoring and water quality analysis of Lake Michigan in Wind Point.
- Phosphorus monitoring of Root and Pike River tributaries throughout Racine County, particularly those contiguous to Foxconn.
- Asian Carp and aquatic invasive species education and awareness events.
- Operated the Clean Boats Clean Waters program in Racine to conduct boat inspections and education outreach for aquatic invasive species at Lake Michigan public boat launch sites.
- Led the Racine Unified School District-wide participation in the WATERshed program—with assistance by the Alliance for the Great Lakes.
The Greater Racine Environmental Educators Network. [G.R.E.E.N.]
- A network of over 60 public and private teachers and administrators for mutual focusing on nature and ecology in the classroom as well as field trips. They hold monthly meetings on relevant subjects with programs and reports. The goal is to promote what is already happening and to encourage one another with examples and resources to expand these vital activities for learning. They promote rain, butterfly, and vegetable gardens as outdoor classrooms. They are developing a storehouse of resources online. http://greeninggreaterracine.weebly.com/ggrschool.html.
- In 2018, they held meetings on “Tower Gardens” for inside the classroom, “Global Water Crisis” through video connections in your classroom, and “How to Compost” with a worm-composting demonstration at North Park Elementary School.
- Working with RUSD officials, teachers and community groups to work for green cafeterias in public and private schools—increasing recycling, composting, and improving nutrition.
- Three planning meetings for green cafeterias: October 4 with Pewaukee parent Kate Burke demonstrated green school cafeterias; November 15: Presentation by RUSD food service; Dec. 13: Presentation by Compost Crusader.
The Greater Racine Food Council
- Comprised of members of various food organizations and committed citizens, the council addresses the needs of food deserts, promotes healthy eating for all, and works to address issues of food waste. Their goal is to inventory and map all food related services in greater Racine and to find creative ways to bring fresh fruits and vegetables to food deserts and to bring the people in food deserts to locations that have fresh food. An initiative of Greening Greater Racine.
- Prepared and distributed a brochure with information about location of food pantries and community meals: #211, Food Share WIC, Farmers Markets, Meals On Wheels, Community Gardens, and Community Meal Sites
- Supported FoodWIse, the Healthy Living field trip for 1st graders at the Eco-Justice Center and Hawthorne Hollow, the Wild Root Market, urban gardens, and farmers markets.
- Organized a “Food Justice” field trip and curriculum for 5th graders at low income schools to visit the homeless shelter HALO, the Food Bank, the teaching gardens, and the incubator kitchen at that site. Field-tested in spring of 2018.
- Collaborating with G.R.E.E.N. to bring greater nutrition choices to school cafeterias.
The Greater Racine Water Council
- Comprised of representatives of water-related organizations. The process is to support and strengthen each water organization/agency and to network together to do things that we cannot do as well separately. To foster and protect the health and sustainability of the watersheds and waterways of greater Racine, increase community appreciation for and enjoyment of our rivers and lake, and safeguard our drinking water. An initiative of Greening Greater Racine.
- Held a public program in fall of 2018 to offer up-to-date information about “Water Matters and Foxconn Development” on policy and oversight, Lake Michigan water withdrawal and return, wetlands, and watersheds.
Greening Greater Racine
- Their goal is “for greater Racine to become a healthier more sustainable community” and to embrace an identity as a sustainable green community. The mission is to support and promote what is already happening regarding environmental programs and activities in greater Racine and to foster networking so as to strengthen each organization and to do together what cannot be done so well separately—among residents, environmental organizations, schools, government agencies, businesses and corporations, faith communities. They are committed to addressing the well-being of the most vulnerable among in the community. www.greeninggreaterracine.weebly.com.
- Sponsored nine AmeriCorps volunteers to work full time in Racine during May and June. The volumteers did projects for the city health department as well as RootPikeWIN and the Uptown housing project, along with service projects at various agencies.
- Met with the Waukesha County Green Team to share ideas and look for possible collaboration.
- Participated in Coming Together Racine and actively helped to sponsor and plan the Race to End Racism community workshop in October.
- Joined the Wisconsin Climate Table to work with other civic organizations around the state.
- Attended the energy conference on Leading the Charge in Eau Claire and the Green Tier Legacy meeting in Stevens Point.
- Participate as a convening member of the Clean Power Coalition.
- Partnering with the Eco-WAVE team of Visioning a Greater Racine and the Zero Waste movement.
- Sponsoring a RAMAC Leadership Racine Team to plan and carry out EcoFest Racine 2019.
HALO Homeless Assistance Leadership Organization
- HALO opened its doors in 2005. HALO is the largest general shelter for persons experiencing homelessness in Racine County. HALO serves men, women and children through individualized case management, which includes the development of client-centered success and housing stability plans. In FY2017-18, 792 individuals were assisted in HALO’s shelter, including 170 children. In addition to shelter, HALO operates a supportive housing program, which housed 50 individuals in FY2017 -18, including 19 children. Through our many on-site and off-site services, clients have access to wellness and health care programs, children’s services, alcohol and drug counseling, budgeting, employment assistance and many other programs.
- HALO also runs the Recipe for Success Incubator Kitchen. This program allows food-based businesses to rent their industrial kitchen to produce food items.
- They have also built a 100x20ft hoop house and 15+ raised beds. They are currently looking for a self-directed volunteer to utilize the hoop house and raised beds.
Hawthorn Hollow Nature Sanctuary and Arboretum
- Hawthorn Hollow Nature Sanctuary and Arboretum has been connecting people to nature for more than 50 years. Conservation and restoration of land, preservation of history and environmental education work together to cultivate community stewardship of both natural and historical resources. Hawthorn Hollow’s vision is to further develop into a regional socioeconomic resource that attracts students, families, nature enthusiasts, biologists and tourists. Environmental education programming includes school, scout, and public programs. Programs include the award winning – WATERshed Program (over 25,000 students served to date), Growing Healthy, Cornucopia of Fall, Footsteps of the Potawatomi, Maple Sugaring, Polliwog Pond, and Power to the Pollinators. Public program and Heritage Workshop offerings vary according to season. Special events include:
- “Birds and Breakfast” (May)- Pancake breakfast, bird walks and plant sale
- The Pike River Benefit Concert Series (summer)- live music at Hawthorn Hollow’s outdoor amphitheater nestled along the Pike River
- “Walk in the Woods Art Fair” (Sept.) Over 60 artists display their creations
- “Harvest Hootenanny” (Oct.) – Family friendly harvest celebration with autumnal activities
- “Holiday Boutique and Bake Sale” (Dec.) – Hand-crafted gifts, wreaths & sprays made from pine boughs and other natural materials, other seasonal nature activities
Hoy Audubon Society
- A local chapter of the National Audubon Society serving eastern Racine and Kenosha counties. They initiate, encourage, coordinate, stimulate, and assist the community in the study and appreciation of ornithology. They work to preserve and protect wildlife habitats, support programs of air and water pollution abatement and control, support the principles of conservation of natural resources at local, state, and national levels, and enlist citizens to support these aims.
- Conduct many field trips with bird watching for hawks, owls, waterfowl, seasonal migratory birds, and many more.
- Monitor several Bluebird trails and Purple Martin houses.
- Engage people in seasonal bird counts, such as the Christmas Bird Count.
- Publish an informative and colorful quarterly newsletter.
- Host monthly lectures on the changing landscape of birds, butterflies, and bees.
- Initiated the popular program “Trees We Love.”
Kenosha Racine Bike Club Serving Southeastern Wisconsin’s Bicycling Community
- The KR Bike Club is a cycling group located in southeastern Wisconsin dedicated to providing opportunities for riders to meet and ride with others of their own skill level. The club provides and encourages members to utilize educational opportunities to improve their skill levels so that riders at any level may ride safely in groups of their peers. Members have a voice in southeastern Wisconsin cycling priorities and participate in municipal and county plans to locate and provide a network of bike paths for enjoyment, work, and daily living. www.krbikeclub.com.
- Lutheran Church of the Resurrection 322 Ohio Street. Racine
Our mission is to care for God’s creation and to help create a more sustainable church and community based on God’s love and reverence for all life. We seek to become an informed congregation working actively to be caregivers of the earth in all areas of life. Our Green Team meets regularly to encourage environmental actions and to plan programs and projects. Contact Marilyn Kiemen at [email protected]
- Creation-care worship services on Earth Day Sunday and throughout the season.
- Educational programs on the environment during Adult Ed. Hour and other events
- Earth Day Sunday projects for Sunday School students inside and outside
- Church’s Nature Preserve with Bird and Butterfly Gardens and native prairie used for environmental, educational, and recreational purposes,
- Provide information/promote environmental activities around the community
- “God’s Work, Our Hands” Community Service Sunday
- Work with neighboring school to create native pollinator garden with students.
Master Gardener Volunteer Program: UW Extension, Racine/Kenosha County
- The mission of the UW-Extension Master Gardener Program is to extend the knowledge and resources of the University of Wisconsin to people where they live and work—educate, beautify, and preserve the community through trained horticulture volunteers. Volunteer projects include teaching youth, therapeutic horticulture, vegetable demonstration gardens, consultant to community groups, and speaker’s bureau.
- Garden of Giving: Grow produce to donate to the Racine County Food Bank.
- Teaching Garden: Offer instruction on sustainable gardening methods and donate produce to Racine County Food Bank.
- Fairchild Hall Veteran’s Home: Plant and maintain ornamental beds and raised planters with residents.
The Nehemiah Project of Racine
- Building a sustainable community with the collaboration of faith based communities, businesses, government, educators, health and athletic organizations, and community garden organizations. Provides and does plantings of thousands of flowers and native plants each year for front yards, gardens, and parks. Based on the community and personal transformation model in the biblical Book of Nehemiah. https://www.facebook.com/pg/Racine-Gardens-of-the-Nehemiah-Project-123039137773639/about/
Nicholson Wildlife Refuge
- On 5 Mile Road between Nicholson Road and County Trunk H.
- Surrounded by picturesque farmland, this 127 acre refuge has pockets of farmland, woods, a rookery, marsh, wetlands, prairies, and winding streams. The mosaic of habitats is teeming with frogs, turtles, dragon- and butterflies and is a well-known birding site. NWR attracts warblers and waterfowl during migration, and the rookery supports nesting great blue herons during the summer. To learn more about the variety of bird species that visit Nicholson, go to: http://ebird.org/ebird/wi/hotspot/L272083, or contact: [email protected]. See video at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0IpRt0kn0a0.
Olympia Brown Unitarian Universalist Church
- OBUUC is recognized as a Green Sanctuary congregation, a program of the Unitarian Universalist Association. The goal is to green the building and practices of the congregation, bring environmental commitments into worship and education, and serve the Earthcare needs of the community. For more information, e-mail [email protected].
- Maintains a “magazine swap” at church;
- Sells Fair Trade coffee, cocoa and chocolate;
- Collects and recycles spent rechargeable batteries;
- Programmable thermostats have been installed in the church and offices
- Corelle dishes and stainless utensils are used in the kitchen
- “Green” paper products are used in the church and office annex
- Rechargeable batteries and print cartridges are responsibly recycled
- Coffee grounds from coffee served between services is composted
- An environmentally centered service is held each spring
- Sustainable Travel to Church occurs one month each year, early summer
- Currently collecting pill bottles for “Pills for Paws” to be donated to the Humane Society
- Earth-day Service on “What are Clothes For, Anyway . . . .”
- We have a “no-disposables” policy for snacks and most meals at OBUUC…
Racine County Food Bank
- The Food Bank efficiently and effectively obtains resources and facilitates the distribution of nutritious food at no cost to Racine County individuals and families in need through a network of direct service providers including emergency food pantries, homeless shelters, community meal programs and social service agencies located throughout Racine County. http://www.racinecountyfoodbank.org/
- Sorted and distributed 512,902 pounds of food donations.
- Purchased and distributed an additional 195,677 pounds of nutritious food to supplement the donated products.
- Served an average of 1,877 households with 4,927 individuals each month.
- All of our partner-providers combined provided 779,301 nutritious meals last year. That’s an average of 2,135 meals each and every day!
- We accomplished all of the above with the equivalent of just 2.6 full time employees, thanks to the help of hundreds of dedicated volunteers.
Racine Dominicans: Focus on Earth Committee
- Because there is an urgent need to restore right relationships with the environment, “Care of Earth” is one of the primary concerns of the Racine Dominicans’ commitment to peace and justice. Sponsor of the Eco-Justice Center. www.racinedominicans/careofearth.org.
- Study, discussion and actions related to climate change, energy, food and water.
- Collaboration with local, state, and national environmental groups.
- Participation in EcoFest
- Ownership in Wild Root Market
- Member of Clean Power Coalition – Southeast Wisconsin
- Advocate for a cleaner environment through letters, e-mails, and phone calls
Racine County Library: Learn and Share programs
- RCL and Greening Greater Racine join up to offer programs of environmental interest on the second Monday of each month. Monthly meetings are around issues of sustainability: energy, composting, healthy eating, recycling, gardening, and more. www.racinelibrary.info.
- 2017-2018: “Take the Green Lifestyle Challenge” series with speakers from local companies and stores, pledges to action, gifts, and door prizes. Regular participants received certificates. Began the year with 25 participants and ended the year with 45.
- Programs will resume again in 2019-2020
Racine Kenosha Community Action Agency
- RKCAA provides state food commodities in Racine and Kenosha counties. These Federally funded programs supplement the diets of low-income needy persons by providing them with emergency food and nutrition assistance through shelters, food pantries, and meal sites. Seniors receiving commodities out of RKCAA’s central office through the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSF) receive fresh fruit and vegetables. RKCAA also weatherizes houses, which may include insulating attic and sidewalls, repairing or replacing a furnace, and reducing air leakage. If a homeowner or renter received Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Benefits (WHEAP) during the last heating season, they may also be eligible for the weatherization services. www.rkcaa.org/RKCAA/Food-security.htm and www.rkcaa.org/Weatherization.htm
- For food distributions, about 1,050 seniors and 3,200 households are served monthly.
- RKCAA serves as the clearinghouse for the Holiday Food Basket Program.
- RKCAA weatherizes approximately 400 homes per year
The Racine Zoo
- This twenty-eight acre nature center on the shores of Lake Michigan features 100 species of animals from around the world—fostering positive interactions between people and nature. Throughout the year, the Zoo hosts a variety of shows, activities, and workshops, including a concert series, slumber safaris, birthday parties, summer camp, and much more. The Zoo sponsors citizen science initiatives with national environmental organizations. This year saw a huge growth in every aspect at the zoo. The Racine Zoo is recognized as among the best in the country, earning accreditation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. This year, their Executive Director was named Administrator of the Year by the Wisconsin Association for Environmental Studies, and their Conservation Education Manager was awarded the Rising Star Alumni Award by the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies of UW-Madison. The zoo is quickly recognized as not just a local center for environmental education in Racine, but a leader in the country, having been awarded its first two federal grants for its educational programming this year.
- Frog Watch program engages citizens in national monitoring program. In 2018, this program’s chapter partnered with Schlitz Audubon and UW-Madison to increase its educational and conservation reach.
- Conducts many collaborative educational programs, including the Racine Nature Club, Wildlife Explorers, Beginning Birders, Conservation Nation, and many more, as well as hosting thousands of additional students in paid programs every year including summer camps, school field trips,
- As of the end of 2017, over 125,000 people have visited the Racine Zoo.
- Named the “Best Place for Kids in Racine” by the Racine Journal Times.
- Developed a new program to teach about birds and bird watching in local schools with binoculars and field guides to local species. The program will be field-tested during this school year.
- Education programs have reached over 30,000 students and families in 2017 with hands on conservation education.
Racine Green Congregations
- Works for ecological justice and sustainable practices in congregations, homes, and community. An interfaith organization that meets three times a year for a presentation by a community organization, reports of congregational projects and activities, and collaborative efforts. Projects include giving information about energy assistance and weatherization to churches in underserved communities. Originating organization of Greening Greater Racine. www.racinegreencongregations.org.
- May meeting offered a program on “Zero Waste in Your Congregation.”
- Currently sponsoring an “Energy Saving Workshop for Faith Communities” on Saturday November 10, 2018 from 8 to 11 at the Fellowship of Christian Believers church at 713 Washington Ave., featuring speakers who will share about resources and expertise on lighting, HVAC, insulation, conservation, financing and solar. Sign up for free energy audit and/or solar assessment.
Racine-Kenosha Beekeepers’ Association
- The R-K Beekeepers Association is dedicated to being a forum for beekeeping practices in Southeastern Wisconsin. The mission is to promote beekeeping in the local community and disseminate information related to the practice and benefits of beekeeping. Plus information on where to purchase bees, along with videos on how to set up and maintain a hive. www.rkbeekeepers.org.
The Racine Sustainable Business Network
- Serving corporations, businesses, government agencies, schools, and non-profits, their goal is to promote the sustainable work already in play and to encourage further actions with products, processes, and best practices as means to save money and improve environmental conditions. The group holds quarterly meetings around such issues as electricity, HVAC, solar, water, waste, land use, etc. An initiative of Greening Greater Racine. www.racinesustainablebusinessnetwork.weebly.com.
- Quarterly meetings in 2018 included; “Recycling and Waste” (February at RUSD Central Offices); Securing the Building Envelope” (May at CNH); Land use (August at Ascension)
- The next meeting is on “Leaders in Sustainability: UNFI, Gateway, and Alter Trading” on November 27, 2018 from 7:00 to 9:00 at United Natural Foods Incorporated.
Racine Urban Garden Network
- RUGN promotes urban gardening in Racine by offering to the public the ability to rent gardening plots or establish plots in their neighborhoods, often in food deserts. Through workshops and guidance, RUGN offers people education, tools, and land to assist them in growing their healthy food. www.rugn.org
- 10 community garden locations throughout Racine County
- More than 200 plots are utilized per season, over 100 plots at the Marquette Street garden alone.
- Successful 2018 gardening season, with most gardens growing at capacity.
River Bend Nature Center
- Our mission is to provide environmental education and outdoor recreation to the children, families and adults of Racine and southeastern Wisconsin. We provide a multi-platform approach to engage people with nature in order to develop and nurture positive relationships with the environment. Environmental education programs include a full menu of K-8 field trips options designed to complement the grade level curriculum and aligned with Next Generation Science standards, well as programs, lectures and events for children, teens and adults. http://riverbendnaturecenterracine.org/.
- maple tapping and syrup production and pancake breakfasts
- summer and school break nature camps
- school field trip programs and nature enrichment programs
- chainsaw carving and art forest festival
- full moon paddle events
- candlelight ski and chili winter evening event
- gifts of nature winter event
- canoe and kayak classes for children and for adults; Canoe, kayak, cross country ski and snowshoe rentals
- cross country ski instruction; archery; team building
- building rentals for family and business events
- Volunteer opportunities for those interested in healing the environment, presenting programs for children, or helping with special events
Root River Council
- The Root River Council is a volunteer 501c3 non-profit organization that is committed to the revitalization and sustainable redevelopment of the Root River corridor in Racine. Their Four Goals are: Create a Sense of Place; Stimulate Economic Growth; Provide Public Access; Improve Water Quality. They sponsor public meetings seeking community input regarding RootWorks, Horlick Dam, and projects along the river. They partner with the Parks Department and business associations to develop connections to parks and river. They promote awareness and encourage enjoyment of the Root River by promoting paddling, cycling, and fishing. And they sponsor the Root River Festival every year. https://rootriver.weebly.com/
- Held public meetings on the future of the Horlick Dam and RootWorks
- Held Root River Festival at Lincoln Park in late August with over 600 attending
- Promoted better signage along the river and trails
- Advocated for public participation in development opportunities along the river
Root River Environmental Education Community Center
- The REC center is a partnership between the City of Racine and the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. The REC promotes appreciation for the Root River and its watershed with public canoe and kayak rentals on weekends during the summer months, plus educational workshops for children and community members. They run the Root River Voyagers Environmental Education Program Series for youth and are home to the WeatherBug weather station which generates atmospheric data. The REC is operated and staffed by the College of Natural and Health Sciences at UW-Parkside. www.uwp.edu/REC
- Successful 2018 summer rental season, over 1,250 people served.
- Successful voyagers series program – increased participation compared to 2017
- Increased boat fleet to accommodate increased demand – added additional tandem kayaks and canoes
Samuel Myers Park
- This City of Racine park has been transformed into a natural area featuring four different ecosystems: upland, prairie, dune and wetland. As a unique coastal sanctuary on the shore of Lake Michigan, it is a migratory corridor for birds and home to other wildlife, which can be observed from a gazebo overlooking the park or by walking through the site on a quarter mile cordwalk trail. https://www.facebook.com/pg/Friends-of-Myers-Park-198608603679269/about/?ref=page_internal.
- 4500 SF rain garden, bioswale and educational signage funded by the WI Coastal Management Program.
- ADA accessible picnic area completed with funds raised by Racine Health Department Lab and a donation from the Friends of Myers Park.
- Invasive species management, 736 wetland plants and seed mix funded by the Ozaukee Washington Land Trust.
- AmeriCorps NCCC and Great Lakes CCC work crews provided assistance with trail maintenance, invasive species removal and planting.
- US Forest Service grant being utilized to monitor water quality/plant success as well as increase native vegetation and tree cover; 245 trees/shrubs and 3064 plants installed as of October 2018.
- Park served as outdoor classroom space for 21st Century Preparatory School, Case High School, Gateway Technical College and UW-Parkside.
Seno K/RLT Conservancy
- Dedicated to sustainable forestry, natural resources education, conservation, and land preservation, Seno offers programs for K-12 students, adults, families and youth groups. Seno is also a Natural Resources Foundation field trip provider. http://www.senokrlt.org.
- Sierra Club, Southeast Gateway Group
The Sierra Club mission is to Explore, Enjoy, and Protect the Planet by protecting wild lands and wildlife and by creating a 100% clean energy economy. The Southeast Gateway Group (SEGG) has over 1,000 members in Kenosha, Racine, and Walworth Counties. Local activities include: statewide lobbying for mining regulation, renewable energy, public transportation, and groundwater issues; establishing household hazardous waste collections and the Racine recycling program; picking up litter as part of the Adopt-a-Highway program; supporting invasive species control and restoration; and holding programs and events to enhance the enjoyment of nature. www.sierraclub.org/wisconsin/southeast-gateway.
- Contributing Member of the Clean Power Coalition working for a transition to renewable energy for Southeast Wisconsin.
- Organized and participated in the People’s Climate March
- Partner with Weed Out! Racine in Colonial Park
- Presented public programs on such topics as “Animals and Climate Adaptation” and partnered with Great Lakes Water Council for “Water Matters and Foxconn Development” in October 2018
- Three highway cleanup days on STH 38
- Sponsored hikes on the Ice Age Trail and kayaking on the Nippersink River.
Southeast Wisconsin Solar Group Buy
- Formerly SOLARacine, SWSGB recruits people to sign up for Solar energy with a group buy program, thereby qualifying for a 20% reduction in the overall cost of the project, in addition to 30% tax credits and a $2000.00 grant from Focus on Energy. 2018 is the third year of recruiting residents and small businesses to acquire solar energy. They also work with government agencies and businesses toward a comprehensive approach to reducing energy overall in Racine and Kenosha counties. An initiative of Greening Greater Racine.
- In partnership with Arch Electric and the Great Lakes Community Conservation Corp, 11 families and 1 organization reap the benefits of generating their own electricity!
- The 2018 group buy totaled 88.21 kW, and the solar arrays installed ranged from 2.1 to 19.8 kWs in size, which is roughly from 2 to 20 panels.
- Contributed financially to the completion of a solar array on the Community Center at Veterans Village.
- Contributed to a full page ad in the Journal Times urging We Energies and Foxconn to go solar.
Sturtevant Beautification Committee
- Sturtevant Beautification Committee is a project of the Village of Sturtevant and UW-Extension. We provide environmental/horticulture education for the residents of Sturtevant and surrounding areas, while also improving the aesthetic appearance of our village. Contacts: Rose Woodruff [email protected] and Linda Busha [email protected]
- Community vegetable garden; butterfly garden; maintenance of several flower gardens.
- Partnership with local businesses to provide flower planters along village streets.
- Monthly educational articles on village website.
- Participation in GGR, VGR WAVE Team, and Eco-Fest.
“Trees We Love”
- Each year the Hoy Audubon Society hosts “Trees We Love,” a program created to recognize and award the preservation, protection, appreciation, love, and knowledge of the natural world and its vital importance to our sense of place, our sense of history, and our sense of wonder. Specifically, this program sets forth an invitation to share our appreciation and love for a cherished, unique, or landmark tree in our community. Submissions are reviewed by a committee. The awarded legacy trees are published, photographed, and publicly acknowledged via permanent descriptive plaques as well as professionally researched and beautifully written short, historical narratives recounting each tree’s life in its environment.
- In 2018 three trees received awards; a White Oak on Brevor Rd, Burlington, a Burr Oak on 19th St., Racine, and a Black Maple on the grounds of the DeKoven Ctr, Racine.
- This year we have also given two “Honorary” Awards. Honorary awardees received a descriptive sign which purpose was to educate and provide enhanced stewardship/protection, as the awardees are publicly owned trees. The honorary awardees are: a Hoptree owned by Shoop Park in Wind Point and a Cottonwood alongside Pan Yack Rd. in Burlington.
- The program is also working towards permanent protection of a 300+ year-old Bur Oak in the FoxConn territory (Stage 2). Such efforts have been to date very successful, and the hope is protection via Park creation of the grounds on which this tree stands.
North Pointe United Methodist Church-United Lutheran Church
- North Pointe United Methodist with United Lutheran Church occupy the same building and share a green team devoted to binging creation care into the full life of these congregations: worship, education, building and grounds, personal discipleship, and public witness. They are eager to integrate creation care into the full life and mission of the congregations.
- NPUMC installed solar panels on the roof of the church building.
- Set up bins in each room and dumpster for recycling.
- Invite members to recycle phones, batteries, printer cartridges, glasses, and more.
- Establishing comprehensive “Guidelines for Creation Care” for approval by both congregations.
- ULC celebrated a four week Season of Creation and Blessing of Pets.
- The Green Team meets monthly to plan and carry out new projects.
University of Wisconsin Extension
- UW-Extension strives to teach, learn, lead and serve, connecting people with the University of Wisconsin, and engaging with them in transforming lives and communities. Programs truly focus on empowering our local communities so take many forms. There are programs for families such as parenting classes and financial & housing planning. There are programs for the youth including 4-H and Youth in Governance. There are programs for agriculturalists including commercial horticulture information and Master Gardening Training. UW-Extension is also a great place to check in with when searching for other community resources as they put out an annual Family Resource Guide that seeks to detail all service providers in Racine County. https://racine.uwex.edu.
Visioning a Greater Racine Eco-WAVE Team.
- Dedicated to making greater Racine a “Model of Environmental Sustainability,” this group meets monthly to plan and carry out projects that contribute to their goal. Under the leadership of Meg Richardson, this team is one of eleven VGR WAVE teams.
- Sponsored a public program about composting presented by Melissa Tashjian owner of CompostCrusader.
- Initiating a trial community composting program in Sturtevant, led by Rose Woodruff and Linda Busha.
- Participates in the GREEN program to green the cafeterias of area schools.
- Assumed the responsibility of convening and leading the ZERO Waste movement in greater Racine.
- Promotes the STAR Community (Now LEED for Cities) certification program for cities and communities.
Weed Out! Racine
- Weed Out! Racine (a 501(c)(3) charitable organization) is a volunteer program that aims to maintain the biodiversity of our public spaces and native areas by stopping the spread of invasive plant species so that native plants can thrive and cleared areas can be restored—and then planting new trees. In coordination with the City of Racine Parks Department (PRCS), we work to remove invasive plants and plant new trees by setting up work days at specific sites and inviting volunteers to participate. Because of the extensive ash tree removal in Colonial Park, we organized few work days in 2018. We sometimes do public educational programs. Contact: [email protected].
- Planted about 50 small oaks protected with blue plastic sleeves, which has improved their survival rates.
- With PRCS, we will plant 450 whips in the logged area. Your help is needed on November 3.
- Followed-up on hairy willow herb in Carre-Hogle Park (DNR).
- Arranged for continuing DNR control of lesser celandine in Colonial.
- Discovered and removed jimson weed from Lincoln Park.
- Assist and advise land stewardship at River Bend Nature Center.
- With PRCS, weeded and maintained the Pershing Boulevard bioswale and the Transit Center bioswale.
Wild Ones Root River chapter
- Wild Ones promotes environmentally sound landscaping practices to preserve biodiversity through the preservation, restoration, and establishment of native plant communities through educational programs and advocacy. Our activities include an annual native plant sale for the public and workdays to remove invasive species. http://rootriverarea.wildones.org
- Provide free milkweed seeds and information at EcoFest, Earth Day, and other environmental events throughout the year.
- Invasive species removal workday in Colonial Park in partnership with Weed Out! Racine
- Huge native plant sale in partnership with GTC Kenosha Horticulture program
- Use money raised from plant sale to support land purchases for Chiwaukee Prairie
- Host monthly educational meetings
Wild Root Market
- The mission of Wild Root Market is to enhance the quality of life and economic vitality of southeastern Wisconsin through the sustainable operation of a full-service, cooperatively owned grocery store with a focus on natural, organic, and locally-sourced food. As a food co-op, we are committed to serving our community, employees, and member-owners while working as part of a stronger local food system. Wild Root Market will provide a hub for education, cooperation, wellness, and advocacy in support of good food and healthy community. Everyone can shop, anyone can OWN IT! www.wildrootmarket.coop.
- Announced the site of our grocery store, coming soon to 500 Walton Avenue.
- Approaching 1,200 Owners in the co-op and growing by the day.
- Successfully received the zoning and permitting required for the property.
- Raised $1.125M in our Capital Campaign to raise funds needed to open the store.
- Received grants from the City, the State and UNFI Foundation totaling $643,000.
- In underwriting with the National Cooperative Bank for primary financing for the store.
- Interviewing potential General Manager.
- Store planning & design underway.
- Construction begins and doors open in 2019!
Wisconsin Green Muslims
- Wisconsin Green Muslims is a grassroots environmental justice group formed in 2005, connecting faith, environmental justice, and sustainability through education and service. It intends to educate the Muslim community and the general public about the Islamic environmental justice teachings, as they relate to climate change, clean air, pure water, healthy food, solar power, energy efficiency, waste reduction, and transportation equity, to apply these teachings in daily life and to form coalitions with others working toward a just, healthy, peaceful and sustainable future. https://wisconsingreenmuslims.org.
- Recent activities:
- Leading “Just Solar” and Solar Equity guiding principles in Wisconsin.
- Facilitating two interfaith initiatives — “Faith and Solar” and “Faithful Rainwater Harvesting” — which connect diverse faith communities to the unifying powers of solar and rainwater in a peer-learning circle while building interfaith relationships, advancing equitable solar energy and nature-based solutions to flooding, and strengthening our community. Reached over 2,000 people from 18 different faith traditions and spiritualities.
- Celebrated March as Water Month with several water-related presentations and exhibits. Spring river clean up.
- Greening Ramadan campaign. Daily calendar action items. https://wisconsingreenmuslims.org/green-ramadan/
- Facilitating the Midwest / RE-AMP Equitable Local 100% Clean & Renewable Action Team.
Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters
- WLCV is a non-partisan advocacy group that works to conserve and protect natural resources and our enjoyment of them. They urge people to advocate for the passage of state laws and policies that protect our water, land and air, including the support of energy regulations that safeguard the climate. For the benefit of voters, they publish a conservation scorecard for state legislators. www.conservationvoters.org.
- Endorse and campaign for state level candidates
- Work to protect drinking water from agricultural runoff
- Work within local communities to advocate for renewable energy
Wisconsin Interfaith Power and Light
- The mission of Wisconsin Interfaith Power and Light shall be to inform, train, and activate people of all faiths and faith communities to take concrete steps in response to climate change through the promotion of energy conservation, energy efficiency and renewable energy in order to protect Earth’s ecosystems, safeguard public health, and ensure just, sufficient, and sustainable energy for all. The goal of WIPL is to mobilize a religious response to global warming in congregations through the promotion of renewable energy, energy efficiency, and conservation. Contact Peter Bakken through www.wisconsinipl.org/. Local contact: John Helt [email protected]
- Cool Congregations Program to help faith communities and their members reduce their carbon footprint
- Cool Harvest / Carbon Covenant Program to support communities on the front lines of climate change impacts
- Preach-In on Climate Change / Wisconsin Interfaith Energy Stewardship Collaborative
- Seminars and Workshops. Newsletters.
- Speakers Bureau, Consulting, Congregational Outreach & Education
Zoë Outreach Ministries
- Their vision is to see “lives impacted and transformed through Jesus Christ.” Along with ministries of dance, women’s integrity, and community meals, they maintain a beautiful garden on Racine Street that is a testimony to their commitment to the health and beauty of our community. www.zoeoutreachministries.com.