Connecting Nature's Corridors

What is Connecting Nature's Corridors?

Out of concern for the well-being of threatened butterflies and bees, GGR early on established a movement to encourage planting of pollinator gardens in yards, city/county parks, and schools/churches. They have worked especially at Pritchard Park, Lockwood Park, and Resurrection Lutheran Church. Their mission is to educate the public by displaying a map with locations of pollinator gardens.

Marilyn Kiemen, Janet Weyker, and Dave Backman have spearheaded this hands-on work through cooperation with the city parks department, local churches and at EcoFest.

Our Mission and Goals

The mission of the Connecting Nature Corridors committee is to:

  • Promote the conservation of native plants, natural habitats and biodiversity 
  • Increase awareness of horticultural use of native plants
  • Foster healthier watersheds, and the welfare of our wildlife and pollinators 
  • Partner with other conservation and sustainable programs and organizations 

Goals of the Connecting Nature Corridors committee include but are not limited to:

  • Plan and participate in events, meetings, or projects to educate and promote to the public on the following: 
    • Nature corridors and wetlands 
    • Pollinators and other wildlife 
    • Importance of native plants, natural biodiversity 
    • Green spaces converted to native plants and pollinator habitats 
    • Monarch Gardens and Certified Wildlife Habitats® program
    • Informative signage in public areas 
    • Networking and partnering with native plant and gardening groups
    • Residential native plants and natural habitat landscaping  
    • Develop Friends groups for local parks
  • Identify areas where native plant gardens exist to increase interconnectedness of wildlife corridors. Such areas may include: 
    • Parks 
    • Schools
    • Churches 
    • Residential and commercial 
    • Government buildings
    • Roadsides

Friends of Lockwood Park

Connecting Nature Corridors has been busy working with the City of Racine Parks to develop a prairie area at Lockwood. We could use any help as we expand this project. Contact us at [email protected] if you’re interested!

Friends of Pritchard Park

​A new Friends group dedicated to promote sustainable and environmentally-friendly stewardship, outreach, recreation, and education. They are looking for volunteers and to gain membership!

Look at more information by clicking HERE!

Colonial Park Update for 2019

City of Racine Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Weed Out! Racine and Southeast Gateway Group Sierra Club
Goals:  improve water quality, restore a functional ecosystem, and create an aesthetically pleasing oasis for City residents.

Plans for 2019:
slash and stumps in wetland removed;
wetland mix seed will be spread:
            seed mix purchased with grant from Sweetwater Trust;
            labor: Great Lakes Community Conservation Corps (GLCCC)
garlic mustard and other weeds to be controlled in the 4+ acres where whips planted;
continue honeysuckle and buckthorn removal in areas along river;
planting of additional small native trees and shrubs.
This team met regularly every 4th Saturday morning from April – October. With the final tree planting in late October and with the help of Parkside students, they were able to plant all their trees before noon! Watch out for news in 2020 for more work volunteer dates! 

Trees We Love 2019 Winners - Two Winners!

2019 Trees We Love brings two tree winners, a Red Oak and a Black Maple. Photos courtesy of John Krerowicz. Click the link on the tree names to read the narrative and more information on the trees with the respective tree names. Some quick info on the tree winners: ​ RED OAK (QUERCUS RUBRA) APPROX. AGE 180 YEARS DIAMETER AT BREAST HEIGHT: 46” HEIGHT: 60’ PROUD STEWARDS: THE VANDELEEST FAMILY, 1595 MARIA ST., RACINE NOMINATOR: BERNARDINE HOFF BLACK MAPLE (ACER NIGRUM) APPROX. AGE 150 YEARS DIAMETER AT BREAST HEIGHT: 36” HEIGHT: 70’ PROUD STEWARD: LINDA DUVALL, 504 S. EMMERTSEN RD., MT. PLEASANT​ ​Woodman, spare that tree!  Touch not a single bough!  In youth it sheltered me, and I’ll protect it now.  George P. Morris, Woodman, Spare That Tree In a nutshell, Hoy Audubon Society’s program, Trees We Love receives tree nominations from any and all; stewards, admirers, young or old, whomever may have a favorite tree they would like to see receive formal recognition.  We receive nominations, we site-visit such, we determine age, height and spread and we award trees.  All nominations receive arborist and committee site-visits and complimentary letters detailing species, measurements and approximate age.  Full awards receive bronze plaques, archival history detailing the site or history of the tree, a written narrative and a framed photo. ​ After 3 successful years of Trees We Love, I look forward to the new tales and the enchantment which we will see, read and discover when receiving the 2019 tree nominations. May Trees We Love continue to encourage and inspire folks to get out of the weeds and into the trees, to protect and appreciate our living history, and to perhaps ensure that these grand and noble trees live out their lives happily ever after. To learn more about Hoy Audubon Society’s Trees We Love, all awardees, pictures and narratives, please visit ​ For, “It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see”.  – Henry D. Thoreau

Black Maple

Colonial Park Tree Planting Day 2018

The City of Racine’s Forestry Department, Weed Out! Racine, and 40+ community volunteers all joined together to plant young trees all around Colonial Park on Saturday November 3, 2018. The Forestry Dept. had to remove the majority of the Ash trees due to the Emerald Ash Borer. Young trees were planted to revitalize the area. We are thankful for all those that helped! 


  • Dead ash trees logged and removed;
  • Most stumps and slash cleared;
  • Honeysuckle buckthorn management continued;
  • ± 50 two-year old oaks planted;
  • 400 whips (4′ young trees) planted early November;
  • Newly discovered invasive lesser celandine managed by DNR;
  • Invasive reed canary grass controlled in lower Colonial wetland: grant from Fund for Lake Michigan.

Hoy Audubon 2018 Trees We Love Winner

BLACK MAPLE (ACER NIGRUM) APPROX. AGE 170 YEARS DIAMETER AT BREAST HEIGHT: 40” HEIGHT: 65’ SPREAD: 65’ PROUD STEWARDS: THE DEKOVEN CENTER, 600 21ST ST., RACINE, WI ​NOMINATOR: RALPH ANDERSON The Trees We Love program is “a source of celebration, recognition and much-needed positive environmental news; it is a reiteration of the importance of our past; which has produced our present and, perhaps, act as encouragement to preserve our future. We believe it to be a high-impact conservation program with positive, long-term results. 2018 awardees will receive permanent recognition, promoting stewardship for, and appreciation of, our beautiful heritage trees.” Take a read at a lovely written excerpt by Sue Schuit by clicking HERE. To see other nominees and awardees, click HERE.

Roger Kuhns & Jens Jensen

Greening Greater Racine was able to sponsor Roger Kuhns, a performer that portrays Jens Jensen August 27, 2018 at the Golden Rondelle. The event was almost sold out. Roger Kuhns also performed at the 2018 Root River Festival. We thank him for his informative presentation to the community. You can find more information on Roger by clicking HERE. Synopsis of Performance Jens Jensen, the father of native plant landscape architecture and the founder of Door County’s The Clearing Folk School, was a pillar in the landscape architecture and environmental movements in the late 1800s and early 1900s. In this performance piece, Roger Kuhns takes on Jensen’s personality, mannerisms, accent and ethic to convey to the audience the innovative and conscientious nature of the man. It is a very personal, moving and engaging glimpse of this amazing person. In the show, Jensen is in the twilight of his career and at 86 years old he was still spry and driven to help people realize the importance of respecting nature. Jens Jensen Jens Jensen was born in Dybbol, Denmark in 1860. He came to America as a young man and became the father of landscape architecture using native plants in landscaping design. Jensen was responsible for many of Chicago’s parks and was a leader in the preservation and environmental movements. He worked with famous architects such as Frank Lloyd Wright and his clients in his private practice included Henry Ford. In 1935, he founded The Clearing Folk School in Ellison Bay and inspired a generation of landscape architects, along with many others who attended the folk school. Jensen died there in 1951.

Hoy Audubon 2017 Trees We Love

  • Winner 2017: Oak at Pringle (Click here for bio)
  • Tree #2 Seno Bur Oak (Click here for bio)
  • Tree #3 Elm on Waterbury (Click here for bio)
  • Tree # 4 Larch on Vincennes (Click here for bio)
  • Tree # 5 Hickory on Crystal Spring (Click here for bio)
  • ​Tree #6 Oak on Brook (Click here for bio)

​About Trees We Love: Hoy Audobon had opportunity to award 6 Trees We Love this year!  They thank WE Foundation, Runzheimer Foundation, Pugh Foundation, WI Audubon, Racine and Kenosha Heritage Museums, Ketterhagen Memorial whom provided a free plaque (value $400+) and of course, the wonderful volunteers. This program requires cooperation, participation, and coordination from many. John Krerowicz, Fran Brinkman, Rick Fare, Helen Pugh, Matt Koepnick, Kevin Nolan and Sue Schuit have been working on the program throughout the year, towards this goal; the plaques, the narratives, photography, framing, archival research, and the awards.​

Hoy Audubon: 2016 Trees We Love

We are pleased to share Hoy Audubon Society’s newly created Trees We Love program.  The Trees We Love intention is to celebrate and recognize heritage trees in our community.  This program hopes to enhance appreciation, respect and stewardship for trees; to inspire folks to look at trees with admiration, reverence and a sense of wonder of their magic, their majesty and the mystery of their ageless secrets silently soaring above our heads. The Trees We Love, 2016 awardees are: (Click on the tree name to view all the magnificant photos!) Bur Oak King, proud stewards:  Knutson family.  49” Diameter at Breast Height, 70’ Height, age approx. 245 years. Matriarch Sugar Maple, proud stewards:  Bergs family.  33” DBH, 85’ Height, age approx. 165 years. Mother of the Woods – The European Beech Queen, proud stewards:  Lochnaiar Inn, Johnson family.  56” DBH, 60’ Height, approx. age 224 years. Stately Sycamore, 12th St. and Horlick Drive, Racine, proud stewards: City of Racine.  39” DBH, 95’ Height, approx. age 110 years.. Stately Sycamore, 12th St. and Horlick Drive, Racine, proud stewards: City of Racine. 39” DBH, 95’ Height, approx. age 110 years.

Honeybees and the Environment​

On Thursday March 16, 2017 Patti Nagai and Peter Poli gave a presentation on “Honeybees and the Environment” at the Golden Rondelle for EcoFest. Peter Poli is the President of the Racine-Kenosha Beekeepers Association. He keeps bees, responds to honeybee swarm calls, and is a self-labeled environmental advocate. Patti Nagai is a Professor at the UW Extension and is a Horticulturist and Gardener. Read more here: Honeybees and the Environment

Updates in Sturtevant!

Sturtevant Beautification Committee members, Rose Woodruff and Linda Busha, hosted a workshop in June on how to attract butterflies to your garden by using pollinating and host plants. They have definitely made strides and witnessed monarchs! We are so happy to see this great progress. Go check it out!