Fall Environmental Summi

A little about ourselves:

Our Goals

To promote all of Racine’s water-related activities and encourage resident participation so as to generate a self-image of greater Racine as a “water city”.
Established in June 2016, the Greater Racine Water Council is comprised of leaders, steering committee, and plenary council with teams to work on various areas of concern.The Greater Racine Water Council educates residents about the local watersheds, encouraging behavior to “Respect Our Waters;” promote implementation plans, activities and programs of the Root River, Pike River and Wind Point watershed areas and plans; and address all local and state policies and regulation related to water. 

Check out some of these local water organizations and what they do in greater Racine!

Root River Clean Up

The Root River Council worked with Weed Out! Racine to clean up the Root River from debris, litter and invasives. The weather turned out great and so did the area. Go to the Root River Council’s < website for more details.

2019 Root River Festival

Another successful annual Root River Council’s Root River Festival at the REC Center. Click HERE for more info!

Water Matters and Foxconn Development

Thank you to the attendees that came to listen to an educational event Greening Greater Racine’s Greater Racine Water Council has been planning for the community on Thursday October 25, 2018. We are also thankful for the environmental leaders and representatives from the City of Racine, On the lake’s Water Utility, Root-Pike Watershed Initiative Network, Sierra Club Wisconsin, and Alliance for Water Stewardship – North America. We are truly grateful for Gateway Technical College S.C. Johnson iMet Center for providing the space for the event. We hope people got some updates on Foxconn’s development and how it pertains to our and other local watersheds. We hope conversations continue throughout the community to ensure best management practices are considered and to be implemented. For the article by the The Journal Times from the event, please click HERE.

Foxconn may be the biggest thing to come to SE Wisconsin in our lifetimes.  The impacts and consequences of Foxconn’s selection are far-ranging, and beyond our ability to predict accurately.  Emotionally loaded guesses run the gamut from economic miracle to environmental disaster.  Greening Greater Racine’s Greater Racine Water Council (GRWC) advocates for healthy and resilient watersheds, so we seek to understand the likely effects that Foxconn and its operations will have on our watersheds.

WATERshed Program

The WATERshed Program instructs Racine Unified School District students about a variety of important scientific aspects in water and connecting them with it, utilizing our local sources – the Root River and Lake Michigan. This year was another success with 3000 students learning from dedicated volunteers summing to 523 volunteer hours! Please contact Nancy Carlson for inquiry in volunteering: [email protected]. The future generation needs to be connected and gain knowledge on the importance of our freshwater resources. 

Greater Racine Water Council - Golden Rondelle Event April 27, 2017

Water and Waterways of Greater Racine is a community program to be held at the SC Johnson Golden Rondelle Theater on Thursday, April 27 from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. Doors will open at 6:00 p.m. The program features Ann Brummitt and Brenda Coley Co-Executive Directors of the Milwaukee Water Commons their Water City 3.0 program for Milwaukee. In addition, local leaders will provide updates on a variety of issues, solutions and celebrations regarding Racine water and waterways:
  • Keith Haas, City of Racine Water Utility, on “The State of Our Drinking Water.”
  • Dr. Julie Kinzelman, City of Racine Health Department on the latest developments at North Beach and Sam Myers Park.
  • Dave Giordano, Executive Director of Root-Pike Watershed Initiative Network, on the Root River and Pike River Watershed Restoration Plans.
  • Todd Brennan, Alliance for the Great Lakes, on current policy decisions the latest on the Waukesha Monitoring of the Root River.
The program is sponsored by The Greater Racine Water Council and Greening Greater Racine. The SC Johnson Golden Rondelle Theater is located at 1525 Howe Street, Racine, WI 53403; the parking lot is at the intersection of 14th Street and Franklin Street. RSVP for this Community Program at www.scjohnson.com/CIPreservations.

Root-Pike WIN December News

Click the DOWNLOAD button to get the full details on the December newsletter by Root-Pike WIN.

Read about plans, progress and updates within the Root and Pike watersheds, and how Root-Pike WIN is getting involved with numerous organizations. Root-Pike WIN does it all – from exploring work with floating islands, restoration and erosion mitigation, and community work. 

Horlick Dam Community Workshop

The Root River Council held a community workshop for input regarding the fate of the Horlick Dam to some of the Racine County Board members and the Southeastern Wisconsin Planning Commission at River Bend Nature Center, December 2016. The event had a lot of useful input for thought. ​Check out the news article on the Journal Times.

Annual Event November 2016

The Root River Council held their annual meeting at Gateway on November 2016. They talked about 2016’s highlights, provided a preview of 2017 events and Vandewalle and Associates briefed on the RootWorks plans in Racine.  Below are new official board members!
Photo credit: Marybeth Zuhlke 
Left to right: 
Anuja Patil, Brian Dean, Laura Schulz, Mera Yi, Kathy Karabetsos


Todd Brennan (Alliance for the Great Lakes)Nancy Carlson (WATERshed Program)Jim Chambers (Root River Council)Dave Giordano (Root-Pike WIN)Mollie Jones (Alderwoman District 2)Kimberly Kane (Kane Communications Group)Monte Osterman (Racine Co Board of Supervisors District 3)David Rhoads (Greening Greater Racine)Joan Roehre (Adventure Kids Learning)Laura Schulz (Root River Environmental Community Center – REC)Allison Thielen (Root-Pike WIN)Melissa Warner (Weed Out Racine; Sierra Club)Mera Yi (Great Lakes Community Conservation Corps; UW-Milwaukee School of Freshwater Sciences)

Golden Rondelle Program About the Great Lakes

What: “The Death and Life of the Great Lakes” Who: Dan Egan, award winning author, reporter for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and UW-Milwaukee School of Freshwater Sciences Policy Fellow When: Thursday evening, March 14 from 6:30 to 8:00. Doors open at 6:00 Where: at the SCJ Golden Rondelle on 14th Street near the lake. Please RSVP at www.scjohnson.com/CIPreservations
Do not wait. This program will be popular!

Dan Egan is a reporter for the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel covering the Great Lakes and a senior water policy fellow at UW-Milwaukee. His talk will be about the subject of his book and subsequent research on The Death and Life of the Great Lakes (2017) with a focus on Lake Michigan. The book is an amazing story, a landmark book of science and history; and his talk will be of interest to many people. The book got rave reviews and won the Midwest Booksellers Choice Award and the J. Anthony Lukas Award. As a journalist, he has been nominated for two Pulitzers for explanatory journalism. He will examine what threatens the great lakes and what can be done to preserve and restore them. Program:
  • Introduced by Mayor Cory Mason
  • Interviewed by Todd Brennan, Senior Policy Manager with the Alliance for the Great Lakes and Julie Kinzelman, Research Scientist with the City of Racine Health Department.
  • Q and A with the audience.
Sponsors: The program is being sponsored by Greening Greater Racine, Gateway Technical College, the Sierra Club, and the Greater Racine Water Council. Please post the flyer and share this announcement with those in your network.

Healthy Beaches

What: The Healthy Beaches program takes approximately 1,500 7th grade Racine Unified School District (RUSD) students on field trips to the beach to learn about what makes our beaches so healthy and the different kinds of threats that face the beaches and the Great Lakes in general. After classroom lessons, students head to the beach to test water quality; observe and record beach conditions; and identify potential pollution sources. When: Field trips for this program take place throughout the month of May generally Tuesday – Thursday in the morning and again in the early afternoon. Who: The program is coordinated through a partnership between the Alliance for the Great Lakes (www.greatlakes.org) and the Great Lakes Community Conservation Corps (Corps) (www.facebook.com/GLCCCWI). The Corps provides workforce development, and a High School degree program for those that need it, including young adults aged 17-25 who lead and instruct the 7th graders on the field trips. The Healthy Beaches program has been made possible by a generous grant from SC Johnson, A Family Company and has led to full district-wide integration of Great Lakes learning in a local context. Where: This event takes place on Zoo Beach in Racine, WI. Why: In order to protect the future of the Great Lakes, we need to invest in our next generation of environmental advocates. This means giving kids a fun, hands-on experience at the beach to help them learn about the importance of their watershed, how it works and their impact on beach health. The program is now in its eighth year and some Corps members were once RUSD students who remember participating in beach field trips and are enthusiastic to pass on their learning to the current 7th graders. More: For more information and details on the field trips, please contact Todd Brennan of Alliance for the Great Lakes at [email protected] or 414-559-0317

Root River Festival 2018

Another successful year for the Root River Council’s Root River Festival held at Colonial Park. This year’s new additions were a rubber duck derby race, a variety of local authors, an interfaith vocation, a wider variety of children’s activities, and entertainment. 


SRL-Environmental, LLC is a consulting service that caters to clients in the public, private and academic sectors. Dr. Stephen Lyon, the principal consultant, has years experience that provide environmental remediation recovery, and technological improvements. His expertise includes:

  • treatment wetlands,
  • water reclamation,
  • biogeochemistry,
  • storm water treatment technologies,
  • aquatic ecology,
  • groundwater recharge,
  • environmental microbiology,
  • alternative wastewater treatment systems,
  • microbial biofilms,
  • molecular biology,
  • multivariate statistical analysis,
  • environmental chemistry,
  • bioremediation, and
  • algae biotechnology. 

Thanks to the Racine County support and partnership, SRL-Environmental was able to place a floating wetland island at Quarry Lake Park. A few local college students and an AmeriCorps crew were able to help with the installation process. This is the solution to the park’s years of constant algal bloom issues –  a detrimental problem to water quality and community health. 

​Connect with Dr. Lyon and SRL-Environmental by email: [email protected] 

​Check out the Quarry Lake Park Journal Times coverage by clicking HERE

Pike River Cleanup

​The Kenosha Sportfishing & Conservation Association works with a number of organizations, like Root-Pike Watershed Initiative NetworkEducators Credit UnionWisconsin Department of Natural Resourcesand many more to do a colossal cleanup along the Pike River at Petrified Springs Park. Last year they found a number of large items that required a lot of resources. In fall 2018 will be their 10th year in their cleanup efforts. Please consider helping volunteer or becoming a sponsor for this event! ​

Root River Festival 2017

Greening Greater Racine was one of many that participated in an event that brings the community to the river. This year it was at Lincoln Park. Check out some of the photos! It was a great turn out with a lot of fun. Thanks to the Root River Council board event planners! 

Photo credits Jon Bolton

Standing Rock in Racine

Several organizations came together to stand together for Standing Rock. We hope the Dakota pipeline does not disturb native lands and contanimate local waters. Water is life. 

Root River Festival 2016

Photo credit: Emily Romeril

A Need for Action

The GRWC works towards protecting the Root River and raising awareness of the River in all aspects of community planning. Some members (photo below) of the Greater Racine Water Council (GRWC) voiced major concerns of the proposed Waukesha diversion’s impact to the quality and quantity of the Root River and its affects to the communities in Racine to the Racine Common Council July 19, 2016. Chief among those concerns is a comprehensive monitoring plan and mitigation funding to help offset possible impacts from a new effluent source in the Root River.To this end, the GRWC hosted the Waukesha Wastewater Utility at a meeting in February to learn about and provide feedback for their water monitoring plan. Moving forward, the council looks to work with Waukesha and various entities to ensure that the health of the Root River and the people of SE Wisconsin are prioritized in decision making.

The meeting made news in an article by the Journal Times August 1, 2016, click here for the details.

Want to be involved?

Email David Rhoads at [email protected]

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