Tag: Baird Creek

Dornbush to lead Baird Creek wildflower hike on May 9


On Saturday, May 9, at 1 p.m., Mathew Dornbush of UW-Green Bay’s NAS faculty will lead a spring wildflower hike as part of the Baird Creek Preservation Foundation’s ongoing series of nature hikes through the greenway. Dornbush will lead participants on a hunt for skunk cabbage, marsh marigolds, and many other beautiful and fascinating wildflowers, some of which only show themselves in the spring. Remember to bring your camera! The gathering place is at Christa McAuliffe Park, 3100 Sitka St. Free and open to the public, with no RSVPs required.

Annual Baird Creek volunteer event is Saturday

The community’s annual Baird Creek Cleanup takes place Saturday (April 25) at the Triangle Hill Pavilion, 500 Beverly Road, from 8:30 a.m. to noon. Registration begins at 8:30 and the cleanup will take place from 9 a.m. to noon. Volunteers can assist with cleanup efforts or the planting of native species in the Greenway. Participants will divide into teams based on their interest and head out to explore, pick up litter and debris or plant native species throughout the Greenway. Questions about the cleanup or about the Baird Creek Preservation Foundation, contact Maureen Meinhardt, (920) 328-3505.

Draney to lead Baird Creek outing this Saturday

The Baird Creek Preservation Foundation invites you to take a break from the holiday bustle to experience a Winter Wonderland Hike in the Greenway at 1 p.m. this Saturday (Dec. 20), departing from Christa McAuliffe Park at 3100 Sitka St. The nature guide will be biology Prof. Mike Draney of UW-Green Bay’s program in Natural and Applied Sciences. He’ll answer your questions about spiders, the effects of harsh weather conditions and anything else that comes to mind. The hike is free and reservations aren’t required, but remember to dress appropriately and be prepared to encounter a few hills and unpaved trails. You can read more at www.bairdcreek.org.

Luczaj to lead geology hike at Baird Creek

The Baird Creek Parkway guided nature hike series resumes at 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 15, with UW-Green Bay Professor of Natural and Applied Sciences John Luczaj leading the outing departing from Christa McAuliffe Park (3100 Sitka Street). He’ll lead a hike focused on glacial formations and the landscape of the past in the Baird Creek area. The hikes are free and open to the public. Check out www.bairdcreek.org for more information.

Slideshow: Baird Creek lessons include ecology, involvement

Freshman conservation biology seminar courseFirst-year students are being given the opportunity to “get their hands dirty and learn about ecology and conservation at the same time,” thanks to a $5,990 grant from the Baird Creek Preservation Foundation.

The grant, issued to Associate Prof. Mathew Dornbush of the Natural and Applied Sciences academic unit at UW-Green Bay, will support Dornbush’s first-year seminar course titled, “Let’s Go Native: Conservation Biology in Practice.”

The project is part of a larger Urban Conservation Capacity grant to the Baird Creek Preservation Foundation from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

“The idea is that we’ll use the grant to get the course designed and get it up and running, and then once that’s done hopefully we can find some other means of supporting it through time,” said Dornbush.

The grant is being used to pay for transportation and supplies for the students, as well as to free Dornbush’s time to teach and coordinate the new seminar. Students will be traveling to Baird Creek several times throughout fall semester 2014 to take part in conservation activities that will mirror what they are learning in the classroom.

The Baird Creek Preservation Foundation was formed by a group of concerned citizens in 1997 in order to protect the Baird Creek Greenway.

“A piece of land was going to be developed that the citizens had used even though they didn’t own it for years,” Dornbush said, “They said, ‘We can’t let this happen. We need to protect it for the public good.’”

Since then, the foundation has won several awards honoring those efforts, and members have continued their mission to “enhance the greenway’s value as an ecological, educational, and recreational resource for Northeastern Wisconsin,” according to their website.

While working at the greenway, students will be assisting in several different projects.

“On site they will be doing a biodiversity inventory of part of the greenway, as well as learning about invasive species and native plants,” said Maureen Meinhardt, executive director of the foundation. “The Baird Creek Preservation Foundation has received thousands of donated native plants, and the students will also be helping us plant them in the greenway, as well as gather seeds from existing plants to spread next season, and removing invasive species.”

(Story continues below.)

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According to Meinhardt, the larger grant issued to the foundation will be used to fund their C.O.R.E. program, which stands for Conservation, Outdoor Recreation, and Education. Through this program the grant will be funding various events and programs at the greenway, including an Earth Day clean-up, a 5K Run and Walk, and various hikes and educational programs for children. The grant also funded two internships last summer and has allowed the foundation to test an iPhone app that would provide visitors to the greenway with interesting facts using their GPS coordinates.

The grant will be covering 75 percent of the costs of the program and the foundation will provide the rest through fundraising.

Dornbush hopes that this experience will push incoming students to go out of their comfort zone and try something new. Developing a connection between the community and the classroom is something Dornbush has found beneficial in other classes he’s taught.

“I’ve seen it with the Costa Rica course we run,” he said. “We take students to Costa Rica and we work with a National Park and communities. It’s very powerful. I think we can do the same thing here. We don’t necessarily need to go all the way to Costa Rica to get that same experience.”

Engagement was a goal for the Baird Creek Preservation Foundation, as well. According to Dornbush, the foundation has many active members who are retired, but wants to get younger people involved in the efforts.

“In supporting the first-year seminar course led by Dr. Dornbush, our goal is to engage UWGB students in the Green Bay community through learning about the ‘jewel’ we have in the 500 acres of natural woodland in the city of Green Bay — the Baird Creek Greenway,” said Meinhardt.

Dornbush has a similar goal. While he hopes that students will leave with knowledge of conservation biology, he also wants students to see the connections they can form with their community.

“I want our students to see that citizens can make a difference through their actions,” he said. “If I preach it to them they’re not going to internalize it. But experiencing it, they do.”

— Story by Katelyn Staaben ’15, student communication intern
 and photos by Lauren Hlavka ’15, student photography intern, Office of Marketing and University Communication

Fish walk is Sept. 27 at Baird Creek

Charlie Frisk, the Baird Creek Preservation Foundation board president, invites interested citizens to meet him on Saturday, Sept. 27, at 1 p.m. at Christa McAuliffe Park, 3100 Sitka Street, for what they’re calling the “One Fish, Two Fish Hike.” He’ll use a large seine to temporarily capture some of the fish (and other aquatic creatures) to take a look at the biodiversity of the creek. Check out www.bairdcreek.org or www.facebook.com/BairdCreek for more information on the parkway’s periodic guided hikes.


 

Grant will support freshman seminar on Baird Creek restoration

A new freshman seminar will study the grassroots, citizen-driven restoration of the nearby Baird Creek Parkway thanks to a $5,990 grant to Associate Prof. Mathew Dornbush, principal investigator, and the UW-Green Bay Natural and Applied Sciences academic unit. The award is part of a larger grant made to the private Baird Creek Preservation Foundation by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. The Foundation says the subcontract to UW-Green Bay will be helpful in promoting further Baird Creek preservation and restoration. The seminar course to be led by Dornbush during the 2014-15 academic year will mix classroom and field work for the several dozen students, and include on-site activities coordinated by the Baird Creek citizen group. An aim of the project is to familiarize UW-Green Bay freshmen with this local success story and the potential benefits of citizen-initiated land-conservation efforts. It is also hoped the project will help Baird Creek Preservation Foundation develop an effective long-term strategy for recruiting new volunteers and members.
  

DJS senior seminar’s ‘Wild Phoenix Project’ succeeds with prairie planting

The Wild Phoenix Project of this semester’s Democracy and Justice Studies senior seminar concluded last weekend with a successful prairie-grass planting at the Baird Creek Parkway. Led by Assistant Prof. Eric J. Morgan, the senior seminar focused on historical and contemporary issues related to wilderness preservation and Aldo Leopold’s land ethic ideal. As part of their semester-long civic engagement project, seminar students raised nearly $300 to purchase Indiangrass seed for the Baird Creek Preservation Foundation, visited the Aldo Leopold Center in Baraboo, and held a Wilderness Day consciousness-raising event on campus. Last Saturday, April 26, seminar students joined dozens of community members and area high school, middle school and fellow UW-Green Bay students for the Baird Creek Preservation Foundation’s spring restoration day project. In the tradition of Aldo Leopold’s ethic of land stewardship, seminar students and friends spent the morning along the Mars loop trail planting the grass seed, which will grow by next summer to become a bit of tallgrass prairie interspersed with native wildflowers to replace various invasive plant species.

‘Wild Phoenix Project’ includes idea, action events as Earth Day nears

This semester’s Democracy and Justice Studies Senior Seminar is hosting a pair of related events in conjunction with Earth Day. The first, a Wilderness Day event featuring a competition around the theme “What Does Wilderness Mean to You?” will be held from 3-7 p.m. Tuesday, April 15 in Phoenix Room A of the University Union. Students will share art, photographs and poetry on the central question for the event, which also will double as a fundraiser (the event is free; ice cream is just $1) for Baird Creek Restoration Day on Saturday, April 26. During the latter event (also free and open to the public), DJS students will pair with area high schoolers and others to plant prairie grass seed at Baird Creek, with all funds raised going directly to the Baird Creek Preservation Foundation. It’s been dubbed the Wild Phoenix Project (check it out on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram), and organizers tell us they’re jazzed about the experience. An initial $200 fundraising goal has been met, but students still are collecting funds to purchase more prairie grass seed for Baird Creek. Full details.

Animal tracks hike

Our neighbors at Baird Creek invite you to join naturalist and educator Charlie Frisk and test your skills on the Animal Tracks Hike through Baird Creek this Saturday (Feb. 15), starting at 1 p.m. at Christa McAuliffe Park (3100 Sitka Street). All Baird Creek hikes are free, and child-friendly, although participants are advised to dress for the weather and be prepared to encounter a few hills and unpaved trails. If you have questions about the hikes or about the Baird Creek Preservation Foundation contact Maureen Meinhardt at execdirector@bairdcreek.org or check out www.bairdcreek.org.