UW-Green Bay staff Lynn Terrien, Lower Fox River Watershed Monitoring Program coordinator, and Amy Carrozzino-Lyon, Green Bay Restoration Project coordinator, co-led a teacher workshop at L.H. Barkhausen Waterfowl Preserve in Suamico on Tuesday, Aug. 11. The workshop was held outdoors to allow for social distancing, while engaging teachers in a restoration project to seed native wild rice at Barkhausen.
The workshop created space for local teachers to learn about native aquatic plants in coastal wetlands and tributaries of Green Bay and fostered a collaborative effort to engage local school students in conservation activities in the Green Bay watershed. The group discussed the ecology and culture of wild rice in Wisconsin, reviewed lessons learned from a pilot project in spring 2020, and shared ideas for lesson plans and growing aquatic plants in their classrooms. Seven teachers from all levels of K-12 education at 6 local school districts participated. Teachers were provided with a classroom kit and wild rice seed to get plants started in their learning spaces. Growing native aquatic plants in the classroom creates diverse learning opportunities for students in multiple subjects, such as biology, math, and social and Indigenous studies.
Teachers, UW-Green Bay staff, and local conservation partners will work together to identify suitable locations for the students to help transplant their plants in the watershed next summer and contribute to wetland restoration efforts in their communities. The project is supported by the US Fish and Wildlife Service Coastal Program, the Lower Fox River Watershed Monitoring Program, and NEW Water.