Ripples 4/21/16

photo of staff and volunteers planting trees

Woodland Dunes staff & volunteers planting native trees

Spring is a time of renewal- plants and animals are stimulated to grow and reproduce, and people also feel the urge to cultivate.  Garden centers full of enticing plants spring up from asphalt parking lots, and we eagerly gather and plant them to enrich our personal environments.  Fortunately for people who live in Two Rivers and Manitowoc, a lot of good things are happening on a larger scale as well.

Both Cities are recognized as Wisconsin Bird Cities, which means that they consider birds and other wildlife as beneficial and where possible do what they can to make life better for them.  Two Rivers this year has risen to the next level in that program and is considered a High Flyer because of it’s willingness to partner on projects to improve habitat in places like Zander Park and the Lakefront.  Manitowoc has also taken steps to improve habitat in parks, protect nesting birds, and humanely discourage gulls from nesting in unwanted places before they start doing so.  We will nominate them for High Flyer status as well.  They are also working with the Lakeshore Natural Resource Partnership (LNRP) on restoration of the lower Little Manitowoc River and removal of invasive plants along it’s shore.  LNRP is also doing restoration work along the shore at Hika Bay, Fischer Creek, and other sites in addition to a large scale Phragmites control project at many sites in the County.

The City of Two Rivers is also planting a number of large sugar maple and linden trees, both of which benefit native wildlife.  Woodland Dunes will be planting more than 1,000 native trees and shrubs in our preserve, in Zander Park, at the Aurora Medical Center property, at the site of the Spirit of the Rivers sculpture, and other properties in cooperation with landowners.  Also at the Spirit of the Rivers we will begin an assessment and restoration of Forget Me Not Creek.  

And there’s more- the Manitowoc School District is improving habitat at the Rahr School Forest, and the Wisconsin DNR is constantly managing it’s properties at Point Beach and Collins Marsh.  Conservation Education, Inc. is planning to build a new nature center at Collins also.  In additional to all this, Glacial Lakes Conservancy protects and manages several nature preserves in the County, and works with landowners on conservation easements on others.  UW- Green Bay protects and manages land here as well.

There are others, organizations, farmers and other individuals doing additional work to improve habitat, and the many contributors who support these efforts.  In combination, the efforts of all these people does make a difference, helping to save species and improving our quality of life.  It will take this level of effort or more to protect the wildlife we have now. This work and the care it shows makes our communities more attractive to visitors also, which helps our businesses.  So here’s to our Cities and everyone else who is working to improve our Lakeshore naturally this Spring.    

Jim Knickelbine
Executive Director
Woodland Dunes Nature Center and Preserve

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