2014 Awardees Announced

We are excited to announce that 25 excellent proposals were submitted for funding to the 2014 SEWISC Assistance Program, which was graciously sponsored by the We Energies Foundation.  Although a challenging task, the selection committee chose 5 extraordinary on-the-ground invasive species control projects which will be conducted in our region over the next few months. The projects are summarized  below:

SEWISC awarded $1,000 to the Friends of Lapham Peak for a buckthorn and honeysuckle removal project along the old Government Hill Road in Lapham Peak.  The project will focus on cutting, stacking and burning buckthorn and honeysuckle using volunteers known at the park as the “Buckthorn Busters”.  Funding will be used to purchase equipment and contracted chainsaw work needed to complete the project.  Several long-time partners including members of the Friends of Lapham Peak, the Ice Age Trail Alliance and local school groups such as Kettle Moraine High School will all lend a hand with invasive plant removal.

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Riveredge Nature Center (RNC) was awarded $1,000 for a 5-acre vernal pond restoration project in the Riveredge Creek State Natural Area.  The project will focus on the removal and management of reed canary grass. This vernal pond serves as crucial breeding habitat for many reptiles and amphibians and is a hub for biological diversity and educational activities at RNC.  Our funds will be used to compensate RNC staff who will conduct the control efforts with the help of their dedicated volunteer base.

A $1,488 award was given to the River Revitalization Foundation (RRF) for invasive species control in the Milwaukee River Greenway. Management efforts will be conducted on 26 riparian acres owned by RRF, as well on riparian land owned by partners, including Milwaukee County Department of Parks, Recreation & Culture, and the Milwaukee Area Technical College. This support will provide RRF with supplies and materials to effectively control common teasel, Japanese knotweed, buckthorn, honeysuckle, reed canary grass, thistle, garlic mustard, and burdock.  RRF works collaboratively with many student volunteers including the Cambridge Woods Neighborhood Association.

SEWISC awarded $1,150 to the Caledonia Conservancy Land Trust for invasive species control on approximately 200 acres of Caledonia Conservancy Lands.  The funds will be used to purchase herbicide and personal protective safety equipment.  This project will focus on eliminating woody invasive species using the Conservancy’s dedicated volunteer base which includes several high schools within the Racine Unified School District as well as the Prairie School and UW-Parkside. The Conservancy Land Trust will also continue to engage local schools by hosting the School to Nature Program at several sites throughout the year.

Last, but certainly not least, $766.50 was awarded to the Silver Lake Management District for a Eurasian watermilfoil control project using divers to eliminate the first small patch of the plant located in Silver Lake, Oconomowoc. The funds provided by SEWISC will be used to purchase SCUBA equipment. The Lake District will engage and educate volunteers through opportunities to help remove and bag the milfoil pulled by SCUBA divers during removal workdays.

Thank you to We Energies Foundation for supporting these vital efforts!

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