Sierra Club

Fox Valley Sierra Group

Past Program Archive

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Note Click to see scheduled programs. Meetings are free and open to the public.

Displayed by date. Archives of past programs have been summarized and may include useful links.

September 1999

This is the month when the population of the world was expected to pass SIX BILLION people. A presenter told us more about populations. Visit Population Resource Bureau to learn more.

October 1999

A presenter told us about "green" building.

November 1999

An excellent slide show and presentation by a member of the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance. He told us about the status of the Redrock Wilderness and encouraged us to become politically involved. Please visit their website: The Redrock Wilderness

January 2000

Alaska: Land of Many Faces. Presented by Don Lorenz and Jim ??? Immense, dramatic, wild, breathtaking...a few of the adjectives used to describe Alaska. We had a special chance for a closer look at some of this state's many faces and personalities as two FVSG members shared their experiences of last summer with photos, slides, maps, tales. Excellent program! Visit Alaska Dept. of Tourism to begin your own research.
Alaska Picture Alaska Picture Alaska Picture

February 2000

Land Trusts. We learned more about this increasingly popular method of preserving land from development...the land trust. Our speaker, Leslie Taylor, is director of the Northeast Wisconsin Land Trust. Her informational presentation included a video/slide program. She addressed land trusts in general, highlighting succesful acquisitions around the country. Special emphasis was on conservation easements, an innovative and cost-effective method of preserving land in perpetuity. Leslie also detailed current projects in our area and explained opportunities for volunteer involvement. She was joined in her presentation by Thomas Sutter, one of her board members and a local attorney. Click for more information on land trusts.
Wisconsin Land Trust logo

March 2000

New Center for Biodiversity. UWGB has unveiled its work in progress...the Center for Biodiversity, one of the first attempts to develop a local biodiversity center for promoting environmental protection at the grassroots level. It combines UWGB's Richter Museum of Natural History, the Cofrin Arboretum, and the UWGB Herbarium. It will be housed in the academic building currently under construction on campus.

Dr. Robert Howe, UWGB professor of Environmental Sciences and director of the Center, joined us to explain and demonstrate the current status of the Center, and its exciting plans for the future, including on-line (Internet) resources and programs for outreach and information. Biodiversity, a concept whose time has come, is a prime method of preserving our presious natural resources. We learned the role of this new center in educating the public and coordinating efforts to protect our environment.

This meeting was held in Green Bay, at the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay Ecumenical Center in the Fireside Room. Click for map of UWGB.

Some links presented to us during the program:
UWGB Home UWGB NAS Department
UWGB Center for Biodiversity
Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas
Nicolet National Forest Bird Survey

Our GREEN AWARD was presented to Jim Servais and the Northeast Wisconsin High School Environmental Coalition (NEWHSEC). Jim gave a short talk to explain the concept of NEWHSEC.

May 2000

The Crandon Mine. Even with the moratorium, this issue is far from settled. Nashville Town Chairman, Chuck Sleeter, presented the David and Goliath perspective of small town vs. multi-national corporation, including the agreements with Exxon, the recall of the town board, the current status of the issue, and more. It was an interesting evening!

The tiny Town of Nashville is standing its ground against Nicolet Minerals Company, a subsidiary of the multinational, multibillion dollar Rio Algom mining company. The company wants to build an underground mine that would be partially within Nashville and extract approximately 55 million tons of ore over the next 30 years. Nashville is leading the fight in trying to prevent that from happening.

Please visit the No Crandon Mine website.
Please read the Sierra Club: The Planet--April 1998 article.

June 2000

Picture of buckthorn Invaders, Alien Species. Our native species are threatened. The names, Buckthorn, Garlic mustard, and Purple loosestrife, strike terror in the hearts of the informed. A Gypsy Moth alert sends tree huggers scurrying to defence positions!

Our speaker was David Bayer, a retired teacher, who is currently the Seasonal Horticultural Assistant with the UW Extension in Outagamie County. He presented his program, The History, Identification, Threat, and Control of Invasive Species in the Fox Valley, including video and slide illustrations.

Property owners and concerned environmentalists we can make a difference and limit the damage these invasive species cause. As a result of this program our Sierra Group has started a service project to help control the buckthorn population at Bubolz Nature Preserve.

October 2000

Political Update Program. As election time neared we invited Caryl Terrel, the John Muir Chapter staff person, to inform us about state and national issues and the candidates. A Herb Kohl staff member also joined us for a presentation and questions.

November 2000

Monarch Butterfly Monarch Migration    Butterfly picture

Follow the delicate but durable monarch butterfly from Wisconsin to its wintering ground in Mexico. Our speaker is Carol Christensen, Fox Valley resident with a life-long interest in butterflies. She will share her adventure through a slide and narrative program, from Wisconsin to the town in Mexico where the butterflies wait out the winter, before returning to the United States. These seemingly fragile creatures will never look the same again.

January 11, 2001

DNR Warden Logo. Click for website DNR Insight. Our speaker was Mr. Tom Krsnich, an environmental warden for the Northeast region of the Wisconsin DNR, who is responsible for investigating criminal environmental violations. We learned more about how this process works: who can report a suspected violation; the difference between a civil and a criminal violation; how cases are investigated and developed, and how they move to eventual compliance or penalty.
DNR Conervation Warden website
email to
DNR Hotline: 800-847-9367. Business: 920-492-5843. Fax: 920-492-5913.
LMD Headquarters, 1125 N. Military Ave, Box 10448, Green Bay, WI 54307-0448

February 8, 2001

Newfoundland. Click for website Explore Newfoundland. So, what do you know about Newfoundland? OK, eastern Canada, must be a lot like Nova Scotia, right? Well, Yes and No! To learn about this youngest of Canada's provinces, join us for a travelogue from two FVSG members who adventured in Newfoundland in summer 2000. Nancy Brown-Koeller participated in a Sierra Club National Outing, hiking extensively on the internationally known East Coast Trail. Daily sightings of whales and seabirds were among the highlights of this route. Taking a different route, Maureen Birk and a friend utilized a fly/drive package to start from the western coast of the island, explore the national parks, Viking settlement historic areas, and gradually work over to the east coast and the same Trail. They will share stories and pictures of whales, puffins, archeological sites, light houses, and Arctic-like tundra terrain, and some of the local history and culture. Newfoundland Dept. of Tourism

March 8, 2001

Impact! Mike Neuman, an Appleton native who left to study environmental science at UW-Madison, has since become an expert in the environmental impact of transportation and civil works proects in the state. He fosters a unique program that would provide financial incentives to the general populace for curbing pollution by driving less on the highway.

May 10, 2001

The Fox River. Jennifer Feyerherm, from the midwest office of Sierra Club, is our coordinator of information on the Fox River. She will be able to tell us of clean-up programs, legal actions contemplated, and how we may bet involved. Previously whe worked for the DNR for eight years as a waste water supervisor.

Alaska Rainforest Campaign. Click for website Wayne Weinhing visited from Alaska to share information about Alaska's environment. In particular he talked about lumbering practices on the Tongass National Forest.
Wayne's email:
Alaska Rainforest Campaign

June 14, 2001

Ultimate Photography. We were fortunate to have as our presenter, Tim White, owner of Image Pros of Wisconsin (Oshkosh). He has 15 years' experience as a professional photographer. He told us about the photography business and gave some tips on getting good photographs.
Image Pros. Click for website Image Pros website.
Mail to Tim White

September 13, 2001

Fall Kickoff and More....

We'll have much to share as we get together for our big Fall Meeting. It's been a summer of some mighty hot weather, some mighty fine Sierra outings and some disturbing as well as interesting actions in the environmental arena. During all of this, your ExCom has been hard at work keeping the Club rolling smoothly. Come hear it all!

Presentation of FVSG's 2001 Environmental Award to Roy Lukes, originally announced for July, was rescheduled for September's meeting... to give more people the opportunity to meet and congratulate this well-known Wisconsin environmentalist-author.

Kelly Krupka, FVSG trails co-chair and ExCom member, will give a "muscle by blister" travelog of her summer spent out West working for the environment as part of a college environmental science project. Way to go, Kelly!

September meeting's traditional feature: FVSG committees setup displays of their activities and projects. This gives everyone a chance to talk with the committee chairs, to find out what they're up to, and to get involved in some good stuff. (The snacks are good, too!)

This is our special Fall Kickoff meeting. Guests are always invited to all of our events, but this meeting is ESPECIALLY appropriate for new guests.

October 11, 2001

Birds on Display. Pat Fisher, wildlife rehabilitator from New London, brought live birds to illustrate her talk on habits and habitat of our wild birds. She is an avid spokeswoman against hunting of doves and will undoubtedly bring that into the conversation. This was a show for young and old alike, to get up close and personal with some of our wild things.

November 8, 2001

Horseback Tour. Don Lorenz, one of our members who refers to himself as "an adventurer with a camera", will present a slide show of a horseback tour of Torre del Paine National Park in Patagonia (not a sporting goods store). Just the travel to and from this destination borders on the adventurous.

January 10, 2002

Fox River Cleanup - The Paper Industry Perspective.
Tim Dentoin, outreach director for the Fox River Group, will present a different viewpoint for us. The Fox River Group is the group of seven paper companies that have been designated as PRPs (potentially responsible parties) in the Fox River PCB issue.

Reminder: January 21 is the deadline for submitting comments on the proposed PCB cleanup plan. If you wish to have your comments included in the decision-making process, now is the time to get them in. Information is available on

Click for more information.

February 14, 2002

Wolves! Cindy Mueller, naturalist at High Cliff State Park, has been active since 1988 in the Wolf Recovery project. Her program will outline the wolf population. She is an expert on wolf behavior - an interesting and informative speaker who incorporates slides, stories and wolf "artifacts" (??) in her presentations. Come and visit with the wolves.

March 14, 2002

Power! Betsy Brown, of Minneapolis, discussed power; where it comes from and how it is being disbursed, from the industry point of view.

May 9, 2002

Eco-wise business card Natural Landscaping!
Brian Hans, a botanist with Eco-Wise, specializes in native prairies and landscape planing. He presented us with ways to make a yard into a suitable habitat for critters, plants - and humans - without the use of pesticides and water.

June 13, 2002

Woodcarver Bill Wright, a woodcarver from Greenleaf, WI showed some of his carvings, tools, and skills of the trade.

October 10, 2002

Our group celebrated our 20th anniversary this year, and this night is the celebration of the big event. All members, old or new, will enjoy our celebration of our past 20 years and thoughts about the future years. We are having a special dinner program to celebrate the event.

There will also be other programs, and the awarding of our group's Environmental Award to Mary Jane and Bill Schmudlach for their efforts to protect groundwater from the Perrier Group. (Background Information)

January 9, 2003

Dr. Lurton Blassingame will talk about urban sprawl and smart growth. Mr. Blassingame taught land use planning at UW-Oshkosh during the fifteen years he served as the head of the urban and regional studies program. Now he serves on the Oshkosh planning commission and board of NEWLT (Northeast Wisconsin Land Trust).

February 13, 2003

Dale Schaber talked about the Ice Age Trail. Dale has been involved in planning, construction, and repair of the Ice Age Trail for over 20 years. There is always ice cream on the way home from his work parties.

Have you ever wondered how Wisconsin got such varied terrain? Join us and get the answers to some of your glacial questions! The Ice Age Trail in Wisconsin is still far complete, but thanks to the many volunteers like Dale, the trail will someday stretch over 1,000 miles across our beautiful state. Dale, the first president of our group, has been working on expanding and maintaining the trail for over 20 years. Hear some of his stories and learn how the glaciers etched their way into our landscape.

March 13, 2003

Louis and Clark Bicentenial. Todd Berens, Ripon professor and specialist on the history of the Lewis and Clark expedition. He will bring us a description of activities going on during this, the 200th anniversary of the original journey.

On the 200th anniversary of their marvelous journey, many people will be taking trips along the original trail to the sea first experienced by Lewis and Clark. Professor Todd Berens will take us on that journey as a historian and a fellow hiker. His talk will include events that will celebrate the explorers' anniversary and may introduce places you may want to explore on your next vacation.

May 8, 2003

George Gunther and Nancy Gurho presented a program featuring real reptiles, bugs (insects) and all those little things that creep around in the night. A hands on experience!

June 12, 2003

  Rebecca Katers, president of the Clean Water Action Council ( presented her views on the Fox River clean-up and other pollution problems in the Fox Valley.

September 11, 2003

Rich Krieg presented "Nahanni Adventure" - slides and stories from a twenty day canoe trip down the Nahanni River in the Northwest Territories.

Nahanni Adventure Some links:
Google Links

October 9, 2003

Great Lakes Water Institute
Mike Carvan from the Great Lakes Water Institute spoke about the Great Lakes and the effect of PCB's in Green Bay. The Great Lakes Water Institute is part of the UW-Milwaukee.

Email to Mike Carvan:
Mike Carvan's Profile
Great Lakes Water Institute

November 13, 2003

Shorelines Rebecca Power, formerly basin educator for the Fox Wolf Basin, currently Cooperative Extension Regional Water Quality Liaison (Madison, WI), spoke on water, shorelands, and runoff. She told us about brown water, green weeds, and shoreline reconstruction.

Two of Rebecca's websites:
Great Lakes Water Quality Program
Shoreland Resources site on UWEX

Email to Rebecca Power:

Following an informative slide show, Rebecca informed us about NR115, Wisconsin's Minimum Shoreland Development Standards being revised by the Department of Natural Resources. Click here for the DNR site discussing NR115.

December 11, 2003

Christmas Party Christmas Party! Join us for our annual holiday social.

This is a potluck event, so please bring a dish to pass and your own place setting.

A traditional "fun" event is our white elephant gift exchange. Don't buy anything, but look around your home for a gag gift or something used that you want to get rid of (but not junk). Even your wrapping paper can be recycled grocery bags.

This year we have become aware that the Bubolz Nature Preserve has financial worries. We will be collecting donations to present to the Preserve.

January 8, 2004

Christmas Party Wildflower Photography

Warm your heart with wildflowers. Len Place, an avid photographer, shared a fascinating slide show presentation of wildflowers he has photographed.

Email to Len and Mary Place:

February 12, 2004

Travel with Jaci and Neil to Eastern Siberia for an Environmental Education Expedition.

Whooping Crane Jaci Mueller and Neil Koeneman were sponsored by the International Crane Foundation last summer to teach environmental education to children and teachers at Murakovia Park in eastern Siberia. The students learned about protecting the breeding and staging grounds for the native storks and cranes.

Muraviovka Park, located in Far Eastern Russia along the Amur River, is the first privately operated nature park in Russia since 1917. This 13,000-acre wetland, with adjacent croplands, provides excellent habitat for more than 200 species of birds. Click HERE to see maps showing the location of the park.

Kelly Krupka is going there in the summer of 2004. Click HERE to see her trip diary.

March 11, 2004

The WeatherFriend Calendar: Wisconsin's Phenology Calendar

Paul Hartman, Horticulture Agent for the Brown County UW-Extension, is the guest speaker for the evening. For 25 years Paul has been the assistant editor of the Wisconsin WeatherFriend Calendar. The Calendar is a phenology calendar that demonstrates weather's link to seasonal plant and animal events such as lilac blooms and bird and fish migrations. The Calendar includes daily sunrise, sunset, and temperature records and monthly phases of the moon. There is a monthly journal of events from around the state as witnessed by Audubon's statewide observer network. At the meeting Paul will discuss how the calendar is made and demonstrate how the weather events are coordinated with the seasonal animal and plant happenings.

Here is the link to the Brown County UW-Extension. Paul Hartman is the Horticulture Agent at the Brown County UW-Extension. He is listed in the Staff Directory. Brown County UW-Extension

Paul will be showing us the WeatherFriend Calendar. On the Audubon website there is information about the Calendar. The link to the Northeaster Wisconsin Audubon and the calendar is: Northeaster Wisconsin Audubon

From t he Audubon site click onto the WeatherFriend Calendar link located on the middle left. Or click here.

Whooping Crane Whooping Crane Migration

Whooping Crane Migration with Ultralight

Rich King, naturalist at the Necedah National Wildlife Refuge, will explain the Whooping Crane Project that was established at the Refuge. We will experience what it is like to travel on an ultralight plane flying with the Whooping Cranes to Florida.

Whooping Crane Migration with Ultralight
Link to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service page
Operation Migration .org
Bring Back The Cranes .org
Story from Environmental News Network

Whooping Crane Migration WALLPAPER pictures

May 13, 2004

The Menominee Indian Tribe and the Crandon Mine Site: Native American Philosophy and Future Plans

Ken Fish, Director, Menominee Indian Tribe Treaty Rights and Mining, will explain how the Native American philosophy of the relationship between Mother Earth and the Human Spirit relates to the Menominee Indian Tribe's perspective on the future of the Crandon Mine Site. He will review the history of the Crandon Mine Site, and then discuss the Menominee Indian Tribe's plans for reforestation of the area, the future use of the land, and the spiritual values of the recovery of the land to the Menominee Indian tribe. Email Ken Fish

June 10, 2004

The Red Rock Wilderness of the Colorado Plateau

Red Rock Wilderness - Metate Arch, Utah Don Lorenz, one of our members who refers to himself as "an adventurer with a camera", will present a slide show journey about his trip in Utah. Past programs by Don about Alaska and Torre del Paine National Park in Patagonia have been excellent.

The Colorado Plateau region of Utah and Arizona has huge expanses of undeveloped territory and some of the most spectacular scenery in the world. Within this region are canyons - sized from grand to sinuous, flat-topped mesas, winding green and brown rivers, mountain ranges with snow-covered peaks, prehistoric Anasazi sites, vast wild areas and a host of national parks. Having taken many trips over a 30-year time span to the Plateau, I will show slides and talk about some of these wondrous places, with an emphasis on the beauty and the importance of maintaining and protecting the wildness of the area. There will be pictures from the Paria/Vermillion Cliffs, Grand Staircase/Escalante, Cedar Mesa canyons and ruins, slot canyons near Page and Escalante and the national parks of Zion, Bryce, Capitol Reef, Canyonlands and Arches. In these sublime places, the red rock desert comes in all fantastic shapes, sizes and colors. And the rock is sometimes so luminous that light seems to glow or shine out of the rock, rather than just being reflected from it.

I am a serious amateur photographer and inveterate adventurer. Having a love of wild places and things, I am constantly drawn back to the Colorado Plateau for its beauty, its wildness and its unbelievable variety of natural splendor. There are few places like it in the world. It is truly a place of spectacular mystery!

September 9, 2004

Discovering Wisconsin On the Ice Age Trail, Trekking With Dale and Penny.

Ice Age Trail The program will consist of three parts:
(*) a brief introduction into Wisconsin Glaciation,
(*) what preparations Dale and Penny make for hiking the Ice Age Trail,
(*) and how one can learn about hiking and working on the Ice Age Trail in Wisconsin.

See our Ice Age Trail page for more information.

October 14, 2004

Bush Administration vs Public Lands - Slide Show Tour

Click for Wildlands Campaign on Sierra Club website Click for Wildlands Campaign on Sierra Club website Click for Wildlands Campaign on Sierra Club website

This land is our land from Utah's spectacular redrock canyons to the forested plateaus of Colorado and the grassland desert of New Mexico's Otero Mesa. Or is it? According to Bush administration policy it might just as well belong to the oil and gas industry.

Come view the evidence and learn what you can do to stand by the land at the "Western Public Lands vs the Bush Administration Slide Show Tour" sponsored by the Sierra Club's National Wildlands Campaign Committee.

The land is beautiful, the damage is real, and individual Americans are coming forward to protect our Creator's natural heritage. Will the health of the earth and all who live on it be maintained for our families' benefit or will the land be used for highways, oil wells, and the refuse of development? This slide show will tell the story. Come see it and do your part!

The Fox Valley Sierra Group is playing host to a public education tour on the threats to America's public lands that are the result of Bush administration policies. Photos will highlight plans for oil and gas developments in places such Utah's redrock canyonlands and New Mexico's desert grasslands. Information will also be provided on other threats such as the logging of old growth forests. Those present will also learn of citizens across the nation who have dedicated themselves to protecting the country's natural heritage. The meeting is open to the public.

Click for Wildlands Campaign on Sierra Club website

WHAT: "Threats to America's Wild Lands" slide show presentation

PRESENTER: Clayton Daughenbaugh, Sierra Club National Conservation Organizer


On January 4, 2002 the Bush administration ordered the employees of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to make oil or gas development on federally managed land their top priority. Since then over 2 million acres of land in Utah alone has had its protective status revoked and regulations have been put in place that allow for the construction of highways on these lands -- even through National Parks. These policies have placed Utah's world class landscape at the center of America's wild lands policy debate. Across the country lands equal to the area of Texas and Oklahoma combined have been opened to oil and gas development, logging, and mining.

On June 28, 2004 the Bush administration announced its intentions to rollback protections for the remaining roadless lands in the National Forest system. In direct opposition to the formal support of the over 2 million Americans the administration wants to make wilderness hunting, hiking, and fishing in the nation's last forest sanctuaries unavailable to future families in order to facilitate logging.

See Wildlands Campaign on the National website.

November 11, 2004

Current Water Issues in Wisconsin, by Todd Ambs

Todd Ambs, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Water Division Administrator, will discuss the current water issues in Wisconsin. He is the Division Administrator in the Water Program Management Bureau.

DNR Water Division website

You may wish to visit these websites selected by Todd Ambs:

Water is our most precious natural resource. We can't live without it, our ecosystems and our economy can't survive without it, and our landscape just wouldn't be the same without it.

Water is so important to the people of Wisconsin, that 2003 was officially designated as the "Year of Water." Throughout the year, all citizens had the opportunity to celebrate and reflect upon the vital importance of Wisconsin's bountiful water resources - all 15,000 lakes, 32,000 miles of perennial streams, 5.3 million acres of wetlands and 1.2 quadrillion gallons of groundwater. Even though the Year of Water has come and gone, the issues that drew our attention to this vital resource remain. Citizens of all ages still need the opportunity to learn more about the challenges facing Wisconsin's water resources and take steps to conserve and sustain these resources for ourselves and future generations.

Working to safeguard Wisconsin drinking water and groundwater now and in the future.

Safe, clean drinking water is what we expect when we turn on our faucets.

The Wisconsin Bureau of Drinking Water and Groundwater manages activities that affect the safety, quality and availability of drinking water by preventing contamination of drinking water and groundwater to protect public health.

The statewide water program promotes the balanced use of Wisconsin's waters to protect, maintain and enhance them in full partnership with the public.

WDNR's Searchable Staff Directory.

January 13, 2005

Wild About Elk

DNR website for Elk

Tracey Koenig, Executive Director at Heckrodt Wetland Reserve, Inc., will demonstrate and use the newest educational teaching kit at the Heckrodt Reserve, "Wild About Elk." This teaching kit was developed by and purchased through a grant from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. The kit contains elk hides, skulls, antlers, tracks and much more. Through hands on, eight interactive stations, kids and adults will learn the difference between antlers and horns, learn elk sounds, discover elk body language and elk track identification, identify elk signs, learn about elk research, elk management and the hunting of elk.

Heckrodt Wetland Reserve is a 65-acre urban nature reserve with habitats including forested wetland, cattail marsh, open water, open field, and upland forest.

The mission of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is to ensure the future of elk, other wildlife and their habitat. In support of this mission the Elk Foundation is committed to:

Wisc Dept of Natural Resources link for Elk

Elk are back in Wisconsin. Learn all about this fascinating animal in the deer family at this Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Environmental Education for Kids (EEK!) website. This electronic magazine is for kids in grades 4-8.

February 10, 2005

Wisconsin Frogs
DNR website for frogs

Randy Korb will share a video about Wisconsin frogs that he produced in cooperation with CESA 7. He will have 8 to 9 species of live Wisconsin frogs for kids and adults to hold and examine. Since it is a Sierra Group meeting, Randy will also discuss the causes that have decimated amphibians in Northeast Wisconsin: atrazine and other herbicides, pesticides, loss of amphibian habitat for buildings and homes, etc.

Randy Korb is a volunteer for the Wisconsin DNR Frogs and Toads Survey that began in 1981. He is also a member of the Northeastern Wisconsin Audubon Society.

Randy is the author of "Wisconsin Frogs: Places to Hear Frogs and Toads Near Our Urban Areas." This book and CD was published in 2001 in cooperation with the Northeastern Wisconsin Audubon Society (NEW Audubon).

He also wrote in 1989 a booklet and produced a cassette entitled "Voices of the Night: Places to Hear Frogs and Toads in Brown County, Wisconsin."

Presently Randy teaches thousands of students and teachers about amphibians in both Wisconsin and Northern Illinois schools. He leads parents and students on night hikes to see and hear frogs. Currently he is developing live amphibian exhibits for Brown County libraries through NEW Audubon. He also offers members of NEW Audubon frog night hikes and opportunities to keep native Wisconsin amphibians in their homes for a short time.

Website for the Northeastern Wisconsin Audubon Society. Connecting People to Nature at Home, in Schools, in Libraries, and in the Field.

Use the information at this Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Environmental Education for Kids (EEK!) website to help you identify Wisconsin's frogs by their markings and their call. EEK! is an electronic magazine for kids in grades 4-8.

Learn how to fold a jumping frog using origami at this Environmental Education for Kids (EEK!) website.

March 10, 2005

Sustainability and Living: How and Why We Did It

Mark Dawson will present his decisions and rationale behind building a wind and solar powered house designed and built using alternative construction materials and techniques. He will show photographs of his renewable energy systems, as well as show photos of other houses and systems. Mark will discuss construction techniques and the decision-making process of material selection. Informational materials will be provided to assist home owners, builders and buyers on how they can involve themselves in designing, building or modifying their own homes to make the move towards a more sustainable lifestyle.

Mark Dawson is an Environmental Engineer Board Member of The Midwest Renewable Energy Association.

Midwest Renewable Energy Association

Midwest Renewable Energy Association

The Midwest Renewable Energy Association is a nonprofit network for sharing ideas, resources, and information with individuals, businesses, and communities to promote a sustainable future through renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Renewable Energy and Sustainable Living Fair

Join us for our 16th annual Renewable Energy and Sustainable Living Fair June 17-19, 2005. The Fair will again be held at the ReNew the Earth Institute, MREA's educational facility, in Custer, WI (just 7 miles east of Stevens Point).

Each year thousands of people from around the world celebrate the summer solstice at MREA's Renewable Energy and Sustainable Living Fair. This three-day festival is the world's largest venue to learn about renewable energy, energy efficiency, and sustainable living.

Resource Library and Frequently Asked Questions

Midwest Renewable Energy Association Resource Library and Frequently Asked Questions Fact sheets in downloadable (pdf) format and online organizational and informational links to help you learn about renewable energy.

May 12, 2005

Backpacking, Canoeing, Hiking and X-C Skiing Around Lake Superior During the Past 25 Years
With Paul Kuenn of Vertical Stronghold.

During the past 25 years Paul Kuenn has hiked and X-C skied at the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Michigan, canoed at the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore in Wisconsin and backpacked in the Pukaskwa National Park in Ontario, Canada. His slide show is a circle tour of Lake Superior depicting his outdoor experiences during the past 25 years.

Paul Kuenn, Director and Guide for Dairyland Expeditions LLC (1980 - 2003) has been leading climbing expeditions since 1980 and has taught many subjects including high altitude mountaineering, climbing rock and ice, professional rescue and cross country skiing. He has led clients on technical climbing expeditions throughout Ecuador, Mexico, Alaska and the Northwest Territories of Canada. Kuenn is a member of the American Alpine Club (AAC), American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) and is certified as a Wilderness First Responder (WFR). When not guiding on the vertical, he runs Vertical Stronghold, Wisconsin's Premier Indoor Climbing Center, and facilitates experiential education in just about any vertical location.

June 9, 2005


Mushrooms: Their Culture and How to Identify the Good from the Bad as You Explore and Enjoy Wisconsin's Wild Places.

By: Dr. Stephen Bentivenga, Mycologist, Department of Biology and Microbiology, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.

Dr. Bentivenga will share his knowledge of Wisconsin fungi and mushrooms. He will help us identify the edible and the poisonous mushrooms seen on outings exploring and enjoying Wisconsin's wild places.

Website Resources:

George Barron's Photos of Mushrooms

Wisconsin Mycological Society:

September 8, 2005

The Sierra Club: Explore, Protect and Enjoy Northeastern Wisconsin.

Learn about the Sierra Club and the Fox Valley Sierra Group in Northeastern Wisconsin. Find out about Sierra Club's organization, programs, priorities, international efforts and publications.

The Sierra Club's members are more than 750,000 of your friends and neighbors. Inspired by nature, we work together to protect our communities and the planet. The Club is America's oldest, largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization.

October 13, 2005

Pulliam coal-fired power plant

Stopping Wisconsin's Coal Rush.

In Wisconsin, we face big decisions about our energy future, decisions with impacts that will be felt for generations. With two brand new coal plants on the way, several others on the horizon, and outdated dirty coal plants with no modern pollution controls that provide the bulk of our power, it is ever more urgent that we find a cleaner, safer energy future. Learn how these plants affect your health and your community; cleaner, safer ways to power our future; specific efforts to clean up Wiscon Public Service Corporation's Green Bay Pulliam plant and how you can help.

Jennifer Feyerherm and Bruce Nilles from Sierra Club's Midwest Office will present. Jennifer is a Clean Air Specialist with the Great Lakes Program, working on the Wisconsin Coal Campaign. Currently, she is working with local groups to clean up coal plants in Green Bay and Madison and turn back new coal in Wausau. Bruce Nilles is an attorney working with the broader Midwest Coal Campaign, designing and implementing legal strategies and coordinating efforts in Midwestern states with a focus on Wisconsin and Illinois.

Click here for more information about the Pulliam issue.

November 10, 2005

Sustainability and Living: How and Why We Did It.

Mark Dawson will present his decisions and rationale behind building a wind and solar powered house designed and built using alternative construction materials and techniques. He will show photographs of his renewable energy systems, as well as show photos of other houses and systems. Mark will discuss construction techniques and the decision-making process of material selection. Informational materials will be provided to assist home owners, builders and buyers on how they can involve themselves in designing, building or modifying their own homes to make the move towards a more sustainable lifestyle.

Mark Dawson is an Environmental Engineer Board Member of The Midwest Renewable Energy Association

This was originally scheduled for March 10, 2005. Look above for more information.

January 12, 2006

Sierra Summit logo

Sierra Summit 2005: Sierra Club's National Environmental Convention and Expo.

The Sierra Club's first-ever large-scale national convention, Sierra Summit 2005, filled San Francisco's Moscone Center with some 6,000 visitors, 150 exhibitors, and green ideas galore. Two years in the making, the Summit 2005 brought together Club activists from all over the country and interested members of the general public for education, inspiration, outdoor fun, and serious business.

During the four-day summit, attendees listened to speakers like Robert F. Kennedy jr., Arianna Huffington, and Bill Maher and participated in a wide variety of hands-on workshops and panel discussions; explored an exhibit hall chockfull of outdoor and green products, innovations, and services; shared stories and celebrated victories with other activists at the "Sierra Showcase," a section of the exhibit hall with displays featuring the Club's most successful grassroots programs; and enjoyed the beautiful San Francisco Bay area on group outings, hikes, and tours. A thousand Summit delegates, representing every chapter, group, and national committee, met throughout the weekend to discuss the Club's work and help set new priorities and direction for the next five years and beyond.

Neil Koeneman and Jaci Mueller represented the Fox Valley Sierra Group at the Summit. Neil was the Official Delegate from the Fox Valley Sierra Group to Sierra Summit 2005.

Click for the Official Sierra Summit website

February 9, 2006

Friends of the Fox website

Restoration of the Fox River Locks System

Paul Srubas, reporter for the Green Bay Press Gazette, will present the facts of his investigation into the restoration of the Fox River Locks System.

From its beginning in the 1880's, the Fox River Locks System has been the main artery for water transportation in Northeastern Wisconsin. The 39-mile system consists of 17 locks with two guard locks. With the water level of Lake Winnebago 168.3 feet above Green Bay, these locks average a drop of approximately 10 feet each.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers took over the locks system in 1872.

The Fox River Navigational System Authority, a state of Wisconsin appointed group of citizens charged with the mission of restoring and operating the locks, received the keys for the locks system from the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1986-1987.

The state of Wisconsin is hoping to reopen the locks as a Heritage Parkway.

The Fox River Navigational System Authority and the Friends of the Fox organization see three reasons for resurrecting the locks system: recreation, tourism and history.

A number of fishing clubs have opposed reopening the system out of fear of the sea lamprey and other invasive species.

The Friends of the Fox is a not-for-profit advocacy group established to preserve and develop the environmental, cultural, historical, economic and quality-of-life assets offered by the Fox River Valley.

Also visit Our Open Places website.

March 9, 2006

Birds of Prey

Don Baumgartner and Pat Fisher along with 6 live birds of prey will visit us from The Feather, a wildlife rehabilitation center in New London. This is a great program for kids!

The Feather wildlife rehabilitation center

April 13, 2006

Hydroponic Gardening

Arleigh Lueck will educate us in hydroponic gardening - growing plants without soil. In hydroponics, food and water are fed directly to the roots. This enables the plants to spend more energy growing the part above the surface, thus growing two times faster. In general, hydroponic gardens require only about 20% of the overall space required of soil gardens for the same vegetable production.

June 8, 2006

Building a wooden boat Building your own Wooden Boat.

Iswill Rodensal, a physics and chemistry teacher at Neenah High School, builds wooden boats in his spare time. Iswill will bring one or more of his boats to our June meeting and explain what is entailed in building your own wooden boat.

September 14, 2006

Northeast Wisconsin Land Trust. Click for website.

Jim Klinkert will represent the Northeast Wisconsin Land Trust to discuss different ways to conserve lands in your possession so that environment may be protected and enhanced for future generations.

Also, Linda Stoll will be presented the Fox Valley Sierra Group 2006 Environmental Award.

Fox Valley Sierra Group leaders will also share news about what our group does.

October 12, 2006

The Great Lakes

Dan Egan is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal who published an ongoing series about the Great Lakes and the Great Lakes Watershed. He will discuss the problems facing communities on the Great Lakes, particularly those in Wisconsin, and those communities that are just beyond the watershed who are in desperate need of water to ensure growth. Since the great lakes hold almost 3/4 of the world's total fresh water supply, the drain on our lake and others is going to strain tempers and laws.

Dan Egan's email:

November 9, 2006

Greg Peters discusses FoodSheds. The concept is like watersheds. You can go to the grocery store to buy ingredients for a salad, and it will come from very distant places. "The 3000 mile salad" is one description for this.

Janury 11, 2007

Dr. Robert S. Stelzer

Dr. Robert S. Stelzer, Department of Biology & Microbiology, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. Dr. Stelzer will talk about water contamination. Stelzer website

The Fox Valley Sierra Group also celebrates its 25th birthday. Join us for some cake!

February 8, 2007

One of Eric Hansen's books

Eric Hansen is a writer and traveler with a lengthy resume of exploring the inspiring landscapes of the American West and Upper Great Lakes. His writing credits include extensive work for Backpacker magazine, as well as other journals.

He is a veteran of 22 treks to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and successful ascents of most of the high peaks of Glacier National Park. Eric walked a memorable 1,700 miles while researching his northern Michigan and Wisconsin guidebooks. Eric Hansen website

Eric strongly encouraged us to visit to learn about dangerous sulfide mines in Michigan's upper pennsula.

Read the feature article in the February 5 edition of the Appleton Post-Crescent newspaper.
The newspaper author, Cheryl Sherry, can be reached at

March 8, 2007

Utah's spectacular redrock canyonlands wilderness
Utah redrock wilderness

Utah's spectacular redrock canyonlands include the largest remaining network of unprotected wild lands in the lower 48 states. An exhaustive citizens' inventory has identified 9.5 million acres. If you've ever visited one of Utah's five national parks, climbed to the top of the slickrock, and looked across the one hundred mile view, it's these lands that you are seeing.

The citizen's proposal for Utah wilderness is embodied in "America's Redrock Wilderness Act" which will be reintroduced into Congress in 2007. The land contains redrock temples, profound gorges, ponderosa-studded plateaus, and miles of naturally sculpted redrock. Over the years the national campaign to protect these special places has fought off numerous efforts to damage and exploit the land. In 2006 it was an egregious proposal to sell off public lands and give much of the proceeds to local development projects in the Zion / Mojave area. We can expect a repeat of attacks in 2007, but it may also be a year to begin advancing positive protections.

Our guest presenter is Clayton Daughenbaugh, Midwest Field Organizer for the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance (SUWA) an organization of people in Utah and from across the country who want to see this precious landscape permanently protected. Clayton is also a member of the Sierra Club's National Wildlands Committee and a co-chair of the Illinois Task Force for Utah Wilderness. He is the author of "Common Sense Democracy", a book based on twenty years as a neighborhood organizer in Chicago. You can get more information about SUWA and the campaign to protect Utah's wilderness at

This program was sponsored by the Utah Wilderness Coalition:

Clayton Daughenbaugh can be reached at

Utah redrock wilderness

April 12, 2007

FVSG 25th Anniversary Dinner

Please visit our anniversary website for more information.

This event will be at Appleton's Columbus Club on Richmond Avenue.

June 14, 2007

Global Warming and Clean Energy Solutions presented by Jennifer Feyerherm, Sierra Club Midwest Office staff.

Global warming and alternative energy are subjects in the popular press lately. But the proposed solutions are not always good. Because the US has lots of coal, politicians and industry have proposed it as a solution for oil imports and national security. Jennifer will talk about "stopping the Coal Rush".

Did you know that 20% of the nation's global warming pollution comes from six midwestern states, including Wisconsin? We are using a very dirty method to produce our electrity. Existing coal burning power plants were "grandfathered" when the Clean Air Act was put into place in the 1970's and have been allowed to continue to pollute. Almost none have basic scrubbers to minimize air pollution. They could reduce soot, smog and mercury pollution by 90%. Coal burning is a large point source for carbon dioxide, the global warming pollutant.

Consider these interesting statistics:
  • Every single lake, stream and river in Wisconsin is polluted by mercury. The DNR’s fish advisory for mercury contamination extends to every lake, stream and river in the entire state. Fish have unsafe mercury levels and must be eaten with caution.
  • The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducted a recent study that measured mercury levels in the blood of women across the country and found that about one in six women of childbearing age have mercury levels above what is considered safe by the EPA. This translates to 4.7 million women of childbearing age nationwide with potentially unsafe levels of mercury and approximately 630,000 newborns in the nation who are at risk of neurological and developmental health impacts each year.
  • Coal plant pollution may be responsible for 448 deaths in Wisconsin each year, and 24,000 in the United States each year.

    August 9, 2007

    Picnic Basket Social Outdoor Picnic at Tululah Park.
    Tululah Park is in Appleton on the south side of the Fox River. This is a pot-luck event, and we'll share the charcoal pit.

    Location of Picnic

    September 13, 2007

    Bicycle Touring, presented by Alan Lawrence

    Bicycle Touring

    October 11, 2007

    Birdwatching and photography with Tom and Carol Sykes.
    Click for larger image: Bird watching and photography
    Bird watching and photography

    Tom and Carol Sykes will speak on birdwatching and photography. Tom is the Media Services Director at Lawrence University.

    The program centers on bird watching - some of the basics involved in getting started (basic birding equipment) and then move on to bird identification tips and techniques.

    Bird watching and photography

    November 8, 2007

    Returning by popular demand following his February program.
    Grand Canyon, Click for Larger Image

    The Poetry and Practicalities of Hiking the Grand Canyon in Winter -- With Eric Hansen

    Join us for a Grand Canyon hiking slide presentation by award-winning author and noted hiker Eric Hansen.

    Moderate temperatures, spectacular low-angle sunlight and lack of crowds make winter the perfect season to visit the Grand Canyon. Author Eric Hansen, a veteran of 24 Grand Canyon treks, will outline the attractions that make this a must-do outing for any hiker’s life list. He will also highlight savvy strategies and logistics that make it a reasonable outing for average hikers - not just the superfit.

    Tactics such as using mules to carry loads or reserving Phantom Ranch housing allow hikers to visit the canyon bottom without carrying heavy loads. While the slide show presentation will center on inner canyon hiking and backpacking, there will also be information on day hikes from the rim and trout fishing within the canyon. A handout will steer prospective hikers to resources helpful in planning your own Grand Canyon visit.

    Eric Hansen is the author of Hiking Wisconsin and Hiking Michigan’s Upper Peninsula - A Guide to the Greatest Hiking Adventures in the U.P. His writing credits also include extensive work for Backpacker Magazine and other journals. Eric’s op-ed essay on the U.P.’s Coaster Brook Trout and the threat of sulfide mining won the Outdoor Writers Association of America’s first prize for 2005 newspaper conservation writing. That essay is available as a pdf at

    U.P. Sulfide Mine Proposals Threaten Our Headwaters and the Great Lakes

    Eric will also offer an update on the robust citizen’s campaign to counter ill-advised proposals for sulfide mining to our north. Richard Milliken, Michigan’s longest-serving governor, has joined that campaign and has taken a strong stand against the mine proposals. For more information see

    January 10, 2008

    Last minute substitution of speakers due to illness.

    Stop Illegal Open Burning (Review by Kelly Krupka)

    At our January meeting, DNR Environmental Warden Tom Krsnich opened our eyes to the problem of illegal open burning in Wisconsin. Open burning of wastes such as plastics, garbage, oil, coated wire, tires, and treated lumber is a public health problem and a major source of air pollution. According to the EPA, it is the largest source for dioxin emissions (a carcinogen) and can lead to serious health problems. Not only is illegal open burning a major source of air pollution, it is the number one cause of wildfires in Wisconsin.

    Why is illegal open burning such a large problem in Wisconsin? Currently, the DNR can only issue a citation for burning without a fire permit or burning at the wrong time of day. That means if a citizen has a burn permit and decides to burn illegal materials, the DNR cannot issue a citation. Pretty hard to believe, isn’t it? Only a few of the most flagrant violations are prosecuted by the Department of Justice, a long and costly process.

    Two bills have been introduced, AB 546 and SB 284, that would allow the DNR and all law enforcement officers to issue citations for illegal open burning of wastes. According to Krsnich, the Senate is going to schedule a vote on the senate bill but the Assembly is not planning a vote and will let the bill die before the end of the session. The only way to make the bill a law is to get both the Senate and the Assembly to vote on the bill and send it to the Governor. Call your Assembly representative and demand that AB 546 come up for a vote. Let’s stop illegal open burning in Wisconsin once and for all!

    Email for Tom Krsnich:

    The February 14 meeting was cancelled due to heavy snow.

    February 14, 2008

    Leslie Taylor and Cathrine W. Neiswender from the Wis. Extension Office will continue with information on a sustainable Fox Valley. Our former chair, Penny Schaber is leading a coalition of speakers on this subject in Novemeber in Appleton, this will not be a wrap up of that weekend conference, but a building block for the tasks ahead for our region. With global warming changing our expectations in weather and all related subjects, we can no longer sit back and let the next generation worry about it. Join the discussion!

    March 13, 2008 "Bats"


    Jodi Sedlock and Randi Williams of the Wind River Rehabilitation Center will present a program guaranteed to raise the hackles on your neck. With real live bats, they will speak about all the good things these dreaded messengers of the night bring to us. This is a great program for kids!

    April 10, 2008

    Larry Ten Pas, National Outings.
    Canoe Outing, Photo credit: Howard Kellogg

    Larry Ten Pas is a National Sierra Club Outings Leader for canoeing, backpacking, kayaking, bicycling and Sierra Club Service Outings and Trips.

    Larry's program is a PowerPoint Presentation of a canoe outing at the Kopka River Provincial Waterway Park in Ontario, Canada. Five other participants joined him on this two week canoe trip. The Kopka River Provincial Waterway Park is approximately 200 miles north of Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada.

    Dave Muesch is involved with the Wind Power Project in Kaukauna. It is a proposed project that would supply Kaukauna Utilities with electricity. Dave would like to speak to our group for a few minutes. He will also have handouts for those present at our meeting.

    June 12, 2008

    Edible wild plants

    Ron van der Velden, retired biology teacher and renowned natural foods specialist, will be our speaker and bring us a moveable feast. This guy can go out the door and come back with a vegetarian meal in fifteen minutes. It is interesting to know the nutrition value of our weeds!

    October 9, 2008

    Dan Traas presents "Tree Care Tips for Homeowners"

    Ash Tree Declinining

    Dan Traas is the President of Ranger Services Inc. in Appleton. Ranger Services has been in operation for 21 years providing Urban Forestry consulting and Arboricultural services for academic, municipal, commercial and residential clientele. Dan has been working in this field for 28 years.

    Dan has conducted numerous tree care workships, seminars, and public education classes. He developed the Plant Health Care program and is a part-time instructor at Northeast Technical College. He has authored a number of articles in professional newsletters.

    His presentations focus on practical tree care and knowledge. He includes his audience using tree samples, slides, anecdotes and humor, with displaying and encouraging a passion for trees.

    NOTE: There is some road construction on County A (Lynndale Drive), but access to Bubolz is still open from the south. Take Northland Avenue or Capital Drive to Lynndale and travel north. There are road construction signs saying "Road Closed Ahead" but you should ignore those warnings. The road closure is north of Bubolz.

    November 13, 2008

    Carolyn Campbell presents "Healthy Kitchens: Green Cleaning and Conscious Eating"

    Research shows that many chronic diseases are preventable through lifestyle choices. With a background in food services and human service, as well as degrees in education and communication, Carolyn is excited to offer a presentation that builds awareness of what is typically found in kitchen cupboards. Preparing healthy, tasty, and attractive foods from a non-toxic kitchen is the goal.

    Presentation Notes (2.6MB PDF)

    January 8, 2009

    Rachel and Dale with Skunk

    Caring For the Animals of Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary

    The Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary in Green Bay has cared for more than 24,400 animals since 1985. Learn what it takes to rehabilitate and release these animals from Lori Bankson, senior animal keeper. Lori is sure to liven up a cold winter night!

    Lori Bankson with Al the Turkey Vulture

    February 12, 2009

    Making Good Photography GREAT.

    Professional photographer Tim White will teach you everything you need to know about taking great pictures. Bring your camera and questions! Tim White, owner of Image Pros of Wisconsin (Oshkosh), has many years experience as a professional photographer. He spoke to our group June 14, 2001 and is back to give us more tips on getting good photographs.
    Image Pros. Click for website Image Pros website.
    Mail to Tim White

    March 12, 2009

    Sustainable construction using round wood framing - click for larger image

    Wood and Wind

    We'll start the night with a slide presentation from Maureen Birk on sustainable construction which uses unmilled trees and trimmings from trees ("round wood"), for columns and beams in projects large and small. Program will show large completed projects as well as the step by step process of designing and building a small shelter.

    Then, Connie Lindholm from WE energies will discuss wind power in the Fox Valley area.

    Wind Turbines

    April 9, 2009

    Solar Electric Systems for Your Home

    Thinking about what you can do to lower your energy bill? Patrick Nahm, owner of Appleton Solar, will discuss solar electric systems and what it takes to get a complete system installed on your home or business.

    June 11, 2009

    Great Lakes Water Institute
    Mike Carvan from the Great Lakes Water Institute will talk about the Great Lakes. The Great Lakes Water Institute is part of the UW-Milwaukee. Mike spoke to our group 10/09/03.

    Email to Mike Carvan:
    Mike Carvan's Profile
    Great Lakes Water Institute

    October 8, 2009

    "Preserving the Past"

    Brad Larson, Director of the Oshkosh Public Museum, will tell us about preserving the past. He will mostly speak on their current exhibit, which is The Era of Public Enemies

    Oshkosh Public Museum

    November 12, 2009

    Dr. John Shillinglaw presents "Prairie Restorations and the Impacts on Grassland Birds".
    Prairie Enthusiasts logo

    The program Dr. Shillinglaw would like to present is the response of grassland birds to a prairie restoration project in cental Wisconsin's sand country. He has been involved in a project to create habitat for the federally endangered Karner blue butterfly in Waushara County for the past 10 years. Working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, prairie restoration has been accomplished on about 125 acres of land. Grasses and forbs conducive to the butterfly's well being were planted. When restoring habitat for one species, many species of plants and animals benefit. In addition to an increase in Karner blue butterflies, breeding bird surveys over the past 10 years have demonstrated an increase in use of the restoration by grassland dependent birds. He will discuss the prairie restorations and techniques used in continuing management, the patterns of use by grassland birds, and implications for grassland bird conservation in the future.

    Background note from a Wisconsin DNR story:

    The lore of the Mecan River's fabled brown trout fishing originally drew John and Fawn Shillinglaw to the Marquette County area. They eventually purchased 235 acres of an old farm on the county line to camp next to his favorite river. The property provided more than quick access to the Mecan. Isolated grasses and flowers growing throughout the property soon captured their imagination and inspired them to restore some of the prairie and savanna that originally dominated the landscape.

    "In the beginning, I wasn't aware of all the government programs available to landowners. So I just started harvesting seeds from wild plants on one part of my property and establishing them on other portions," John Shillinglaw said. Their efforts were quickly rewarded as newly established patches of wild lupine were quickly colonized by Karner blue butterflies, a federally endangered species.

    Shillinglaw eventually learned about government sponsored initiatives such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Partners for Fish and Wildlife Programs to restore prairie and savanna habitats. It was Mother Nature, though, who arguably provided the most effective restoration tool for red-headed woodpeckers on the Shillinglaw property. In 2000, a hail storm pelted the area, damaging many aspen trees. Remembering how a pair of red-headed woodpeckers had once nested in a dead oak tree in his backyard in Appleton, Shillinglaw decided to leave the dead aspen trees standing. The hands-off approach was quickly rewarded. "I really hadn't seen red-headed woodpeckers before the big hail storm, but there were several pairs present the next spring," John said.

    Email to John Shillinglaw:

    January 14, 2010

    Dr. Mike Lizotte from the Lake Winnebago Lakes Council will tell us what is going on in our nearby lakes and will share a film on sturgeon.

    Winnebago Lakes Council logo

    "Mysteries of the Great Lakes"
    This is an award-winning Candadian film featuring sturgeon of the Winnebago system and local fish biologist Ron Bruch. It tells of the many challenges the great lakes face as they move from pristine to polluted to recovering. Originally produced for IMAX theatres, it is also a beautiful film on the small screen (40 minutes).

    The Lakes Council featured this film at its Annual Meeting on October 13 and will be showing it in partnership with other groups. These events are open to the public.

    Information on the excellent IMAX movie can be found here.

    Dr. Michael Lizotte   Michael Lizotte, Ph.D., ex-officio Executive Director Lakes Winnebago Council, is Interim Director of Sustainability at UW-Oshkosh and former Director of the Aquatic Research Laboratory. His professional interest is scientific research in aquatic ecology, particularly algal blooms and environmental education. He also serves on the board of the Fox-Wolf Watershed Alliance.
    UWO, Director of Sustainability
    Congrats to Dr. Lizotte
    Email address:

    On May 2, 2009 the Winnebago Audubon Society presented the Katherine D. Rill Environmental Award to Michael Lizotte for his outstanding work in citizen science, environmental education and habitat protection.

    Dr. Michael Lizotte is one of the leading experts on the Lake Winnebago system. He has trained citizens to monitor the lakes, brought in over $200,000 for lake protection, and helped several thousands area individuals gain a better understanding of lake ecology and culture. His work and knowledge as a citizen and as a professor at UW Oshkosh is particularly important in our community as it has created positive perceptions and attitudes toward governmental agencies and sound environmental resource management.

    February 11, 2010


    Deb Marty, wildlife rehabilitator in Green Bay, talks about bats.

    Deb Marty is affiliated with Bat World Sanctuary.

    Yellowstone National Park

    March 11, 2010

    Don Lorenz presents "Yellowstone - Animals, Geothermals and the Canyon".

    Don is a photographer and adventurer who likes to spend time in wild places. He spent two weeks in Yellowstone last October, taking pictures and dividing his time between wildlife, geothermal activities and The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. The program will be based on pictures taken throughout the park, with stories explaining some of the wonders of Yellowstone. Stories surrounding super volcanoes, wolf watchers, geyser gazers, wolves howling, elk in rut, geyser 'kisses' and food gorging will be covered. Photo tips will be provided, but this is a really a story about the wonders and beauty of Yellowstone - the first national park in the world.

    April 8, 2010


    Jay Breyer talks about bees and beekeeping.

    June 10, 2010

    The Grand Canyon

    John Engel presents his Grand Canyon trip.

    Some friends and I completed a 15 day kayaking and hiking trip in the Grand Canyon. I am an amature photographer and prepared a slide and music show of the trip. The slide show will be followed by questions and answers and maybe a few stories. This was an adventure of a lifetime.

    The program consists of three basic themes:
    1. Geology, Plants and Animals
    2. Hiking, Camping,
    3. River Travel Kayaking and Rafting

    September 9, 2010

    The Deibele Golden Bear Farm

    Steve and Marie Deibele, owners of Golden Bear Farm in Kiel will talk about organic farming and what factory farms are going to do to farming.

    Golden Bear Farm raises grass-fed beef and pastured Berkshire pork. We graze the cattle, and move them to fresh pasture twice daily. We are maintaining our pastures and hayfields in semi-permanent stands mixed with grasses, clovers, and alfalfa. Our pigs are raised on a non-GMO barley grain. On a daily basis they receive fresh grasses in season, and receive heavy amounts of apples, pumpkins, and excess garden produce as they are available. Our land is certified organic. We want to farm in a manner that (i) provides a relatively natural and high quality of life for the livestock, (ii) offers high quality nutrition to the livestock, (iii) protects our water and soils, (iv) reduces the external energy and fertilizer inputs, (v) creates the most wholesome and tasty human foods, and (vi) protects natural life and the environment. We want to use science and use methods that work in harmony with natural systems, and to develop synergies that are part of diversified farm operations.

    Steve and Marie Deibele hosted a farm outing/tour on September 2010.

    Our 2010 FVSG Environmental Award will be awarded posthumously to Debra Ann Martin. Her husband, Bob Welch, will receive it for her.

    See the essay in our Aug-Oct 2010, Newsletter.

    October 14, 2010

    Election Issues of environmental interest to citizens in the Fox Valley area.

    November 11, 2010

    Mark Dawson, environmental engineer, will talk about the cost of cheap food, and services. This will be a controversial talk about the real cost of some of the short cuts we are taking.

    Mark was our guest presenter in March of 2005, talking about sustainability and his wind and solar powered house. Mark Dawson is an Environmental Engineer Board Member of The Midwest Renewable Energy Association.

    Related story in Time Magazine (August 21,2009) Getting Real About the High Price of Cheap Food.

    December 9, 2010

    Christmas Party Seasonal Holiday Party! Join us for our annual holiday social.

    This is a potluck event, so please bring a dish to pass and your own place setting.

    A traditional "fun" event is our white elephant gift exchange. Don't buy anything, but look around your home for a gag gift or something used that you want to get rid of (but not junk). Even your wrapping paper can be recycled grocery bags.

    We will again collect donations to present to Bubolz Nature Preserve. The preserve is very appreciative of the support they receive from our members.

    January 13, 2011

    The Lush Environment of Coastal British Columbia – and wildlife viewing

    Don Lorenz goes to interesting places at times when you or I would normally be asleep and gets great pictures. Great spectacular photos of the flora, fauna and wildlife of British Columbia.

    Don will show pictures of tree spirits, whales, grizzly bears, Butchart Garden flowers, totems, First Nation Masks and art, sights around Victoria and the central coast to Campbell River and artistic murals from Chemainus.

    British Columbia, Canada Chemainus Mural

    February 10, 2011

    Aves Wildlife Rehabilitation

    Wildlife Rehabilitation

    Rebekah Weiss from the from Aves Wildlife Alliance who specializes in birds will give a presentation on rehabilitation. Great program for children and adults with live animals and birds.

    Aves Wildlife Alliance

    March 10, 2011

    Growing up with Fish, Nature, and being Human

    Bob Brannon a retired fisherman and naturalist who is very familiar with the north woods of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan. He authored a book about growing up with his brothers and father, and learning the ways of fish, nature and being human. Since the places he is going to be talking about are familiar to many of us, this should be interesting.

    April 14, 2011

    Heavy Critters

    The owners of HEAVY CITTERS of Oshkosh share their love of cement lawn ornaments. Spruce up your yard.

    May 12, 2011

    Auction Fundraiser Carving of Bob McCurdy - click for larger image Annual Fundraiser Auction with Randy Cannour .

    An evening of delicious food, an entertaining live auction, raffle items, great laughs and more as we support our club with this one and only fundraiser.

    A significant portion of our Group budget comes from this annual fundraiser. This is very necessary for our programs, so we hope you will join us and spend some money.

    This is actually a very fun program. Items for sale include goods donated by merchants, goods made or donated by members, and services offered by members. Perhaps you can also donate some of your time towards this effort.

    There is a potluck dinner at this event. Please bring a dish to pass and your own table settings. We also request a $3 donation for admission and the meal. There will be an entertaining auction, a raffle, and a fun trivia game.

    Door County artist and Sierra Club member, Bob McCurdy, has donated a Hand Carved Walking Stick with a head of a wolf baying at the moon.

    Please attend this activity. All visitors, guests, and members are welcome!

    Please see our Newsletter for more information. (Page 1 and 5)

    Doors open at 6:00. Pot-luck begins at 6:30. The auction begins at 7:00.

    The photo to the left is Door County artist Bob McCurdy with an item he donated for our auction in 2009. He has supported our auction for several years.

    June 9, 2011

    Wisconsin fish biologist Ron Bruch

    August 11, 2011

    Picnic Basket Social Outdoor Picnic at Lutz Park. (Approximately 5:30pm to 9:00pm)

    Lutz Park is in Appleton on the north side of the Fox River (behind Pierce Park). This is a pot-luck event, and we'll share the charcoal pit. There is a suggested theme for the potluck. Use locally grown foods where feasible.

    The FVSG annual picnic will be held at Lutz Park from 5:30-9 PM. Please bring a dish to pass made with at least one local ingredient. And no, the grocery store a mile from your house does not pass as “local.” Challenge yourself to buy your ingredients from a Wisconsin producer. Bring along a note card to accompany your dish of where your local ingredients can be purchased.

    Also bring your own utensils, plates, beverages and something to grill. The grill will be ready at 5:30 PM for cooking. The park is located at 1320 S. Lutz Street in Appleton on the north side of the Fox River and south of Pierce Park. No pets are allowed.

    If the "Buy Locally" challenge is too challenging, don't worry about it. Come on with whatever you want to bring.

    Location of Picnic

    September 8, 2011

    Sierra Club Water Sentinels

    Sierra Club Water Sentinels work to protect, improve and restore our waters by fostering alliances to promote water quality monitoring, public education and citizen action. Learn more about the national and state program, and how we as a local group can get involved, such as monitoring local streams.

    October 13, 2011

    Finding Hope in a New Environmental Movement - the Sustainable Community Movement
    Logo for Sustainable Fox Valley

    For environmentalists these can be dark and troubling times. Economic and social forces may seem to overrule the need to care for the Earth in ways we cannot control. Despair and anger aren’t helping are cause either; they just make us feel more miserable.

    Leslie Taylor from Sustainable Fox Valley will talk about the power of community and strategies for creating a brighter future here in our region. We will discuss ways to develop new approaches -- ones that steer us away from “silos” and the tactics of opposition that have often characterized environmental actions in the past.

    Leslie will share her own story about finding hope, and she will share what she learned about the evolution of the sustainable community movement. She will also talk about the development of Sustainable Fox Valley as an organization, and how we see it working to assist efforts to get the Fox Valley moving in the right direction.

    Leslie Taylor's path of working in various aspects of "conservation" started in agriculture. From there she became the first executive director of Northeast Wisconsin Land Trust, and then worked with several start-up community-based conservation organizations. It wasn't until she began working with social services organizations, though, that she discovered a whole new way of understanding how to make a difference -- a systems approach to making the world a better place.

    Visit for more information.

    Special Environmental Program: Tar Sands
    Adam Kranz protesting in Washington, DC

    Lawrence University student Adam Kranz will share his recent experience when he was one of 1,262 people arrested in front of the White House in part of the largest act of civil disobedience in the history of the environmental movement.

    The Tar Sands Action, as the event was called, emerged to inspire President Obama to return to his populist roots, to the dreams he inspired in his election, and make good on his problems by rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline.

    Adam will explain the manifold problems that would be created and exacerbated by the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline, which would carry tar sands oil from Alberta to Texas. He will also speak about the wave of activist inspiration and solidarity created at the action, and invite the audience to join him in building the movement, in carrying out the next steps of the Action, and to begin fighting for a better future.

    Visit for more information.

    Watch this good Youtube video on tar sands

    Read this article from Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune. (Click here).

    We are co-sponsoring a presentation with the Lawrence University Greenfire student environmental organization at Harmony Cafe in downtown Appleton on October 26. Click here for the promotional flier.

    November 10, 2011

    Canoe Camping on the Pigeon River

    Rich Krieg will give a slide presentation about his recent whitewater canoe camping trip down the Pigeon River in Manitoba. Th e Pigeon is often referred to as “Canada’s Colorado River.” If his past trips are any indication, there will be many adventurous stories to share.

    February 9, 2012

    Cameron Moreland - TV 26 on Weather
    Cameron Moreland, Meteorologist for TV 26  

    March 8, 2012

    Reclaiming Lost Lands

    Mark Dawson will explain how his company is redesigning old auto plants in Michigan, transforming industrial wastelands.

    Industrial wasteland in Michigan
    Industrial wasteland in Michigan, transformed

    April 12, 2012

    Searching for the Anasazi; Travels in the Southwestern US - Don Lorenz

    (Originally scheduled for January 12, but postponed due to snow storm)
    Mesa Verde’s cliff dwellings were built by people of the Puebloan tradition called “Anasazi,” a Navajo word meaning “enemy ancestors.”  The Anasazi range encompassed the greater region surrounding the Four Corners, where Colorado, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico meet at a common point.

    On my latest solo adventure, I spent 33 days (sleeping in my van) and traveled 6,000 miles visiting national parks and monuments, Indian reservations, wilderness areas and historical sites - and took thousands of pictures. During that time I participated in a week-long Sierra Club service trip in Utah, fixing trails and seeing old Anasazi sites (with a BLM archeologist). I visited Great Sand Dunes, Mesa Verde, Arches, Canyonlands, Cedar Mesa, Navajo Tribal Park, Gouldings Trading Post, Lake Powell, Paria wilderness, Lee's Ferry, the north rim of the Grand Canyon and Zion. I hiked, biked, explored, rebuilt trails, communed with wildlife, endured - and escaped from - busloads of tourists and had a fantastic trip (celebrating my retirement this year).

    Don is an excellent photographer and story teller. This is Don's sixth presentation to our group. All have been excellent.
    January 2000 - Alaska
    November 2001 - Horseback tour in Patagonia
    June 2004 - Red Rock Wilderness
    March 2010 - Yellowstone
    January 2011 - Coastal British Columbia

    June 14, 2012

    A program with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

    Dale Rezabek, a Department of Natural Resources employee, with 25 years of experience in groundwater and surface water investigations in the environmental consulting industry, talks about water.

    This is the outline of his presentation:

    Dale H.Rezabek 
    Wastewater Specialist, Permits Section, Bureau of Water Quality 
    Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources 
    phone: 414-263-8651 
    fax: 414-263-8716 

    October 11, 2012

    Voyageurs and Exploring Wisconsin

    Ronald Strakey was in costume for this fantastic presentation.

    Ronald Strakey was in costume

    November 8, 2012

    Logging in Wisconsin
    Navarino Nature Center logo

    The history of logging in Wisconsin with Tim Ewing, Naturalist/Director of the Navarino Nature Center.

    Logging has been a way of life in Wisconsin since the 1840’s, and played a large roll on the landscape of Wisconsin. Navarino has seen its share of logging over the years, and the logging we see today is not the same as yesteryear.

    "I have always been interested in logging, lumberjacks and forest rangers. I can remember reading the folk tales of Paul Bunyan, and going up in a fire tower at Big River State Forest in Illinois. This all played a role in my deciding to go into forestry and outdoor recreation."

    Logging in Wisconsin

    January 10, 2013

    Wildlife Rehabilitation
    Wind River Wildlife Rehab

    Wind River Wildlife Rehabilitator Tricia Elko talked about their work at the Center and showed off several raptors.

    Wind River Wildlife Rehabilitation website.
    Click here for their business card.

    February 14, 2013

    Wolves in Wisconsin Sing with the Wolves!

    Cindy Mueller, the DNR Naturalist Educator at High Cliff State Park, updated us on the wolves in Wisconsin.

    March 14, 2013

    Two topics tonight. "Turn Oldies Into Greenies" is the main presentation.
    Triple Bottom Line thinking Turn Oldies Into Greenies.

    Mary Haller, Vice President- Logistics and Supply Chain, Goodwill Industries of North Central Wisconsin, will explain how they recycle and reuse as much as possible from donated goods, keeping it out of the landfill and providing much needed employment for the community.

    Mary will talk about their efforts to be more than green by employing “Triple Bottom Line thinking”, a philosophy that balances profit with people and the planet.

    Triple Bottom Line thinking

    Forward on Climate logo.  Click. Cindy Strong a Menasha resident who was inspired to participate in the Forward On Climate rally in Washington, DC will briefly tell us about her experience with the rally. She rode one of the three buses that traveled from Wisconsin, sleeping on the bus two nights, and spending part of a day at the rally.

    More than 160 partnering organizations, including Sierra Club and, chartered 150 buses to bring Americans from distant states to the event. 50,000 people from around the country traveled to Washington to be part of the largest climate rally in the history of our country. One statistic claims this was the largest cold weather rally ever in Washington.

    Climate Rally

    Jenna Pope picture.  Click. The photo at the left was taken by Jenna Pope. For a while it graced the front page of the main Sierra Club website.

    Jenna is an awesome 22-year old woman, born and raised in Wisconsin, now living in New York. She became involved in the Wisconsin Uprising in the Winter of 2011, and spent many nights sleeping on the floor of the State Capitol Building. That was her first taste of activism. She has been fighting for social and economic justice ever since.

    Jenna Pope is an activist and crowdfunded freelance photojournalist living in New York City. Her motto is, "An activist armed with a camera. Fighting for justice, one photo at a time."

    Click for Jenna's website and pictures of the rally

    Climate Rally

    April 11, 2013

    7:00 PM
    National Park Service logo

    Traveling the National Parks with family.

    Mark Gebert and family (Sheryl Stidham-Gebert and three children) will share their stories about traveling our country and visiting our National Parks.

    May 9, 2013

    6:30 PM
    Auction Fundraiser Annual Fundraiser Auction with Howard Johannes.

    An evening of delicious food, an entertaining live auction, raffle items, great laughs and more as we support our club with this one and only fundraiser.

    A significant portion of our Group budget comes from this annual fundraiser. This is very necessary for our programs, so we hope you will join us and spend some money.

    This is actually a very fun program. Items for sale include goods donated by merchants, goods made or donated by members, and services offered by members. Perhaps you can also donate some of your time towards this effort.

    There is a potluck dinner at this event. Please bring a dish to pass and your own table settings. We also request a $3 donation for admission and the meal. There will be an entertaining auction, a raffle, and maybe a fun trivia game.

    Please attend this activity. All visitors, guests, and members are welcome!

    Doors open at 6:00. Pot-luck begins at 6:30. The auction begins at 7:00.

    We start this meeting earlier so that we can have a pot luck meal and start the auction at 7:00.

    June 13, 2013

    7:00 PM
    Don Baumgartner and Jean Klein prepare for their expedition Subarctic River Trip with Don Baumgartner and Jean Klein
    Thelon River Expedition

    Join Don Baumgartner and Jean Klein as they travel down the Thelon River in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut in the Canadian Arctic. Discover how they planned their own wilderness river trip without the use of an outfitter or guide. Join them on their adventure as they share stories and pictures of their journey. They will also have some of their gear to display.

    Don Baumgartner, a New London resident, has a passion for saving birds and is a volunteer. Two articles about him:
    Baby owl bed check is dangerous duty
    A passion for saving birds

    Jean Klein is from Stevens Point. She completed the 1200 mile Ice Age National Scenic Trail in 2012.
    Thelon River in Canada
    Location of the Thelon River in Canada Don Baumgartner, shown with an award received at Mosquito Hill Nature Center

    September 12, 2013

    Campfire Program.

    Join us for an outdoor campfire program, complete with songs, treats, and friends.

    Weather permitting we hope to have our meeting outdoors at the amphitheater. We haven't done this in a long time and thought it would be fun. Bring your friends. Bring a song or story, if you like.

    We will still have important announcements, but this will primarily be a social event.

    In the event of bad weather we will have to move indoors and we'll provide a different program.

    Campfire and Songs   Campfire and Marshmallows   Campfire Treats

    October 10, 2013

    Click to download the flyer

    This program takes place at the Girl Scout office located at Bubolz Nature Preserve. Use the first parking lot.

    Forests for the People by Johnson and Govatski

    This book was reviewed in our John Muir Chapter newsletter, July 2013, Page 14. Click here to read the review.

    Chris Johnson presents "Hydraulic Fracturing on Eastern National Forests: A Growing Threat"

    Chris Johnson contacted us and volunteered to do this program. He is an author and will have books for sale. He has a message we should find interesting. Here are his notes:

    I'm a writer based in the Chicago area and have co-authored a new book, Forests for the People: The Story of America's Eastern National Forests published by Island Press. I'm also a Sierra Club member. My presentation is about hydraulic fracturing. The presentation is titled "Hydraulic Fracturing on Eastern National Forests: A Growing Threat" and features numerous photographs.

    The presentation will provide valuable context to your members because sand mining for fracking is having such an impact on Wisconsin. My presentation is based on a chapter in my book about the environmental impact of natural-gas drilling on the Allegheny National Forest in western Pennsylvania. I recently made similar presentations to the Northwest Cook County Group and the Piasa Palisades Group of the Illinois Sierra Club. I was also interviewed recently on the program Lake Effect on Milwaukee Public Radio.

    * Why is hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, occurring on eastern national forests?
    * What is the environmental impact of drilling on these forests?
    * How does the history of the eastern forests explain why fracking is being permitted?
    * Should fracking on public lands be regulated, or should it be stopped?

    Click the links below for more information:
    Presentation Outline
    Description of the 'Forests for the People' book

    Chris Johnson's website:

    Sign protesting proposed sand mine in the Town of Union

    The Jan Moldenhauer Environmental Award will also be presented to the citizen's group "Preserve Waupaca County".

    Preserve Waupaca County demonstrated an incredible amount of dedication and courage in their exhaustive effort to stop industrial sand mines from coming into Waupaca County. They formed and led a coalition that researched the impact of sand mining. They knocked on doors, wrote letters, signed petitions, met with lawmakers, provided people with signs, spoke eloquently at meetings, and educated neighbors in order to stop a Town of Union sand mine or at least make sure that appropriate restrictions are in place.

    More information about Preserve Waupaca County is in our group newsletter (page 1 and 2):

    More on the award can be found here:
    Jan Moldenhauer Environmental Award
    Jan Moldenhauer's legacy

    November 14, 2013

    This is a soap nut

    If you love orchids our guest will be the owner of Goin' to Pots Orchids (Neenah). Mary Stewart will tell us all about orchids and her repotting service. Stop in and smell the flowers. She is bringing a few orchids along.

    Goin' To Pot Orchids and Repotting Service website

    Orchids: Facebook cover for Goin' to Pot Orchids

    Northeast Wisconsin Orchid Society

    American Orchid Society

    January 9, 2014

    This is a soap nut

    Soap Nuts

    The Soap Nut Lady, Peggy McClelland, will drive down from Lakewood to talk to us about soap nuts, an all natural nut that can be used for cleaning, laundry and other environmentally sound uses. She also has some new items on her list to tell us all about. She is eco-friendly and will give us some great ideas on how to keep a chemically free home.

    The Soap Nut Lady website

    The Soap Nut Lady

    February 13, 2014

    Air Emissions Recycling

    Philip Nolan presents a program about air emissions recycling. Philip said, "This presentation is what's come of the initiative FVSG recognized several years ago. He presented this program to the November (2013) convention of the American Public Health Association.

    Ella Schwierske, Field Organizer for the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters, will review the recent Conservation Lobby Day in Madison.

    Steve Krings informs us about the Citizens Climate Lobby.

    March 13, 2014

    Butterfly Gardens

    Jack Voight from Butterfly Gardens of Wisconsin, Wisconsin’s largest butterfly house and maze, will educate and encourage us to have a backyard butterfly garden. He will tell us how to attract butterflies, by growing prairie butterfly nectar and host plants.

    Butterfly Gardens of Wisconsin website.

    Butterfly Gardens of Wisconsin

    April 10, 2014

    Organic Lawn Care
    April 2011 cover of Nature's Pathways magazine featuring Troy Reissmann

    Troy Reissmann from Valley Organics will help us keep our lawn green the green way.

    Troy Reissmann was featured on the cover of the April 2011 edition of Nature's Pathways magazine. He is passionate about healthy lawn care. The Valley Organics owner’s mission is to "save the planet, one lawn at a time." It sounds like a lofty goal, but he believes it’s possible. With equal parts perseverance and perspiration, along with a lot of help from his wife and three children, Reissmann truly believes that someday everyone will realize that customized, organic lawn treatments are a better alternative to traditional chemical-based services.

    May 8, 2014

    SPECIAL Program with Kenny Salwey
    Cover picture of one of Kenny Salwey's books
    This is a special program for us, and we must charge a modest fee of $5 per person or $12 (max) per family.

    We will provide snacks. We will also have a silent auction and door prizes.

    This event will be held in the Girl Scout building at Bubolz Nature Preserve.

    Kenny Salwey is the last of a breed of men whose lifestyle has all but disappeared in this fast-paced, high-tech digital world. He earned a tough living with the land, close to Nature and the Mississippi River and using only his native wit. For 30 years, this weathered woodsman eked out a living running a trapline, hiring out as a river guide, digging and selling roots and herbs, and eating the food he hunted and fished. Today, Salwey is a master storyteller, environmental educator, keynote speaker, nature writer, and advocate for the Upper Mississippi River

    He has presented his true-life adventures and words of natural world wisdom to adult and young adult audiences across the upper Midwest. By sharing his hard learned experiences, his respect for the Mississippi River, and his love of the natural world, Salwey hopes to inspire his audiences to protect this precious and fragile ecosystem. He lives in Alma, Wisconsin.

    Kenny Salwey is the author of five books on his life of a river rat in the backwaters and bluffs of the Upper Mississippi River.

    BBC put together a nice video you can watch online. It is called "BBC - Natural World - Mississippi, Tales of the Last River Rat". It is broken up into 10-minute parts, which you can link to after each part finishes. Here is the first segment:

    Here is a 68 minute video, different than the one above. This one is a bookstore lecture entitled "Muskrat for Supper: Exploring the Natural World with the Last River Rat Kenny Salwey". Watch it here:

    Here is an Iowa Public Radio program on Kenny Salwey:

    In lieu of our traditionsl fundraiser auction during our May meeting we are having this very special program. The silent auction at this meeting will help with the expenses of bringing Kenny Salwey to our meeting. We anticipate a wonderful program.

    Since we still need to raise funds for our group newsletter and other group programs we will be having a couple of brat fry fundraisers. We encourage you to help at those events.

    Printable Poster or Flier

    June 12, 2014

    Richard Schoenbohm talks about kayaking the Fox River in a homemade kayak.

    "I built a skin-on-frame Aleutian kayak that by its grace alone deserved a water journey. So, in the Spring of 2005, I launched it on the Upper Fox River at Portage and paddled to Oshkosh, a voyage back into Wisconsin history and nature. Over ten days, I shared a river loved by Belted kingfishers, Mascouten Indians, John Muir, and today's denizens of villages strung along its course."

    Sketch of the Fox River by Richard Schoenbohm

    August 14, 2014, 5:30pm

    Picnic meeting at Plamann Park (Chris Brandt Shelter).
    Picnic Basket Social Outdoor Picnic at Plamann Park. (Approximately 5:30pm to 9:00pm)

    Plamann Park is north of the Appleton. The Chris Brandt Shelter is located on the old park access road that used to connect to East Applecreek Road in the south. This is a pot-luck event, and we'll share the charcoal pit.

    Printable Map and Directions
    Map of Plamann Park
    Plamann Park Location and Website

    September 11, 2014, 7:00pm

    Campfire Program.

    Join us for an outdoor campfire program, complete with songs, treats, and friends.

    Weather permitting we hope to have our meeting outdoors at the amphitheater. Last year we said, "We haven't done this in a long time and thought it might be fun." Well, it was fun, so we are doing it again. Bring your friends. Bring a song or story, if you like.

    We will still have important announcements, but this will primarily be a social event.

    In the event of bad weather we will have to move indoors and we'll provide a different program.

    Campfire and Songs   Campfire and Marshmallows  

    October 9, 2014, 7:00pm

    This program takes place at the Girl Scout building at Bubolz Nature Preserve

    Dealing with a pet loss

    PHealing Heart Foundation

    Valarie Adams from the Healing Heart Foundation will be our speaker. The Healing Heart Pet Loss Partnership and Pet Loss Advocacy are part of the HHF, which was founded to help people deal with the loss of their beloved pet. Valarie will tell us how they got their start, the changes made since conception, what to do if you find out your four legged family member has a terminal illness and how you can prepare for that loss.
    Healing Heart Foundation

    People's Climate March Alan and Diana Lawrence will report briefly on their experience in New York City with the People's Climate March.
    They were among the 400,000 marchers in Manhattan that day, in the largest of more than 2600 events over a two day period in 162 countries.
    People's Climate March

    50th Anniversary of Wilderness Act William Baurecht had planned to tell us about the 50th Anniversary of Wilderness Act

    November 13, 2014, 7:00pm at Bubolz Nature Preserve

    History of High Cliff State Park.

    Cindy Mueller from High Cliff State Park will be speaking about the history of High Cliff State Park.

    High Cliff State Park

    This is our last meeting for a while at Bubolz Nature Preserve. We move to the former Monte Alverno Retreat Center for our December meeting.

    January 8, 2015 - 7:00 at Monte Averno Center for the Environment

    CANCELLED due to weather

    Bad snow and extreme cold

    We will try to reschedule for another time

    Bees and Honey with Jay Breyer, a beekeeper from the the Hortonville area.

    Jay Breyer, owner of Bee Sweet, will educate us about bees, honey, and beekeeping.


    February 12, 2015 - 7:00 at the Fox River Environmental Education Alliance (FREEA)

    Vicki Vogel, Executive Director of the Fox River Environmental Education Alliance (FREEA), will tell us about the organization. Learn its history, how it obtained the Monte Averno site, and their plans for the future. Learn how our organization works with FREEA.

    Website for Fox River Environmental Education Alliance, Inc (FREEA)

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