Volume 2 2012

Education News
Photo: Great Lakes Earth Partnership.

Education News

Great Lakes Earth Partnership Brings Restoration-Education Together

Wild rice beds on the Bad River Reservation and a Milwaukee beach are miles apart. University students and elementary schoolchildren are years apart. Although there are disparities here, they are brought together through an innovative restoration-education project funded by Sea Grant and known as the Great Lakes Earth Partnership.

The project builds on a comprehensive and interdisciplinary curriculum that includes inquiry-based learning integrated with sustainability, biodiversity, and pollution-prevention principles and service learning. That curriculum was created at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum in 1991.

Last year, teams of teachers, students and citizen volunteers attended one of three Great Lakes Earth Partnership institutes in the Lake Superior, Fox River/Green Bay or Milwaukee River basin. They will be at it again this summer.

“If we can engage students and the community to see the connection between land and water, they can see that how we take care of the land affects how we take care of the water,” said Cheryl Bauer-Armstrong of the Arboretum.

Now, six Wisconsin school districts are participating in restoration activities, such as installing rain gardens. One mentoring aspect involves an army of K-12 students—roughly 800 in all—working with UW-Green Bay, UW-Madison, UW-Milwaukee and Northland College students in the three watersheds.   

The Aquatic Sciences Center is the administrative home of the
University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute & University of Wisconsin Water Resources Institute.

©2011 University of Wisconsin Board of Regents