Park People of Milwaukee County, Inc. via Crowdrise
August 23, 2010
BENEFITING: Park People of Milwaukee County, Inc.
The Milwaukee County Park System has almost 15,000 acres, approximately half of which are natural areas. Despite being the most urbanized county in Wisconsin, this park system nevertheless includes 3 state-designated natural areas, including rare fens (alkaline wetlands), beech-maple forests, and an oak savanna. The park system is also home to over a dozen Wisconsin threatened or endangered species. Unfortunately, the ecological health of the park system is seriously threatened by the rapid spread of invasive weeds like garlic mustard, dames rocket, buckthorn, and exotic honeysuckle among others. Equally as unfortunate is the fact that our Park System currently has little means to address the spread of invasive plants in our parks.
Weed-Out is a grass roots volunteer program begun in 1996 to raise public and political awareness about invasive weeds, improve natural areas management, educate citizens about this serious environmental threat and recruit volunteers for hands-on weed control in the Milwaukee County Park System. Since its inception TPP has incrementally grown the volunteer weed removal program to include more parks and park areas while also expanding the educational aspect of the program by reaching out to local schools, community groups and fraternal organizations by offering informative presentations.
Weed-Out provides a rewarding opportunity for all those who participate by giving them a “hands-on” experience with environmental work. In the years following invasive weed removal, they also get to witness the reappearance of wildflowers and tree seedlings that had been suppressed before their work due to lack of sunlight and nutrients.
The Park People organization provides all the tools and supplies necessary for our volunteers to be effective. Throughout the year Park People staff and key volunteers work diligently to raise awareness of the threat imposed by invasive plants by offering workshops and presentations. We also offer a curriculum that provides a prime opportunity for school children to learn about the direct impact of invasive species on their local environment.
At this time we have a great need to replace many of the tools and supplies used by our volunteers. Please consider a donation to assist in the purchase of tools, supplies and educational materials.