Baird Creek Greenway

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Baird Creek Greenway, a section of which is know as Baird Creek Park Way, is a natural area surrounding Baird Creek, in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Baird Creek Greenway is made up of over 500 acres of land. [1] The greenway includes land that is owned by the City of Green Bay, by Brown County, and by private individuals and organizations.[2] This land includes several hiking trails, open to the public, as well as the Baird Creek watershed. The community uses this land for a number of things including "hiking, jogging, bird watching, cross country skiing, and biking."

Baird Creek Preservation Foundation

History

The Baird Creek Preservation foundation first began when citizens in the area, who enjoyed hiking on the Baird Creek trails became concerned with the preservation of the land. In 1997, the foundation officers, Charles Frisk (President), Dave Hemstreet (Vice President), Matthew Dornbush (Secretary), and Mark Diederich (Treasurer) officially formed the Baird Creek Preservation Foundation. [3] The Baird Creek Preservation Foundation still holds it's standing as a registered, 501(c)(3), public charity. [4] Their goal was to start raising awareness among the public, and to raise funds to purchase the land so that it wasn't developed. The Baird Creek Preservation Foundation has hosted many events to raise money for the cause, and still do today. They raised 1 million dollars for the city, so the city could buy and own Baird Creek Greenway. Now they work with the city to preserve and protect the land. The work this organization is doing, in upkeep, is vital to the preservation of Baird Creek, and they have implemented many programs to do this work. In 2004 the foundation sponsored a "BioBlitz" and documented countless species in the Greenway with the help of volunteers. This event was used as a way to educate the public, as well as gain knowledge about the Greenway. In 2005 they coordinated a volunteer program, with over 1,000 hours of volunteers clearing out invasive species in the greenway. These efforts included the removal of 59,000 buckthorn and honeysuckle plants, as well as getting rid of several garlic mustard plants and phragmites.[5] In 2006 they picked up, and removed three dump trucks worth of garbage from the greenway.[6] They also hold Earth Day events every year to increase environmental education in the community.[7] In 2014, and 2015 they held a "Fun Run" for kids, as well as a 5K for adults to raise money and awareness.[8] They have held several other events since they were established to clean up and preserve the area, and educate the community.

Mission

The Baird Creek Preservation Foundation is still doing work every day to help preserve the Baird Creek Greenway and Watershed. In 2006 they created the Baird Creek Master Plan. Development of the Baird Creek Master plan was done at several workshops, by project stakeholders, staff from the city, as well as community members looking to get involved. The plan they came up with was consistent with one primary goal, and 3 supporting goals.

The primary goal: "Protect, preserve, and enhance the natural beauty and ecological integrity of the Baird Creek Greenway for both present and future generations to enjoy".

The first supporting goal: " Provide low-impact recreational uses throughout the Greenway that are compatible with the overall project goal."

The second supporting goal: " Create a sense of community ownership of Baird Creek’s natural habitats, promoting stewardship projects within the Greenway."

The third supporting goal: "Foster a partnership between the Baird Creek Preservation Foundation, City of Green Bay, Brown County, UW-Green Bay, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, & Consumer Protection, and other agencies to improve the health of the Greenway ecosystem."[9]

These goals all played a part in developing their master plan and deciding in what ways they wanted to preserve and protect the greenway. The Baird Creek is carrying out the work to reach these goals in various ways. To create a sense of community ownership of Baird Creek they host many events on the Greenway for the community to attend. An example of an event they have consistently for the community is nature walks. These walks are guided by Baird Creek Members and very educational for kids.

Current Work

A major project they are working on this year (2015) is planting trees in the Town of Eaton. To help with this project the Baird Creek Preservation Foundation has implemented a summer internship program. The interns chosen, who are passionate for preserving nature, will help plan, organize, and learn about working to solve real work issues. The foundation frequently holds "trail clean ups" to get the community and volunteers involved.[10]

Awards

1998 - Mayor's Beautification Award, DNR's Clean Bay Backer Award, N.E.W. Audubon Society's Outstanding Environmental Group Award, and Brown County's Conservation Alliance's Group of the Year.

2002 - Mayor's Beautification Award, and Green Ribbon Award for the Urban Open Space Foundation.

References

  1. "Baird Creek Preservation Foundation." Baird Creek Preservation Foundation. 2015. http://bairdcreek.org/about-us/
  2. Baird Creek Watershed Stewardship Assessment,"] Lake Michigan Forum and Delta Institute, November 2004.http://www.co.brown.wi.us/i_brown/d/land__water_conservation/bairdcreekfinal_stewardship_assessment_-forum_12-04.pdf
  3. "Baird Creek Preservation Foundation." Baird Creek Preservation Foundation. 2015. http://bairdcreek.org/about-us/
  4. "Baird Creek Preservation Foundation Inc." GuideStar. http://www.guidestar.org/ReportOrganization.aspx?ein=39-1992358.
  5. Baird Creek Preservation Foundation., "Baird Creek Master Plan." 2006, 50. http://bairdcreek.org/about-us/baird-creek-master-plan/
  6. Baird Creek Preservation Foundation., "Baird Creek Master Plan.", 58.
  7. Baird Creek Preservation Foundation., "Baird Creek Master Plan.", 58
  8. Charlie Frisk. "The Creek's Course." Baird Creek Preservation Foundation Newsletter, 2015. http://bairdcreek.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Newsletter-Fall-Final-2014.pdf
  9. Baird Creek Foundation., "Baird Creek Foundation Master Plan.", 7.
  10. Charlie Frisk. "The Creek's Course." Baird Creek Preservation Foundation Newsletter, 2015. http://bairdcreek.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Newsletter-Fall-Final-2014.pdf

External Links

Article History

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