OUTDOORS: Get out and celebrate nature during Earth WeekNow in its ninth year as a Tree City USA, Superior practices forestry stewardship in every season. However to qualify as a Tree City, participants must meet certain criteria, which include holding an official observance of Arbor Day.
By: Emily Kram, Superior Telegram
Now in its ninth year as a Tree City USA, Superior practices forestry stewardship in every season. However to qualify as a Tree City, participants must meet certain criteria, which include holding an official observance of Arbor Day.
Each year Arbor Day falls on the last Friday of April, April 24 this year. Mary Morgan, with the Parks and Recreational Department, said the weather typically remains chilly in Superior at that time, so Superior’s tree board recognizes Arbor Day about a month later.
This year the city is pairing with the fourth-grade students at Northern Lights Elementary School to mark the occasion. Morgan said the observance is tentatively planned for the first week of June. Students will take part in the standard tree-planting activities but will also go into the community to educate citizens on the threat of the emerald ash borer (EAB).
“The kids will help us spread the word about not transporting your firewood,” Morgan said.
EAB typically spreads through human activity, often when firewood from an infected region is moved into a previously untouched area. The invasive beetles are extremely destructive to the ash population and have been discovered as near as La Crosse.
In Superior’s two-day event, about 100 Northern Lights students will watch a presentation on EAB. On the second day, the children will help the city pass out literature to Superior residents about the impact EAB would have if it arrived in northwestern Wisconsin.
Other schools will celebrate Earth Week in the more immediate future. At Superior Middle School, the food service workers will mark Earth Day, April 22, by going green. Ovens and dishwashers will not be turned on for the day, and sandwiches and salads will be served for lunch. Many schoolchildren will be busy in class with various projects, and typical citizens also have a chance to take part in the week of environmental awareness.
Earth Week officially runs April 19-25, but a few groups are starting the celebration early this Saturday. Following is a list of local events to observe Earth Week and to enjoy outdoor recreation in general.
Earth Week Events
Saturday: Girl Scout Troop 4208 from Bryant Elementary will give away free reusable grocery bags donated by Murphy Oil at the Belknap Super One from 10 a.m. to noon.
• 34th Annual Midwest Crane Count. Volunteers are needed for the Douglas County sandhill crane count. Those wishing to participate should contact coordinator Mike Cramey at (715) 399-8017.
• Friends of the Bird Sanctuary Earth Day awareness event — 10 a.m. at bird sanctuary clubhouse near Solon Springs. Litter pickup at 7 a.m., bring gloves. Call Julie for more information at (715) 378-2923.
• Reservations are being accepted until May 9 for the sharp-tailed grouse viewing blind at the Douglas County Wildlife Management Area (Bird Sanctuary) near Solon Springs. To reserve a time, call Lorna at (715) 376-4743.
April 25: The Brule River Sportsmen’s Club needs volunteers to help clean up litter along the Bois Brule River corridor. Meet in Brule at the pavilion at the Lion’s Park at 9 a.m. for coffee and doughnuts prior to assignment of a clean-up area. Following clean-up, lunch will be provided at noon by the club at the Round Up North in Brule. Bring boots and warm clothing. For more information, call Dennis Smet at (715) 372-8377 or John Holter at (715) 372-8947.
• The Brule River State Forest holds its annual spring public informational meeting at 1 p.m. at the Brule Town Hall. The purpose of the meeting is to share information with the public regarding the ongoing use and management of the state forest. For more information contact Dave Schulz, forest superintendent, at (715)-372-5678.