Solon Springs celebrates Earth DayIt was a joint effort between the Solon Springs School District and the Village of Solon Springs as they played host to members of the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development.
By: By Sue Chandler/Solon Springs School District, Superior Telegram
It was a joint effort between the Solon Springs School District and the Village of Solon Springs as they played host to members of the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development. The big celebration was in honor of Earth Day, the modern environmental movement that began in the 1970s and is marked each year on April 22. Solon Springs has additional reason to celebrate with the approaching completion of new waste water treatment facility that will help to protect the waterways of the Brule and St. Croix rivers.
The $3.2 million project is slated for completion during the summer of 2012. Funding for the project was secured through several sources including a $725,000 grant from the USDA Rural Development agency, $1.18 million appropriated by then-Congressman David Obey and $1.5 million in low interest loans.
“The completion of the waste water treatment facility should assure that the waters of the Upper St. Croix Lake are protected for future generations to enjoy,” said village President Mike Blaylock.
The Solon Springs School District hosted a community-wide Earth Day celebration on April 20 to raise awareness of the treatment facility “going on-line.” Solon Spring high school math and science teacher Joanne Zosel organized exhibits and demonstration stations by students from her chemistry class. The stations were viewed by all students and staff from the district, as well as, community members and representatives from the state and federal government. The topics for the stations included the water cycle, ground water model, water – the new oil, water – universal solvent, what is so bad about bottled water, our crown jewel – Upper St. Croix and the history of the Upper St. Croix.
Zosel also honored students from the school who have played a huge role in protecting our environment. With Zosel as their mentor, various student groups have planted a rain garden, completed firefighter training to assist with wild land fires, collected biological, chemical and physical samples from creeks that run into Upper Lake St. Croix, which is used by the state of Wisconsin to track the stability or degradation of our water, educated boaters at various launch sites about the dangers of aquatic invasive species through the Clean Boats/Clean Waters Project and cut and bagged the blossoms of purple loosestrife to help prevent it from crowding out the native plants, in particular Lake St. Croix’s wild rice crop.
The elementary students were also participants in the day’s events, creating posters about different Earth Day topics ranging from composting to responsible recycling. The artwork and hallway displays were coordinated by elementary art teacher Becky Semborski. The winners from each grade were: kindergarten Najhaia Nelson, first grade Carson Kauonen, second grade Jetta Swanson, third grade Elijah Molina, fourth grade Aaron Pfister, fifth grade Christian Sellwood, sixth grade Nick Zosel, junior high Karly Sutherland. The artwork of Elijah Molina was chosen as the overall winner and will be the official artwork on the programs of the 2013 events for the USDA.
The young people and adults of Solon Springs have demonstrated a great knowledge of ways to protect the precious and delicate environment in which they live. There seemed to be in agreement that every day is Earth Day.