Touring restored wetlands at a Wisconsin nature conservancy

November 1, 2019 by  
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The village of Williams Bay, Wisconsin hasn’t changed much since Harold Friestad was a kid, he told me as we walked through Kishwauketoe Nature Conservancy (KNC). Now almost 80 and the conservancy’s chairman, Friestad is proud of being a factor in stunting the small town’s growth. He was president when the village board bought 231 acres of lakefront property in 1989 to create KNC. “What I want on my tombstone,” he said as our sneakers sank into the wetlands , “is, ‘Because of Harold, there will never be a stoplight in Williams Bay.’” Nature conservancy history The nature conservancy sits against Geneva Lake , long a summer playground for rich Chicagoans . Before that, it was home of the Potawatomi people. The name Kishwauketoe comes from a Potawatomi word meaning “lake of the sparkling water.” The current conservancy land was once a rail yard. But when the train was decommissioned, developers swooped in, wanting to build hotels, golf courses and shopping centers. Area residents wished to stop the developers and keep Williams Bay small and quiet. The Williams Bay Village Board, led by Friestad, negotiated a price of $1.575 million for the 231-acre parcel. “People knew I was a businessman,” said Friestad, who worked for Lake Geneva Cruise Line for 50 years, retiring as general manager in 2015. “They didn’t know I love nature so much.” Even though he got an excellent price — a 10-acre estate could now cost $15 million — Friestad said, “A lot of people didn’t like the idea of me spending all that money to buy it.” But now people value the conservancy, and some of Williams Bay’s 2,500 residents even bought their homes in the village so they could walk the wetland trails every day. “It’s almost sacred now,” Friestad said. “I don’t know how you put a value on it. But it’s priceless to me, and it’s priceless to many, many people.” Donations, volunteer hours, summer interns and a few part-time workers power the conservancy, which has never received tax dollars. During my weekday visit, one woman was chainsawing dead branches, a couple of folks were repairing a boardwalk and a controlled burn was going on in the distance. In the conservancy’s nearly 30-year run, the crew has restored more than 65 acres of prairie, planted a 15-acre arboretum, created a spawning area for lake trout, installed boardwalks over the wettest wetlands, cleared invasive species and constructed a four-story viewing tower. They’ve also built and continue to maintain more than 4 miles of trails. Visiting the Kishwauketoe Nature Conservancy On the October day I visited, the conservancy was quiet. I saw only a half-dozen other walkers during the hour or two I was there. Things are busier in summer, Friestad said, when up to 500 people may visit in a day. Non-human residents include deer, coyotes, foxes and raccoons. Some years, beavers move in. The conservancy has a public education campaign about the benefits of beavers, not the most-loved local animal. Reptile-wise, the conservancy is home to garter snakes and the rare Blanding’s turtle, which has a striking yellow throat. People can walk through the area on their own 365 days a year. The conservancy also offers many guided walks, some focusing on particular aspects, such as history, geology, botany or trees . Those who want to get dirt under their nails can join volunteer workdays and autumn seed harvesting. Every summer, the conservancy hosts a 5K run/walk. I’d recommend the Friday morning walk, which Friestad usually leads. Trail cams Kishwauketoe participates in the statewide Snapshot Wisconsin program, a network of trail cameras. The project provides information for wildlife managers and lets citizen scientists get involved in monitoring Wisconsin’s natural resources. Jim Killian, KNC board member, Wisconsin master naturalist program instructor and coauthor of an upcoming book on the conservancy , learned about Snapshot Wisconsin while attending a master naturalist conference in March 2018. “I immediately sought permission from the Wisconsin DNR [Department of Natural Resources] to host a wildlife trail camera for the Wisconsin Snapshot Wisconsin in KNC,” Killian said. “Because of the location and size of KNC, I learned that I qualified to host two trail cameras in our conservancy. While the program participation requirements are quite stringent, I thoroughly enjoy this volunteer work.” The cameras work with a motion sensor. “At night and in low light, the cameras utilize an infrared flash to capture images,” Killian said. “That is why they appear as black and white. One camera is located on the edge of a small open field/prairie area, while the other is located on the edge of a very dense, wooded area and on the bank of a small stream, which is a popular watering spot for wildlife of many varieties. This stream remains as a source of open water all year, including in the midst of a very cold winter.” Killian services each trail camera at least once every three months to replace the memory card and batteries and to upload the captured images to the Wisconsin DNR. The DNR places the images on a website and invites the public to help classify them. Of the thousands of images captured at KNC so far, Killian said deer are No. 1, followed by squirrels, turkeys , coyotes, raccoons, opossums, cottontail rabbits, redtail foxes, woodchucks, blue jays, cardinals, sandhill crane, northern flickers and mink. Do the trail cams reveal any surprises? “The humor of wildlife,” he said. “I would have never suspected that animals do the funniest things, including selfies, when they know or sense that their image is being captured by a camera. This is particularly true for deer.” KNC is open year-round. If you’re looking for immense peace and quiet, visit in winter … and bring your cross-country skis . + Kishwauketoe Nature Conservancy Images via Harold Friestad / Kishwauketoe Nature Conservancy, Wisconsin DNR Snapshot Wisconsin (trail cam imagery) and Teresa Bergen / Inhabitat

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Touring restored wetlands at a Wisconsin nature conservancy

Support the OpenFarm Kickstarter to Bring an Open-Source Farming and Gardening Wiki to the Web

August 25, 2014 by  
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Social entrepreneur Rory Aronson is on a mission to help the everyman learn how to farm and garden anything! His recently launched Kickstarter for OpenFarm , a free and open Wikipedia-like database, is designed to offer structured planting guides to include information on everything from soil conditions to recipes and usage. While the main draw for OpenFarm may be the guides to edibles, the platform can also be written for flowers, mosses, trees, vines, and other ornamentals. You can help support the OpenFarm Kickstarter here . + OpenFarm Kickstarter The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link . Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing! Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: farming , farming resources , Gardening , gardening resources , open source , Openfarm , openfarm kickstarter , openfarm Wikipedia , reader submitted content , rory Aronson , wikipedia

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Support the OpenFarm Kickstarter to Bring an Open-Source Farming and Gardening Wiki to the Web

Army Corps Plans to Kill 16,000 Birds with Silenced Rifles and Night Vision Scopes

August 25, 2014 by  
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Just picture it: armed paratroopers storming a beach, armed to the teeth and ready to kill . . . a bunch of unarmed, helpless birds. That’s a bit over the top, but it’s not far from the truth and the lives of birds are actually at stake. The American Bird Conservancy (ABC) is sounding the alarm over plans by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that would see 16,000 cormorant birds in the Columbia River Estuary near Portland, OR killed using silenced rifles and night vision scopes in an effort to reduce the number of baby fish eaten by the birds . If the Army Corps plans go ahead, the 16,000 Double Breasted Cormorants would be killed over a period of four years, but the ABC says their plans are flawed. Read the rest of Army Corps Plans to Kill 16,000 Birds with Silenced Rifles and Night Vision Scopes Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: army , breasted , Columbia , cormorant , corps , cull , double , east , engineers , estuary , fish , island , kill , river , salmon , salmonid , sand

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Army Corps Plans to Kill 16,000 Birds with Silenced Rifles and Night Vision Scopes

Trakke Transforms Ancient Yurt into a Packable Round House That Pops Up Anywhere for the Everyday Adventurer

August 25, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of Trakke Transforms Ancient Yurt into a Packable Round House That Pops Up Anywhere for the Everyday Adventurer Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: cnc , cnc fabrication , cotton canvas , Jero , maklab , marine plywood , modern yurt , nomadic lifestyle , pop up round house , pop up yurt , portable house , round house , trakke , Uula Jero , Yurt , yurt design

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Trakke Transforms Ancient Yurt into a Packable Round House That Pops Up Anywhere for the Everyday Adventurer

After years of pondering, FTC releases marketers’ Green Guides

October 1, 2012 by  
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After nearly five years of deliberations, the Federal Trade Commission has finally issued revised “Green Guides.”

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After years of pondering, FTC releases marketers’ Green Guides

Are Green Gift Guides Destroying the Earth?

December 6, 2011 by  
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At Inhabitat, we’ve always been proponents of voting with your cash and supporting brands that make the effort to be sustainable, while sending a message to unethical brands that they need to change their ways. Unfortunately,  PSFK editor-in-chief Piers Fawkes made it clear that he doesn’t agree. In an editorial called  “Tis the Season to Avoid Green Gift Guides,” Fawkes rips on green publications and websites that hawk eco-gift guides during the holidays saying “The green media needs to stop telling people to buy cool stuff that’s labeled organic or BPA-free and they need to start helping people identify who is at fault here so that people can actively lobby the companies folks buy from, or the employers people work for.” Read on to see our rebuttal of Fawkes’ article and let us know what your thoughts are on the subject. READ MORE > Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: are green gift guides bad for the environment , eco design , eco-fashion , Ethical Fashion , green design , green fashion , green gift guide , green gift guides , psfk rebuttal , sustainable design , Sustainable Fashion , sustainable style

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Are Green Gift Guides Destroying the Earth?

CBS “EcoAd” Program Charged with Deceptive Greenwashing

April 12, 2011 by  
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Consumer and environmental groups yesterday sent a formal complaint to the Federal Trade Commission, asserting that the “EcoAd” program recently launched nationally by CBS/EcoMedia is in violation of federal law and the agency’s “Green Guides” for environmental claims.

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CBS “EcoAd” Program Charged with Deceptive Greenwashing

Ecopreneur Interview Series: Storm Sisters Spatique

April 12, 2011 by  
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Part 8 in a series where Krates Ng (co-founder of Mokugift the ecard service) interviews fellow ecopreneurs.  Today, Krates interviews Becky Sturm, CEO of StormSister Spatique .

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Ecopreneur Interview Series: Storm Sisters Spatique

What it Means to be Green and Other Environmental Claims

October 28, 2010 by  
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This is a guest post by Beth L. Law, CSPA Assistant General Counsel and Vice President for International Affairs.

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What it Means to be Green and Other Environmental Claims

What the FTC’s Green Guides Mean for the Market

October 21, 2010 by  
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This is a guest post by Thomas P.

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What the FTC’s Green Guides Mean for the Market

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