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Earth Day 2024: Celebrating sustainability in northeast Wisconsin

Posted at 5:24 PM, Apr 22, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-22 18:39:42-04

GREEN BAY (NBC26) — Seed bombs, trash pickup and construction site tours are just a few of the ways people across northeast Wisconsin acknowledged the 54th annual Earth Day.

  • Watch "seed bombs" be thrown into a pond by elementary school students in Brown County
  • 60 volunteers gathered to clean up downtown Green Bay
  • High school students got an inside look at what will be one of the first all-electric powered schools in the state

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story.)

"For the parks department, Earth Day is really 365 days a year," Brown County Parks Department Director Matt Kriese said.

At Barkhausen Waterfowl Preserve, elementary school students threw seed bombs, a handful of dirt containing seeds with native plants to help restore this pond for the wildlife that call it home.

Seven-year-old Hailey Krier enjoys nature with her dad.

"We'll play, run around and take walks," she said after throwing her seed bomb into the water.

Brown County Parks says invasive species have been removed from the area.

In downtown Green Bay, 60 volunteers gathered to help pick up trash and clean up Broadway Avenue.

"One of the things we try to focus on is really beautifying our district and making it a nice place for people to be and that includes keeping it clean," Betsy Sorensen, volunteer coordinator for On Broadway, Inc. said.

"[It's] a great thing to do with your kids and for your kids and future generations to share the earth that we all need to be part of and take care of," volunteer Michelle Wellens said.

And over in Menasha, high school students got to tour the construction site of the brand new Maplewood Middle School. The building will be fully electric, with just a single gas powered backup generator if needed. The construction company, Miron Construction, says the goal is for this to be a zero net-energy school with benefits for the school district beyond reducing fossil fuel use.

"So far in the last ten years they've reduced about $200,000 worth of utility bills, which is a big deal for the taxpayers," Theresa Lehman, Director of Sustainable Services for Miron Construction, said.

Lehman says this school will help the state of Wisconsin reach its goal to become carbon neutral by the year 2050. In Menasha, Pari Apostolakos NBC 26.