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By the end of the day on September 17th, 1865, more than 23,000 Union and Confederate soldiers had been killed or wounded. The Battle of Antietam, near Sharpsburg, Maryland, was the bloodiest single day of the American Civil War - and in American history.

Photo courtesy of the National Park Service

One hundred fifty years later, it's hard to place enough significance on how the American Civil War would go on to shape our country and its people - or to overestimate the extreme loss of life it caused. Beyond the battlefields, however, the War Between the states also brought forth many firsts, such as the first Army ambulance corps, the first use of conscription of soldiers, the first black U.S. Army officer - the list goes on and on.

Last year in Milwaukee, more than 7,000 people showed up for a new one-day music festival at Veterans Park in the midst of heavy rain and wind.  Organizers would like to think people were drawn to its mission - to create as little waste as possible during a concert.

Laurence Juber never intended to a rock and roll star. The London-born guitarist, composer, arranger, and session musician had his sights set on a studio career. And he had a very nice one going in London until he got a fateful call from Sir Paul McCartney and ended up joining Sir Paul’s band Wings in 1979. But that wasn’t the first change in musical direction for Juber. He had studied classical guitar as well as music theory at college, but quickly decided the commercial possibilities were limited.

Susan Bence

Leading scientists gather in Milwaukee to study the impact of climate on life cycles.

Susan Bence

Land trusts are far from new to the American experience. There exists a century-old tradition of private and nonprofit groups preserving land not protected by the government.

A local group - founded a dozen years ago – wields preservation tools with an urban twist – transforming empty lots into urban gardens.

WUWM Environmental Reporter Susan Bence headed out to 49th Street – just west of Washington Park – to see what a group of neighbors have accomplished.

Susan Bence

Hundreds of people gathered in Milwaukee last weekend to do more than talk about growing fruits and vegetables.

Growing Power – which for many is synonymous with MacArthur Genius awardee Will Allen – put together dozens of workshops and discussion around making local food accessible across communities – while creating JOBS in the process.
 

WUWM Environmental Reporters Susan Bence joins Ann-Elise Henzl in the studio to talk about three-day conference.

Susan Bence

Environmental Reporter Susan Bence joins Ann-Elise Henzl again in the studio.

Over the weekend Susan stopped in at a Urban and Small Farm Conference put together by Milwaukee-based Growing Power.

Susan Bence

The renaissance of Milwaukee’s Menomonee Valley – once a hub of machine tooling and leather tanning – not to mention tens of thousands of jobs - could be described as a brownfield redevelopment project on steroids. Over the last decade, crews have cleaned up or contained more than 300 acres of landfill – gradually drawing commerce and jobs back into the corridor.

Gianofer Fields

It’s a special back-to-school edition of our It’s A Material World series.

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