Earth Day

Elizabeth Ferris

More than 1,300 people are expected to gather at Milwaukee’s Red Arrow Saturday afternoon to march for science. Organizers here drew inspiration from a march – also taking place on Earth Day – in Washington DC. Both marches, along with more than 600 others scheduled around the world, hope to draw attention to the role science plays in health, economies and governments.

Chris Young

As Alverno College students count down to graduation day, several seniors shared their choices and concerns for the environment.

Hannah Burby says her family set an environmental example - outdoor people, who reuse cream cheese containers, not Tupperware. Recycling is not an option, it’s mandatory. Burby’s “people” are engineers.

“I wanted to apply that and be an environmental engineer, and now I’ve changed my mind to do something more community-based,” Burby says.

Susan Bence / Milwaukee Public Radio

More than a decade ago, residents living near the last operating landfill within Milwaukee's limits were presented with a challenge -- as well as an opportunity. As the landfill closed, neighbors organized. And today, a 20-acre park - featuring a labyrinth, bronze sculptures, a playground and more - stands in its spot.

Near the spot where West Keefe Avenue meets the Menomonee River Parkway, Milwaukee’s Commissioner of Public Works Ghassan Korban touts the park as a stormwater management marvel.

Susan Bence / Milwaukee Public Radio

UW-Milwaukee student Jessica Hufford spearheaded the first week-long No Impact Challenge on campus last year. She's working to get more students involved this year.

"The way the challenge works is that there is a theme for each day, consumption on Sunday, trash Monday, etc. and the challenge builds on itself throughout the week to ease into sustainable living," Hufford says.

Clay Bolt

The rusty-patched bumble bee used to be abundant, including in Wisconsin. Nature photographer Clay Bolt became interested in the species' dwindling numbers, and set out to create a documentary about his quest to find the bee.

The South Carolinian ended up at UW-Madison's Arboretum.

Science writer Michael Timm combined his passion for Great Lakes issues and storytelling to create an 8-minute film about quagga mussels. Then he not only convinced a local movie theater to show his film, Timm convinced three other filmmakers to contribute their work.

The result is the Our Water film event being held at the Avalon Theatre Saturday.

S Bence

Most of the world’s rice production occurs oceans away from the United States. In 2011, molecular biologist Michael Schläppi dove into rice research hoping to grow the grain in Wisconsin.

According Schläppi, 80 percent of the rice Americans consume is grown in a handful of states, especially Arkansas and California. “But I think it would be wise to think about, with climate change or the drought in California, maybe they won’t be able to grow rice anymore,” he says.

Bay View resident Jesse Blom wants to be part of the solution. That means a bit of experimentation and a lot of learning.

Blom helped transform an 1898 Queen Anne Style home on Euclid Ave in Bay View to Heart Haus, created to demonstrate sustainable urban community.

Not only do vegetable patches fill its front and backyard, greens are growing off the kitchen.

M Pitrof

A new documentary by historian John Gurda examines the region's history through our waterways.

Gurda first collaborated with Claudia Looze nine years ago on the landmark documentary, The Making of Milwaukee. On Tuesday, their new project, Milwaukee: A City Built On Water, premiered.

Gurda says the idea came out of a lecture he developed back in 2013. UW-Extension staffer, Gail Overholt, gave him some valuable advice: it would be nicer with pictures.

EDDEE DANIEL

Dr. Marc Gorelick didn’t set out to make an environmental statement. He simply wants to set aside a few acres of green space for sick kids to find peace and quiet. 

Those acres just happen to be part of a contested piece of the Milwaukee County Grounds.

People have rallied behind different causes erupting around the public land.

Daniel Lobo, Flickr

Southwest Airlines created the Heart of the Community program to "activate public spaces in the heart of communities." 

nelsonearthday.net

Forty-five years after Gaylord Nelson founded Earth Day, Tia Nelson is caught between carrying on her father's legacy and hewing to the guidelines of her state government job.

S Bence

The Walker’s Point operation is one of only a handful of urban cheese factories in the country.

Michelle Maternowski

It’s hard not to smile when you hear the “voices” of Barry Midtling’s three-day old kids.

S Bence

Thousands of kids spend their weekdays in childcare. On Milwaukee’s south side, a new child care center has opened with an eco-twist.

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