The Ozanne Outpost has given us new opportunity to develop an educational destination called the “Homestead Garden”. Inspired by the success of the Market Garden in 2015, the Hawthorn Hollow Homestead Garden seeks to renew our enthusiasm for growing heirloom fruits and vegetables, this time with a greater focus on education.
The Homestead Garden will be the site of our new “Growing Healthy” field trip program. Racine Unified School District (RUSD), Eco Justice Center, and Hawthorn Hollow have built a partnership to develop the Growing Healthy program which will introduce approximately 1,500 first grade students to healthy eating and where food comes from. This program is scheduled to begin in October 2017.
Students will learn the many different roles of food including the effects of both healthy and unhealthy eating, dietary goals, how food connects to family and culture, the taste of fresh vegetables, what it means to eat local food, and the role of pollinators in the garden. Students will have a unique hands-on opportunity to harvest vegetables, collect eggs, see honey bees at work and taste the goodness of fresh healthy food. Children who participate in this program will grow up knowing where food comes from and how they can make healthy choices in their daily lives. Hawthorn Hollow is thankful to receive two grant awards for this project in the amount $7,700 from SC Johnson Foundation and $6,720 from Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare Foundation.
The Homestead Garden includes a 150 ft x 80 ft heirloom vegetable garden in the shape of a giant monarch butterfly, an heirloom popcorn labyrinth in the style of the Chartres Cathredral labyrinth, a dedicated honey house for beekeeping and honey production, and the beginnings of a new permaculture food forest. We also want to send out a huge THANK YOU for the generous donation of over 600 plants from Mileager’s and Gateway Technical College to help start-up the garden beds!
WATERshed Program Expansion to Kenosha
The WATERshed Program comes to Kenosha for the 2017/2018 school year! Thanks to a Wisconsin Coastal Management Program grant award in the amount of $15,212, and Department of Natural Resources award in the amount of $5,000, Hawthorn Hollow will expand the award-winning Racine Unified School District (RUSD) WATERshed Program to Kenosha Unified school District (KUSD).
Since 2009 the RUSD WATERshed Progam has reached approximately 20,000 students, which show significant changes in Great Lakes environmental literacy through pre/post test scores. The WATERshed program is designed to introduce students to how their daily activities affect the Root-Pike Watershed and Lake Michigan. The Kenosha expansion partners with UW-Parkside and will take place at the CEDAR Center at the Southport Beach House.
The program will teach students the role of sand dunes, water testing, river geology, and connections to the Great Lakes. It builds ecological awareness and explores human relationships to the Root-Pike watershed. The program motivates students to make personal decisions which will make a positive impact within their watershed. Additionally, the WATERshed program has been identified as a priority in the “Pike-River Watershed-Based Plan,” which was determined by EPA to meet their criteria for a nine element watershed plan.
The Fund for Lake Michigan granted Hawthorn Hollow funding to help protect a severely eroded ravine on the newly acquired property, now call the Ozanne Outpost. The ravine is listed as a critical area in need of restoration in the “Pike River Watershed-Based Plan” that was completed in 2013. The project is located in the tree plantation on the western half of the property. It will restore historic wetlands to enhance storm water storage which will reduce the amount of overland storm water flow entering the ravine. The ravine receives water from three sources: a PVC pipe that collects overland flow in a depression near the ravine that was installed when the tree plantation was planted around 1990; a drain tile that collects groundwater which was installed decades ago when the area was under agricultural use; and other overland flow making its way into the ravine. The $75,000 grant will pay for the wetland restoration plan and invasive species management, which will begin this year. The grant will also pay for a portion of the construction cost. Hawthorn Hollow will seek additional grants for the remaining construction costs. We hope to begin construction in 2018.
Poetry on the Trails this Fall
Hawthorn Hollow is partnering with Kenosha’s 2017 Poetry Laureate, Bren Mitchell, for a 2 week event, The Poetry Walk. It will kick off with an opening event on October 7th, with poem readings and live music. The trails of Hawthorn Hollow will feature poems about nature and wildlife. There will also be opportunities for visitors to write their own poems inspired by nature. Poetry Trails goes from Saturday October 7th through Saturday the 21st. More details to come!
Kenosha County Parks is celebrating their 90th anniversary by providing free public events and programs to the community this summer. Hawthorn Hollow has partnered with them on two of the educational programs; Wildlife Explorers (ages 5-8), and Tots in the Park (ages 3-5). Hawthorn staff is leading these programs twice a week at Petrifying Springs Park and they have been a blast. Students have gone on nature hikes, learned about animals, ecosystems, and different colors and textures in nature. The program started in June and goes until August 17th. For more information, visit www.kenoshacountyparks.org.
Monarchs abound at The Hollow
This Summer Hawthorn Hollow became a registered Monarch Waystation. A Waystation is a place that provides resources to sustain the monarch populations and promote successful migrations. In addition, our regular volunteer, Chase Cortez, constructed a walk-in monarch rearing cage and donated it to Hawthorn Hollow. Chase has also found over a hundred monarch eggs to rear. A big thanks to Chase! For more information on the monarch waystation program visit: www.monarchwatch.org
A Great Summer For Volunteers!
With all the extra work the additional 50 acres requires, the volunteers have been a tremendous help this summer! We can’t thank them enough! Jacob, Barb, Erin, Chase, Sunny, Grace, Chris, Kai, Jeremy, and all the concert volunteers. An extra thank you to Emily Nurmi for being here, working hard, everyday! And also a special thank you to Janice Laufenberg for your many, many hours of persistent hard work!
Kenosha Rotary Funds Chest & Hip Waders
With the addition of our new property we are increasingly finding the need to be in the Pike River. We have a stream bank monitoring program for interns and volunteers from Carthage College, UW-Parkside, and Gateway Technical College who will be using the waders. In addition, the waders will also be available to other local volunteers and school groups that help us on our River Work Day projects. These projects involve removing logjams which help reduce stream bank erosion causing the introduction of sediment and other pollutants to the Pike River.