La Crosse Garden Club and Summit Environmental School
Celebrate Earth Day
BY DOUG ALOISI, GENOA NFH
The La Crosse Wisconsin Garden Club and Summit Environmental School of La Crosse Wisconsin commemorated Earth Day this April 22nd by renovating the Genoa National Fish Hatchery's pollinator garden for the coming season. For the last several years the Garden Club has been the driving force to ensure that the station has had not only an attractive garden display located by our entry sign, but also plants and species present that will attract and benefit pollinator species. This has become doubly important with the crash of Monarch butterfly populations nationwide. Another positive aspect of this project is including local Summit Environmental School children in the project as part of their Outdoor Classroom Curriculum at the hatchery, and to celebrate Earth Day by performing environmental volunteerism. The project hopes to lay a foundation for the children by demonstrating that people of all ages can make a positive impact in our daily lives, and we that all have a responsibility to be good conservation stewards. The project also fulfills the schools mission statement of providing students with a solid educational foundation in the core academic areas with an environmental focus integrated throughout the curriculum. Staff biologist Jorge Buening coordinated the project with the Garden Club and teachers from the school to make this a meaningful and significant Earth Day 2015. The hatchery hopes to include more cooperative conservation projects in the future whether it be in the field of fish and mussel conservation, or involving prairie and pollinator restoration on some of the hatchery's acreage that was once considered borderline pastureland.