The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that the Milwaukee County Parks will receive a grant of $635,000 as part of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative to combat invasive species in the Great Lakes basin.
Milwaukee County Parks will collaborate with the Milwaukee Conservation Leadership Corps/Student Conservation Association, the Great Lakes Community Conservation Corps, the Alliance for the Great Lakes, and the University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute to remove invasive plant species from 32 ecologically diverse natural areas encompassing 1,300 acres of critical wildlife habitat in the Milwaukee County Park System.
The project will also provide educational opportunities for students in grades 6-12 as well as for college students.
"Thank you to the EPA for this important opportunity to collaborate with them in achieving a shared goal of environmental stewardship," said Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele. "Equally as important, we will engage students around Milwaukee County in a hands-on learning opportunity that will not only benefit the park land directly, but also instill a sense of environmental ethics and pride in our great park system."
In other grants news, the Milwaukee County Parks Department has received a 2015 Root River Watershed Initiative Network grant of $9,910 to reforest 6.9 acres of leased agricultural land.
The reforestation project, directly adjacent to the Root River, will be planted to a diversity of native trees and shrubs that will provide habitat for migratory and breeding wildlife populations. The Parks Department will be partnering with the Franklin High School Eco-Club to install this planting in the fall of 2015.