Environment Challenge celebrates local projects
The Bruce, Flambeau and Ladysmith Environmental Challenge class came together last Friday to present the projects that this years summer school classes have been working on the past five weeks with the WRA in front of a pavilion full of parents, school administration, WRA representatives and community members as they celebrated this past summers success. This year the classes have been working on many projects such as the pheasant habitat on Hanson Rd, several on the Dairyalnd Flowage, Josie Creek, Main Creek, Sand Lake, Fireside Lake, Mudbrook Lake and the new project at the animal shelter, where a new dog park is being built.
This years challenge was once again a little different from years past as they didn’t work on one specific project like the previous years like the amphitheaters in Memorial Park and Trail’s End the year before, but several projects that had students getting opportunities throughout the different environmental habitats that local recreational users use throughout our great county.
This years class, which is lead by WRA president, Jerry Carow and fully funded through the Wildlife Restoration Fund through the generous donations of all those who attend the WRA Banquet each year took on four interns Kasey Kroenig, Quincy Stevens, Jordan Fuse and Taggart Jacob to help lead the three teams of twenty students and teachers along the way.
This year’s classes consisted of Bruce, led by teacher Jason Lehman and Woody Keeble along with his class of Mitchell Lehman, Matt Popowich, Dylan Trott, Jake Thome and Lacey Jacobs. The Flambeau class led by Todd Roehl along with ten students; Sophie Hauser, Abby Bratanich, , Shyla Applebee, Bowen Sweeney, Cole Sanderson, Aisha Royce, Anna Winchel, Dalton Bratanich and Morgan Smith. The Ladysmith class was led by Pete Schroeder who led students John Pyles, Isaac Lundgren-Timmers, Brandon Walters,, Emily Woelfer, Adam Martin, Bronson Davis, Kellie Duval, Clayton Roscoe and Caiden Engel.
This year, which marked the twenty first year of the Environmental Challenge would not be possible with out the help from all three schools and the teachers that have helped along the way. The program would also not be possible without the WRA and community members who donate all their time and energy into making Rusk County habitat greater for future use. WRA president, Jerry Carow said it best, “each year the kids don’t really understand right away what it is they are truly doing for this county and the environment. It will be year down the road when they come back with their children and grandchildren and show them all the great projects that have been done in this county by students. These students do some amazing jobs that they at first think is impossible and think they can’t do. It is the transformation that we see in five weeks each and every year of these students from I can’t to I did that is the most rewarding for all of us involved.”
The idea that three schools coming together to improve our county twenty years ago is still going strong as ever and is continuing to improve all three of the school districts as well as local environments throughout Rusk County through sweat, teamwork, problem solving, leadership, skill development and conservation skills. The many skills and education that these students from Bruce, Flambeau and Ladysmith that they gain over the five week course are many that they can’t receive in the classroom, which lets them shine as students to better the future for Rusk County’s environment for future users of our great lands in northwest Wisconsin.