One of our guiding principles at Conserve School is to practice and promote conscientious stewardship of natural resources on our Lowenwood campus. Through our unique ecological education curriculum, and by facilitating experiential connections to the ecosystems of northern Wisconsin, we hope to cultivate future generations of responsible environmental advocates who give back to their community for the common good.
Stewardship is a value that we place high importance on through our weekly Stewardship Wednesday programming. Typically, our students work toward improving our community and facilities on campus during Wednesday afternoon Stewardship in Action class. However, we believe that stewardship can (and should) be taught beyond our own grounds as well. As such, we seek out opportunities to demonstrate and promote stewardship and sustainability beyond our campus through community service work. So, last Wednesday, Conserve School students and staff spent the day out in the neighboring community working on service projects around the Northwoods, from cleaning up local highways to gathering and planting native seeds.
A number of our Community Stewardship Day projects took place in Land O’ Lakes, including cleaning the Land O’ Lakes Public Library building, volunteering to aid the Beautification Committee at the Land O’ Lakes Town Hall, building and painting the public ice rink, and retouching fencing around the cemetery. Beyond Land O’ Lakes, some of our students partnered with The Nature Conservancy to help remove invasive species at the Tenderfoot Reserve. Others traveled to Treehaven, a forestry field station and environmental education center operated by UW-Stevens Point, to winterize and improve the garden facilities there. One group even had the fortune to work (and play) for a day at the Children’s Museum in Eagle River!
The wide array of Community Stewardship Day projects gave our students and staff a refreshing glimpse of life beyond our campus and helped us all refocus on the value of stewardship in general, whether it was ecological or economic in nature.
Paul Lovaas, Graduate Fellow