Affiliated Events

Rock River Basin May Events Updates (PDF)

Rock River Basin May 2017 Update

The Rock River Update is a listing of events and other items of interest for people in and around the Rock River Basin of Wisconsin. The update is available online at the beginning of each month. Inclusion is not an endorsement of a program, publication or website.


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Rock River Coalition (RRC) Events

May 8 RRC 2017 Annual Meeting and Awards Ceremony!  5:00 pm, Herons Landing, 200 W Milwaukee St, Jefferson.

Honor our award winners: Suzanne Wade, Taylor Conservation LLC, Yahara WINs (Dave Taylor and Kathy Lake), Dr. Ann Courtier (UW-Whitewater), Representative Mark Spreitzer, Dan Lynch, Patty Lynch, Marsha Vomastic, Marie Rubietta and James Kerler.  Keynote: Proposed Monterey Dam Removal by Tim Whittaker, City of Janesville. Cost: $15 members, $20 non-members, meal included, cash bar. (Please indicate if a vegetarian or gluten free selection is needed). Register by email to or calling 920-650-0966 by May 7, 2017.


June 3 Rock River National Water Trail Grand Opening Celebration:  9:00 am. Help celebrate the trails opening and bring awareness to the great recreational assets here in Wisconsin. Paddle the Rock River from Kaul Park to Kanow Park in Northeastern Jefferson County, which will be roughly 5.5 miles and take an estimated 2-3 hrs.  Doyle’s Dogs will have a food truck at the take-out. Rock River Coalition will have information regarding the organization and citizen stream monitoring program. More info will be coming soon on webpage or call at 920-674-7260.


June 12-18 Rock River Snapshot Initiative to Detect Aquatic Invasive Species:  River Alliance, in partnership with the DNR, Rock River Coalition and Jefferson, Washington and Waukesha counties, will be hosting the first Rock River Snapshot Initiative to map out aquatic invasive species in the Rock River Basin. This multi-day event will give volunteers of all ages across the basin a chance to participate in one of several identification trainings. For information on training dates and locations, click on “events” at or contact Amanda Perdzock,


Become A Stream Steward: Volunteer to Monitor Stream Health!

Looking for a way to take action to protect streams in the Rock River Basin? Become a citizen stream monitor with the Rock River Coalition (RRC). No prior skills are necessary. Only a few hours each month are required. From April to October, our citizen stream monitors collect data vital to understanding the health of our streams across the Rock River Basin. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and various County Land and Water Conservation Departments will use the data to better understand watershed protection and restoration needs.


Sign up for a workshop today. At these workshops you will learn how to measure water clarity, stream temperature, dissolved oxygen, and how to assess stream health by examining aquatic insects. Equipment provided – just bring a towel, waders or wear shoes with toe protection that can be worn in the water. Pre-Registration Required. Spaces fill quickly so register today!


2017 Training Opportunities

Saturday, May 6, 2017 (9:00 am-2:30 pm)

Location: Amundson Center, Cambridge

Facilitators: Nancy Sheehan, RRC Stream Monitoring Program Coordinator, and Patricia Cicero, Water Resource Management Specialist, Jefferson Co. Land & Water Cons. Dept.

Saturday, May 6, 2017 (9:00 am-3:00 pm)

Location: UW-Waukesha Field Station, Oconomowoc

Facilitator: Jayne Jenks, Waukesha County Parks and Land Use Dept.


Saturday, May 20, 2017 (9:30 am-3:30 pm)

Location: Turtle Creek Parkway Facility, Clinton

Facilitators: Nancy Sheehan, RRC Stream Monitoring Program Coordinator, Anne Miller,

Conservation Specialist, Rock Co. Land Cons. Dept., David Hoffman, Community

Coordinator, Rock County Parks, and Lisie Kitchel, Conservation Biologist, Mussel Monitoring

Program, WDNR.  This workshop will also feature mussel monitoring!


Saturday, June 10, 2017 (9:30 am-3:00 pm)

Location: March Haven Nature Center, Waupun

Facilitators: Nancy Sheehan, RRC Stream Monitoring Program Coordinator, Amanda Perdzock, AIS Program Director, River Alliance of Wisconsin, and Jesse Weinzinger, Conservation Biologist, Mussel Monitoring Program, WDNR.  This workshop will also feature mussel monitoring and aquatic invasive species monitoring.


For more information go to:

Rock River Coalition, Citizen Stream Monitoring:

Water Action Volunteers Program:

Waukesha County, Citizen Stream Monitoring Program:


New Online Live Interactive Map: Created by Andy Hoernemann of the Friends of Badfish Creek Watershed, this online interactive paddling map with popup windows offers detailed information about and photographs of numerous waypoints for entry and exit. View map at live site: Also, FBCW is creating an educational watershed poster to be posted in the Badfish Creek Wildlife Area kiosk at the Old Stage Road, DNR parking lot with a QR code to link paddlers to the map.


Natural Resource Calendar of Events

May 3 One Community, One Water:  Save Our Lakes Breakfast:  7:00 – 9:15 am.  Monona Terrace Community & Convention Center, Madison. Locally prepared breakfast. General admission: $100.


May 5 Citizen Science and Volunteer Opportunities: (Free Webinar) noon-1:30 pm. Final installment of the Wisconsin First Detector Network (WIFDN) webinar series. Learn about impacts of citizen scientists as well as volunteer opportunities. Open to all interested participants.  Register here. Visit website or more:, 608-262-9570.


May 7 Bird and Nature Walk:  1:30-3:00 pm. Cherokee Marsh Conservation Park, Madison, WI (map).  Free, family-friendly bird and nature walk. Sponsored by Madison Parks, the Friends of Cherokee Marsh and Madison Audubon Society.


May 8-11 2017 River Rally:  Hosted by River Network, Grand Rapids, Michigan. A national conference that focuses on education, inspiration and celebration within the river and watershed community


American Institute of Professional Geologists Seminars:  Register online

May 11: 12:30 – 5:00 pm, Wisconsin Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (WPDES) Nonmetallic Mining                 Permit Process Seminar.

             May 12:  8:30 am – 5:00 pm, Sand Mine Life Cycle Seminar:  The latest environmental research and operation              innovations will be shared at seminar with time to talk with industry experts and vendors

             May 13:  9:00 am – 4:00 pm, Field Trip – Industrial Sand Resources of West-Central Wisconsin.

May 12-13 Plant Sale with the Pros:  11:00 am – 5:00 pm on May 12 and 9:00 am – 3:00 pm on May 13. Olbrich Botanical Gardens, Madison, WI. Speak with experts and select best plants for your garden. Sale features everything from annuals and perennials to ornamental grasses and shrubs. Shop early, quantities limited.

May 12-15 20th Annual Bird Festival:  Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center, Horicon, WI.  Hosted by Horicon Marsh Bird Club, bird enthusiasts can experience the sights, sounds and natural beauty of birds in peak spring migration. Contact: Liz Herzmann, DNR Wildlife Conservation Educator, 920-387-7893.

May 12 Spring Identification & Management of Native & Invasive Species:  9:00 am-3:30 pm. Riveredge Nature Center, Newburg, WI. Learn how to identify, manage and monitor native and non-native plant populations with restoration ecologists. Contact Matt Smith, Riveredge’s Land Manager, 262-375-2715 or more info:

May 13 Annual Compost Bin & Rain Barrel Event:  10:00 am – 2:00 pm. Alliant Energy Center, Madison, WI. Discounted compost bins and rain barrels will be on sale and event will coincide with a community-wide program by the Madison Area Municipal Stormwater Partnership.

May 13 Native Plants Part 2 – Garden Education: 2:00 – 3:30 pm. Hoard Historical Museum, Fort Atkinson, WI. This free program taught by master gardeners is open to the public and will introduce specific herbaceous native plants and their characteristics. or call 920-563-7769.

May 14 Janesville Spring Plant Sale:  9:00 am-6:00 pm. Rotary Botanical Gardens.  Held at Horticulture Building on Sharon Rd, east of Rotary Botanical Gardens and includes a wide range of vegetables, herbs, perennials and shrubs.

May 20 Family Day & Leopold Center Open House:  12:00 noon-4:00 pm. The Leopold Center, Baraboo, WI. 608-355-0279. A free event with activities for kids and families including hikes, live reptiles, hayrides, watercolor painting and more! Visit Leopold Shack.

May 20 4th Annual Wildflowers for Wildlife: 9:00 am-1:00 pm. Horicon National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center (Hwy Z).

A native plant sale includes displays and consultants. Native landscape demonstration tours between 10:00 am-1:00 pm, Native plants are available for pre-order until April 14. Forms and info: or 920-387-7893.


May 20 Bats of Wisconsin:  6:30-7:30 pm.  Sandhill Wildlife Area Babcock, WI. Learn about the natural history and basic biology of bats, echolocation and current threats to the population. Meet live bats face-to-face.  All proceeds from the $10 fee go towards bat conservation. Register by May 10.


UW-Milwaukee Field Station Summer Courses:  (Click here to register ) Workshop fee: $105. Available for 1.4 CEU. (Not offered for college credit)

June 2-3 –      Introduction to the Algae

June 12-17  – Vegetation of Wisconsin

June 16-17  –  Sedges Identification and Ecology

July  14-15  –  Wildlife Inventory and Monitoring,

July  28-29  –  Aquatic Invertebrates

August 4-5  –  Grasses:  Identification and Ecology

Aug 18-19   –  Aquatic Vascular Plants:  Identification and Ecology


Jun 11 Bark River Family Paddle:  9:30 am. Put-in is at Burnt Village Park (County Hwy N), #48, to take-out Fort Atkinson Public Launch (N. Water Street West), #65. Be unloaded and ready to shuttle vehicles by 8:45 am at put-in site. Please RSVP at Paddle craft rental available from 2Rivers Bicycle & Outdoor at 920-563-2222.  [see flyer.]


Jun 11 7th Annual Fools’ Flotilla:  9:30 am-12:00 noon. Yahara River, Madison, WI.  Costume up yourselves; dress up your boat, your kids, and the dog too. Bring some instruments and play along with the floating bands! Prizes awarded for the most foolish of fools. No cost and no registration required. Details:


Jun 16-18 28th Annual Energy Fair:  Midwest Renewable Energy Association, (MREA), Custer, WI.

Jun 22-24 2017 Building a Land Ethic Conference – Bridging the Urban-Rural Divide:  University of Wisconsin-Baraboo/Sauk County, Baraboo, WI.


Jul 16 Aztalan Day Tour:  11:00 am-3:00 pm. Aztalan State Park. The Town of Aztalan Museum and School will be open, with a Friends of Aztalan table on the grounds. Tours are free but a state park sticker will be needed for vehicles.


Aug 26 2017 Wisconsin Bat Festival:  Mitchell Domes in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Stay tuned for more details!


Grants/Awards/Contests (K-12 entries are in the K-12 section below)

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is seeking applications from Wisconsin landowners for its premiere wetland restoration program, the Wetlands Reserve Easement (WRE). Applications are accepted year-round for funding.  Contact your local USDA NRCS Service Center for more information, visit or 608-662-4422 ext. 252,


K-12 Teachers and Students

Fishing Wisconsin:  Places to take kids fishing:  Find your favorite fishing spot. This kid-friendly spot list was prepared by local Dept. of Natural Resources fish biologists:



The Water Cycle: The NRCS water cycle poster is back by popular demand.


May 4 Leopold Education Project workshop4:30-8:30 pm, Monona, WI. Hands-on training  featuring the NEW 2016 Curriculum Guide. Open to all environmental educators, formal and non-formal, and those interested in teaching others about conservation, nature, and instilling a “land ethic”. $35 includes a light supper.


May 28 Survival at the Pond- Family Nature Program: 1:30-3:30 pm. UW-Madison Arboretum. Which animals live in Teal Pond, and how? Hike to the pond to explore this special place. Naturalist-led hike from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Indoor activities from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. Free, no registration required. Meet at the Visitor Center.


Jun 26-29 or July 17-20 Intro to Field Investigations- Summer Teacher Workshop:  For 4th-8th grade teachers.   $180/person. Includes meals, lodging, linens, resources and instruction. Space limited. More information: 745-479-6456, ext.232 or register on line:



Solar Energy Financing Guide: Empowering Wisconsin Local Governments:  Local governments and tribal nations have an opportunity to save money and create jobs by joining the growing renewable energy economy, according to a new publication from the UW-Extension, by author, Sherrie Gruder.


Stream Monitoring News, Water Action Volunteers –  Winter 2017 Newsletter


Connecting People to Their Public Lands 2016: Explore the ways the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) engages youth and adults with opportunities to have fun in outdoors, learn about science and careers, and volunteer or work as stewards of our treasured landscapes and resources. Price: $14


Wisconsin amphibian and reptile field guides:  Bring these little field guides on your next outdoor adventure to identify any frog, snake or turtle you may see along the way. All proceeds from sales of these field guides goes to reprinting them and to educational materials. Order your field guides today



Gypsy Moth Aerial Spraying to Begin in May:  Western and central Wisconsin counties are scheduled to be treated for gypsy moth May-August. Sign up to receive e-mail notifications about treatment plans at or toll-free Gypsy Moth Information Line, 1-800-642-6684. Press option 1 for updates.


Wildfire and your Woodland:


Changes and Choices in the Yahara:  A mini-documentary series that showcases the major research implications from the UW-Madison Water Sustainability and Climate project, a five-year research endeavor funded by the National Science Foundation.
Reduce Your Water Footprint:  The rainwater that falls from your roof after a storm could play an important role

in protecting our country’s rivers and streams. Learn how to reduce your water footprint with a rain barrel.


Employment Opportunities

Department of Natural Resources:  Conservation Biologist – Karner Blue Butterfly.  Job Announcement Code:  17-00952. Counties:  Dane, Eau Claire, Milwaukee, Woods. Part-time (20 hrs/wk)  Contact:  Susan Schwarm, Human Resources Specialist, 608-267-7432,  Deadline to apply:  5/14/17   Preview Assessment

Are You Salt Wise? In addition to road salt runoff and infiltration, salt used in industrial processes and individual homes for water softening gets back to the environment via wastewater discharge.  Learn more:


Aquatic Plant Management: In order to protect diverse and stable communities of native aquatic plants and prevent the spread of invasive aquatic plants, please contact your local aquatic plant management coordinator before engaging in any aquatic plant management or nuisance control activities as a permit may be required.


Protect Oak Trees From Oak Wilt:  To protect oak trees and help prevent oak wilt, the WDNR advises people to avoid pruning oaks from April through July.  Don Kissinger, DNR urban forester, 715-359-5793.


WDNR Reforestation program begins spring 2017 tree seedling sales:  Ordering instructions and more information here: or contact Griffith Nursery office at 715-424-3700. Information on seedling availability, species and tips on how to prepare a site for tree planting: Joe Vande Hey,, 608-574-4904.

River Network’s 8th Annual National Rain Barrel Program will continue through June 2017 to provide free supplies and guidance to allow member groups from around the U.S. to bring the benefits of stormwater conservation into their communities. Interested individuals should check for rain barrel construction events planned nearby, and follow the River Network on Facebook for forthcoming announcements.


Organizations with Frequent Program Offerings:

Aldo Leopold Foundation, Baraboo,

Clean Lakes Alliance,

Friends of Cherokee Marsh, Madison,

Horicon Marsh International Education Center,

Madison Audubon Society, Inc.,

Midwest Renewable Energy Association,

Niagara Escarpment Resource Network,

Riveredge Nature Center, Newburg,

The Prairie Enthusiasts,

Urban Ecology Center, Milwaukee,

UW Madison Arboretum,

Woodland Landowner Information Education,

Woodland School,

Wisconsin Ground Water Association

Wisconsin Wetlands Association,



This list was compiled by Marie Rubietta, UW-Extension Jefferson County, and edited by Peggy Compton, Regional Natural Resources Educator, UW-Extension,, 608-342-1633.  Please send notices and potential listings to Marie.

For general information or to subscribe: University of Wisconsin, U.S. Department of Agriculture and Wisconsin counties cooperating. An EEO/AA employer, University of Wisconsin Extension provides equal opportunities in employment and programming, including Title IX and American with Disabilities (ADA) requirements.