Over 350 Milwaukee area students, community partners and volunteers will participate in a citywide beach and river investigation on Tuesday, May 2, 2023.
This spring, nearly 400 local students, teachers and volunteers will participate in the Milwaukee Waters Investigation Project (MWI) from six local schools visiting four Lake Michigan beaches and two sites on the Milwaukee river. The students’ investigation includes water quality testing, beach and river cleanup, microplastic sampling and a weather and habitat observational survey.
“We’re excited for the opportunity to connect students with ideas and exposure that inspire future stewards of our water resources and water-related career paths”, remarked Joost Allard from Learn Deep Milwaukee. Students will upload their data to EarthEcho International’s and Milwaukee
Riverkeeper’s databases and analyze and compare data from all local investigation sites. Collected data and students’ reflections on the project will also be shared with public officials and the community on the MWI StoryMap site.
School and Site Locations: Brown Deer Middle School at Badger Meter Park on the Milwaukee River,Deer Creek Intermediate School at Grant Park Beach, Glen Hills Middle School at Schlitz Audubon Nature Center and Doctor’s Park, Lake Bluff Elementary School at Atwater Beach, Pathways High at Bradford Beach and St. Robert School at Hubbard Park on the Milwaukee River.
Project Details: In July 2022 the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program provided a grant to Learn Deep Milwaukee, Keep Greater Milwaukee Beautiful (KGMB) and Freshwater Tool Kit.org to create this investigation project with community partners. The primary project goals are supporting teachers and students, collaboratively creating a field experience that promotes real-world, community-engaged learning opportunities and connecting students to their local waterways. Funding will support project creation, collaboration stipends, investigation supplies and transportation. Additional
funding for microplastics education and water quality kits was received from the Center for Great Lakes Literacy.
Project Partners: The MWI Project coordination team includes Learn Deep Milwaukee, KGMB and Freshwater Tool Kit.org, along with a planning committee of 20 community partners. Learn Deep Milwaukee is a local organization working with teachers and leaders to shift education to a
Community Engaged Learning approach. “Our flagship offering, the ‘Fellows Program’, works collaboratively with non-profits, higher education institutions, and businesses to surround learners with access to resources and expertise that connects their project to the world around them”, says
Peter Reynolds, CEO and Co-Founder of Learn Deep.
To prepare students for their May 2nd investigation, classes will conduct the investigation activities before May 2nd on their school grounds and many will work with or visit project partner locations. Classes can also receive in-class presentations of MKE’s Waters and Freshwater 101 with a 3D
watershed model demo through the Freshwater Tool Kit.org. Keep Greater Milwaukee Beautiful joins this effort as a planning and fiscal partner. “Protecting our water resources is critical for building healthy, thriving communities and we are pleased to organize an effort that keeps Milwaukee’s waterways clean, and instills an appreciation for our natural resources”, says Zoe Jump, Executive Director of KGMB.