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Purchased by the Whitnall School District in 1991, the Whitnall School Forest is a unique educational site that offers a variety of educational and enrichment opportunities to students, families, and the community. This natural, interactive setting allows students to have hands-on and active experiences to help foster an appreciation for the environment along with a desire to preserve and protect it.
Since the forest was purchased, it’s gone through many changes. Over the years, teachers in the district have led teams to remove invasives, hold clean-up days, plant trees and pollinator gardens, build trails and learning spaces, purchase educational materials, and write forest lesson plans.
In 2023, Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) contributed $41,000 to further improve the forest by helping manage the flow of water in the forest. In recent years, the development of nearby subdivisions changed the amount of water moving through the forest, negatively impacting Cattail Creek, trails, and other low-lying areas of the forest. To remedy this, gravel pathways and culverts have been added to divert the water. This summer, the funds from MMSD allowed for the removal of more invasive and hazardous trees, and the planting of a variety of 250 native trees including linden, hawthorn, sugar maple, red and white oak, birch, hickory, aspen, tamarack, and dogwood to help manage more water where it falls.
The Whitnall School Forest Committee has been working all summer to clear the areas around the trees and make sure they are watered. The combination of tree removals, tree plantings, and new signage has resulted in a beautiful and noticeable difference!
The Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District gives Green Luminary® awards to businesses, organizations, and communities that implement exceptional green infrastructure design projects that benefit our lakes and rivers, as well as our communities.
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Rain gardens help reduce sewer overflows and water pollution by absorbing stormwater runoff from hard surfaces into the ground naturally. Learn how to plant a rain garden and help protect Lake Michigan.
Receive Water Drop Alert text messages when heavy rain threatens the area. When a Water Drop Alert has been issued, a reminder is sent to use less water.
What do you do when an alert is issued?
Get FREE water by the barrel from your roof and use it when it’s dry outside to use in your landscape. Rain barrels help keep excess water out of the sewer system and help reduce water pollution.