2012 Green Lake, Ripon grant recipients announced - April 3 2012

Community Foundation gives boost to Green Team Outings, among other local programs

GREEN LAKE, Wis. -- A biting winter wind couldn't stop the pursuit of the sweet taste of maple syrup during a Green Team Outing last month near Green Lake.

Photo caption: People take a taste test to prove which maple syrup was made from scratch and which is store-bought during a Green Team Outing near Green Lake in March 2012. Photo courtesy of Tom Schultz, Green Lake Conservancy

With hats and hoods pulled over tender ears, nearly 50 people trekked through the woods to see the process of making maple syrup from start to finish: From the sap being collected from trees, then boiled in a giant fire-heated kettle, and finally, the taste test of the finished product.

Maple syrup making is an annual rite of spring in much of the Midwest, but this event has an added benefit in Green Lake.

"If we're building a culture that's more in tune with nature, then people are more likely to value it," said Jen Kaiser, executive director of the Green Lake Association, one of four partners in the Green Team Outings.

Green Team Outings aim to introduce and share the special, unusual or unknown natural and historical features of the Green Lake area with the public. The events have grown from three with very low attendance in 2008, to one each month in 2011 with a total attendance of 300 people.

Grants from the Herman Schultz Fund of the Green Lake County/Ripon Community Foundation have supported the continued growth and success of the events. The Green Team Outings also are among eight local programs that received grants this March from the Green Lake County/Ripon Community Foundation.

"The ultimate goal of this is to connect people to the resources, because if they have a connection to those resources, then they're more apt to want to take care of it," Kaiser said. "The grants have enabled (Outreach Coordinator Ainsely Rubbert) to have enough hours to do the publicity. And really, the success of these events has been due to getting that publicity."

The Green Lake Association has partnered with three other environmental groups to organize the Green Team Outings, which provide outdoor activities to get people connected to the lake. Kaiser said the group is working to provide even more activities each year, including several that require less physical activity.

To see the list of Green Team Outings planned for this year, go to GreenLakeAssociation.com.

The Green Lake County/Ripon Community Foundation's 2012 grants are supported in part by the Herman Schultz Fund, the Child Care Provider Training Fund for Green Lake County and the Lucile M. Grams Fund. More than $7,000 was granted to agencies whose proposals collectively sought more than $16,000 in aid.

The following nonprofit organizations were awarded grants:

Green Lake School District: $550
For the Junior High Special Education program to purchase two iPads. The small portable tablets will replace other bulky and expensive equipment and provide children who have disabilities with a sense of independence.

Green Lake School District: $500
For the Corrective Reading Program to purchase two Kindle Fire tablets. The tablets would allow middle and high school students to build an extensive electronic library of materials they enjoy reading.

Thrasher Opera House: $1,550
For the Missoula Children's Theatre, consisting of two week-long collaborative arts experiences provided at no cost to children. Through the selection of classic moral tales, the performances help build character, confidence and responsibility.

Community Options Inc.: $750
For the first aid and child abuse training program offered by Community Options to its staff as well as staff from other licensed or certified child care providers within 15 miles of Green Lake.

Boys & Girls Club of the Tri-County Area: $950
For the Middle School Mentoring program, which provides about 50 at-risk children in sixth through eighth grade with mentors. The program aims to give youth the hope and knowledge needed to graduate from high school and explore a college education.

Green Lake Association: $750
For Green Team Outings. These free events aim to introduce and share with the public unknown natural and historical features in the Green Lake area.

Diverse Options Inc. of Ripon: $1,000
For Diverse Options to send residents with disabilities to a camp or on vacation. The grant also supports research into equipment that provides a safe environment for individuals who have fallen and for staff who would assist them to get back up.

Community Health Network Foundation Inc.: $1,000
For the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program, which will provide training for Berlin Memorial Hospital staff on how to conduct an exam in which forensic evidence is collected for law enforcement use in cases of sexual assault, domestic violence or child abuse.

The Green Lake County/Ripon Community Foundation is a Designated Fund of the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation to benefit charitable organizations in the Green Lake County and Ripon area, including Berlin, Green Lake, Markesan and Princeton. Through charitable giving, the Community Foundation strives to make our communities thrive. For more information, please call 920-426-3993.


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