The re-green-ing of Oshkosh

Your Community Foundation would like to take an opportunity on this – Earth Day – to say THANK YOU to those dedicated individuals and organizations who work to nurture, preserve and sustain our beautiful surroundings for generations to come.

Back in 2010, we launched a communitywide fund-raising campaign called Taking Root.

Nearly 200 people, organizations and businesses supported this effort to beautify Oshkosh.

The Taking Root public-private campaign targeted a $500,000 fundraising goal:

  • 167 individual donors gave from $2.50 to $50,000
  • Your Community Foundation invested $8,000 in initial planning
  • The John E. Kuenzl Foundation provided a $150,000 matching grant and a $150,000 outright gift for year two of the project
  • The City of Oshkosh committed $150,000 over six years.
  • The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources provided two grants, $21,000 and $24,700.

Donations ranging from $2.50 to $50,000 helped us reach our goal of $500,000. With that money, thousands of trees were planted around the city.

Funny thing is, trees take such a long time to grow! And with it being early spring and the trees are mostly still in bud, no leaves, it’s challenging to show the impact. Even so, you can’t deny the current and potential impact is tremendous! Take a look at these photos – even the small trees change the feel of a neighborhood.

Taking Root was launched in January 2010 in response to the Oshkosh Visioning process, through which 90 percent of residents supported efforts to beautify Oshkosh. Severe storms in June of 2001 destroyed thousands of trees in the community, and many trees have been damaged by insects and are threatened by the emerald ash borer. For all of these reasons, the Foundation took action as the catalyst for change in our community.

There are simple facts about the benefits of trees and a beautiful environment:

  • Trees can improve mental and physical health, and reduce crime.
  • Trees also can help moderate climate, conserve water, reduce erosion and provide habitat for wildlife.
  • Trees can help reduce energy costs and increase property values.

Our work is not done yet.

In a matter of weeks, start watching for something special …. something new …. something electric ….

Yep, we’re going to keep you guessing about what’s going to “crop up” via the Taking Root project in Oshkosh over the next several weeks. This is just a sneak peek … pay close attention at the roundabouts at the major highway entrances to the city for more clues.

… to appear at the city’s major highway entry points. Just another way that we’re working to make our city more welcoming 😉

A BIG THANK YOU goes out to our donors – with your support, we are changing our community!

And a special THANK YOU to our partners in Taking Root: John E. Kuenzl Foundation, the City of Oshkosh and the state Department of Natural Resources.

Do you have a passion for beautifying Oshkosh? Please consider a gift to the Taking Root Fund. We have much more work to do and we need your help! 

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