Merit Award Winner
Project Name: Green Infrastructure and Outdoor Education Master Plan
Location: Mishicot, Wisconsin
Design Team: Stantec
The planning and design consultants helped to secure two grants to assist the Mishicot School District (MSD) to create a Green Infrastructure and Outdoor Education Master Plan (Master Plan) and identify a green infrastructure catalyst site (Site). The scope of services included a detailed site inventory and analysis, conceptual design, and final master plan report. The scope for the catalyst site included a site survey and further design development. Both the Master Plan and the Site support and expand curriculum opportunities, and once implemented will create highly immersive educational experiences within this unique natural environment along a tributary to Lake Michigan.
MSD owns ~76 acres in the Village of Mishicot, including 3,500 feet of riparian corridor along the north bank of the East Twin River and 1,214 feet along the bank of Johnson Creek. The property is home to Mishicot High School and OH Schultz Elementary School and variety of athletic fields. A total of 31 acres of the property are designated as Wisconsin Registered School Forest.
The Master Plan recommendations include creating regional connections, a pedestrian bridge over the East Twin River, improved trail connections, planting more trees, improving parking lots, adding animal habitat/housing, education signage, agricultural production area, traditional outdoor classroom, outdoor kitchen and school garden, access and kayak launch to the East Twin River, rain gardens/bioswales, best management practices for parking lots, an obstacle course, and naturebased playground. School Forest recommendations include improvements to the Nature Center, creating an outdoor classroom and eco-adventure challenge course, incorporating a boardwalk in a wetland area, adding a monitoring platform on Johnson Creek, and creating an edible forest.
The site improvements include a dry riverbed, a rain garden, an outdoor classroom, reading/art circle, and observation deck with a variety of water conveyance, collection, and storage options students can interact with, observe, and study. The proposed improvements capture and treat runoff from 14,000 SF of roof and 3,000 SF of landscape area. The riverbed is designed to hold approximately 6,500 gallons of water between the upper and lower ponds. For storm events generating greater volumes, a four-inch overflow drain will discharge excess water into an adjacent wetland. Cisterns and rain barrels collect potable water that can be used in the outdoor laboratory when it’s not raining.
Implementing new green infrastructure on school property will provide water quality benefits to Johnson Creek, East Twin River, and Lake Michigan. The project presents an innovative opportunity to provide youth with immersive learning opportunities focused on the environment, green infrastructure, and sustainability within the context of an important Lake Michigan watershed and coastal resource.
Over the past several years, the planning and design consultant’s environmental services team has helped MSD obtain more than $88,900 of grant funding for the Master Plan and Site, including $49,900 from the Fund for Lake Michigan, and $39,900 from Wisconsin Coastal Management. Our environmental services team is also preparing completing a Restoration Master Plan and have applied for an additional $360,000 grant from Sustain Our Great Lakes, which would help advance construction of the catalyst project. Pending award, we will be seeking additional funding to help implement the green infrastructure and outdoor education and restoration master plans.