Sturgeon Bay, Wis. (April 15, 2022) – Crossroads at Big Creek is proud to be one of the participating organizations in Door County’s Every Day is Earth Day Celebration 2022. While the official Earth Day is April 22, the county-wide celebration starts at Crossroads on Thursday, April 21, with a screening of the film Kiss the Ground, offered in conjunction with Climate Change Coalition of Door County. It also ends at Crossroads on Sunday, April 24, when Crossroads offers the Earth Day event “Restoring Your Piece of the Earth.”
Crossroads is currently involved in a multi-year restoration project, so we have been extremely aware of “the earth,” meaning the soil – the solid outer skin of our very special planet. Soil is sometimes called the final frontier because researchers tell us that we probably know more about the bottom of the sea or the far reaches of space than we know about the earth beneath our feet.
The soil is far more than dirt. It is the zone in which water moves, rocks weather into small particles, roots grow, and organic matter decomposes.
Soil may seem to be dead, but one reference suggests that one teaspoon of soil contains more living organisms than there are people in the world. And those billions of organisms make the soil fertile.
Soils also are the largest store of terrestrial carbon on Earth. Sequestering carbon (holding it in organic matter) through judicious soil use and land management can help to mitigate climate change, improve water quality, and increase food security.
To protect the Earth, we must protect the earth.So, it is entirely appropriate that we kick off the Every Day Earth Day Celebration with the film Kiss the Ground on Thursday, April 21 at 6:30 p.m.
According to the producers, “To significantly mitigate the climate crisis, there are a lot of problems humans need to solve. One of the biggest problems is right under your feet: the soil. Narrated by Woody Harrelson and featuring music from your favorite avocado farmer Jason Mraz, the star-studded film explains why transitioning to regenerative agriculture could be key in rehabilitating the planet, while simultaneously invigorating a new sense of hope and inspiration in viewers.”
The film will be screened in the lecture hall of the Collins Learning Center. It is free and open to the public. For a link to join remotely, email firstname.lastname@example.org with Kiss the Ground in the subject line. Crossroads is extremely grateful to Patti and Craig Sigl of Algoma Family Dentistry and Gina and Derek Grenfell of Smile Designs of Door County for sponsoring this event.
Habitat Healers is the name we give to Crossroads volunteers who help with our restoration initiatives which involve planting trees (specifically selected to grow in our various soil types). No reservations or experience are needed. We provide instruction, equipment and gloves, and we even pre-dig the holes in our precious soil. Work parties run every Saturday from 9:30-11:30 and end with cookies and lemonade. (Habitat Healers does not meet on holiday weekends. Check www.crossroadsatbigcreek.org for more details.)
Saturday Science is our weekly family program and this week, April 23 at 2:00 p.m., the topic will be “Soil.” Indoor and outdoor activities will focus on this precious resource. Learners of all ages are welcome at this free program.
Sunday, April 24. Crossroads presents its Every Day Earth Day event: “Restoring Your Piece of the Earth.”
A Wetland Restoration Tour begins at 2:15 p.m. Using our new North Bridge and boardwalks as viewing platforms, visitors will observe how Crossroads is removing aquatic invasives and enhancing the habitat with native wetland trees, shrubs, wildflowers and sedges.
The 3:15 p.m. a Riparian (Creekside) Restoration Tour featuresour new Cedar Crossing Bridge and boardwalks. Learners of all ages can observe how Crossroads is removing invasive shrubs and improving the forest and riparian habitats.
The Wild Ones of the Door Peninsula will be on hand to distribute free conifer trees (as a part of The Big Plant). Urban forester Don Gustafson will talk about the benefits of planting trees and demonstrate the proper way to plant trees to ensure success.
Representatives from the Door County Master Gardener Association and Door County Invasive Species Team (DCIST) will share information about invasive jumping worms and invasive plants.
The Door County Seed Library will distribute free packages of native wildflower seeds and Wild Ones of the Door Peninsula will give away monarda seedlings (one per family as the supply lasts).
We can’t promise, but it is possible the northern pike and suckers will be in Big Creek. The Middle Bridge will be reserved for fish education.
Crossroads Land and Facilities Manager Nick Lutzke will offer tours of the plant nursery and explain the restoration projects at Crossroads.
Finally, visitors can take the short hike following the Planet Walk to the Stonecipher Astronomy Center to enjoy a short video program on the importance of dark skies inside the amazing planetarium.
There will be demonstrations, exhibits, educational videos and more! Join us for an afternoon at Crossroads in celebration of Earth Day.
Earth Day will be officially over by Tuesday evening, April 26, but soil quality will stay top of mind. At 6:30 p.m., the Door County Master Gardeners Association will present the lecture, “Invasive Jumping Worms – The Impact of a New Soil Invader.”
Brad Herrick, ecologist and research program manager at the UW-Madison Arboretum, will tell us more about a new non-native invasive species in Wisconsin and the Midwest. Many of us have made the acquaintance of this unwanted species. Herrick will talk about the harmful potential impacts of jumping worms to forests and gardens and offer hope with potential control options. This program is free and open to the public.
Crossroads at Big Creek Learning Center and Nature Preserve is located at 2041 Michigan. Crossroads is a 501(c)3 organization committed to offering education, conducting research, and providing outdoor experiences to inspire environmental stewardship in learners of all ages and from all backgrounds. We welcome your support! Become a member of Crossroads by mailing a contribution to P.O. Box 608, Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235, or donate online at crossroadsatbigcreek.org