Nature At The Confluence Green Team

Our Green Team Programs and Initiatives support the effort to restore the confluence campus grounds to a sustainable and healthy eco-system. 

The Centennial Prairie Reconstruction – We are reconstructing 5 acres of prairie with native plants. The Confluence Campus was not orginally a prairie, as it was naturally a marshy wetland. Over the last 75 years industrial fill was brought in to raise the land 8-10 feet.

Prairies are unique ecosystems dominated by grasses and other non-woody plants called forbs. Plants help maintain the diversity of the prairie ecosystem, attracting animals who use the prairie for food and habitat.  When the Centennial Prairie is established, we’ll see birds and mammals, and insects. Many species of birds use grassland habitats as their home. They use the prairie as a place to hunt for food, to hide their nests in the tall grasses, and to raise their young. If a prairie site doesn’t have a variety of plants, insects, birds, reptiles, and mammals will not choose the site as their home. Each animal needs specific types of plants for food and shelter. Some animals use only one type of plant. When a prairie has a large variety of plants, it attracts a wider variety of animals.

Green Team Learning Gardens – Our gardens are dynamic outdoor classrooms, showcasing edible gardens where people can learn about pollinators, nutritious foods, beneficial herbs, and healthy eating habits.  We utilize organic gardening methods, and use compost bins and rain barrels to support the gardens and for learning purposes. Our gardens include: Pollinator Garden, Sensory Garden, Tasting Garden and more. 

Invasives Removal –  We will be working to improve access to Kelley Creek and improve its shoreline. We will also work to maintain access to Turtle Creek and the Rock River.

Property Clean Up  – As a long-term goal, we’ll look to improve adjacent campus properties and remove debris, including 100’s of tires and other dumped material along the Rock River bottomlands.

Trail Development & Maintenance – Maintain the new trails at the campus. A later phase of Nature At The Confluence would be trail development in the Rock River bottomlands property.

Overall Goals of the Green Team

  • Galvanize community involvement and reconnect people to this land.
  • Educate and engage youth and adults in taking ownership and interest in land stewardship and  community revitalization.
  • Develop a corps of volunteers that will help NATC sustain programming and development of Nature At The Confluence.
  • Improve access to Kelly Creek, improve its shoreline. Improve adjacent campus properties and remove debris.
  • Educate the community about land stewardship and how they can make a positive impact.
  • Educate the community about organic gardening, composting and other sustainable practices.
  • Equip educators to better engage their students in learning about land stewardship.

Want to Dig In and Learn More?

We invite you to get involved! Nature At The Confluence Green Team offers volunteer opportunities. We also have programs or tours can be offered for both adults and students. We can work with you to create a program that fits around your interests and requirements.

2017 Green Team Programs are supported by a donation from  Blackhawk Bank.

Scheduled Green Team Programs