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Sustain Dane Week of Wins Kicks Off with Annual Bike Tour

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Posted: 9:55AM June 23rd, 2017 | Comments

Last Wednesday evening, Sustain Dane held our annual Week of Wins Bike Tour. Around 25 community members biked four miles from Lowell Elementary School to the Morgridge Center for Public Service, with four stops along the way. Each stop featured a different Sustain Dane program or initiative. 
 
At Lowell Elementary School, a parent gave us a tour of the school’s outdoor classroom, garden, and mini forest—all of which give kids a chance to spend more time outside learning, exploring, and growing. SD’s Sustainable Schools Initiative Director Julie taught us about the many benefits of outdoor learning for students’ emotional, academic, and social wellbeing. Our next stop featured our Executive Director, Jessie Lerner, who shared stories, lessons, and graduate projects from the inaugural Yahara Watershed Academy. Jessie quizzed us on our Yahara Watershed knowledge with trivia questions about ways that we can have both negative and positive impacts on the health of the watershed. Lance, one of the bike tour participants, described the Academy as “one of the best educational experiences I've ever had.” Amy Kesling, who works on organizational development at Sustain Dane, told us about the Willy Street Co-op’s journey to become more sustainable through the Step Up: Equity Matters Program.
 
At Orton Park, Claire from Madison Parks taught us about the Connecting Children to Nature initative, which focuses on youth becoming “stewards of nature” and getting input from youth for parks and open space planning. Next, Ian’s Pizza provided delicious nourishment right when we were all getting hungry, and Staci Fritz emphasized the company’s commitment to local food, which mostly consists of the cheese they use (surprise, surprise). Finally, Natalie Marshall, a senior at UW-Madison and intern at the MPower Champion Morgridge Center for Public Service, spotlighted public transportation inequities in Madison. 
 
Amanda Ruetten, an intern at Sustain Dane, described the bike tour in the following way:
 
"The WOW Bike Tour gave me an understanding of how Big ‘S’ Sustainability comes from community members, across disciplines, working together. From outdoor classrooms to inclusive and diverse workplaces to transportation equality, many aspects of our community can impact and connect with one another to truly help make Madison a stronger community. I left feeling motivated and inspired." 
 
We ended the night with an incredible sunset at Memorial Terrace. 
 
Hope to see you there next year!
 
 
By Erin Smith, Special Events Intern

Photo Credit: Unstuck Communications

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