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Root Pike watershed initiative network history

On November 12, 1998, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources convened a broad spectrum of individuals and organizations with natural resource concerns, responsibilities and authorities to serve on what was called the Root-Pike partnership. Over the next two years, it identified critical natural resource issues in the Root and Pike River watershed, discussed ways to address them and looked for a way to organize itself into a self-sustaining, independent organization, focused on projects.

During the summer of 2000, the Root-Pike partnership had become a strong supporter of the Root-Pike watershed initiative network concept. By the fall, after considerable discussion at meetings and after many members had become directly involved in the effort to create Root-Pike WIN, the partnership decided to formally transition itself into Root-Pike WIN. Root-Pike WIN allowed the partnership to remain focused on the Root and Pike River watersheds; increase its network with new members; and most appealing, support projects in the watershed.

The Racine Community Foundation held two watershed meetings to learn what watershed efforts were already happening in the community and to learn from another community's watershed experiences. (Sustainable Racine and River Bend Nature Center also coordinated both meetings) The first meeting was held for watershed stakeholders in June 1999. Many different government agencies and non-profit organizations spoke about their efforts to improve our watershed. At the second meeting held February 2000, Charley Curtis from Michigan's Saginaw Bay watershed Initiative Network shared his community's watershed efforts. At this meeting several people volunteered to work on making a WIN-type organization happen for our watershed. The Racine Community Foundation (RCF) provided financial and leadership support for Root-Pike WIN, including "seed" money from September 2000-May 2001 to River Bend Nature Center to enable a staff person to coordinate the start-up of Root-Pike WIN.

In the fall of 2000 and winter of 2001 public meetings were held to discuss the formation of WIN. With 30 interested members, Root-Pike WIN solicited, reviewed and funded our first projects in the spring of 2001.

Who is the Root Pike WIN?

Our vision: foster the Root-Pike and adjacent Lake Michigan watersheds where the integrity of the land, water and air resources are protected and enhanced, while maintaining the strength and sustainability of the regional economy and contributing to the health and social well being of all community members.

Our mission: to protect, restore and sustain the ecosystem in the watersheds through the funding and facilitation of a regional network of locally initiated projects.

Resource group
Last revised: Wednesday March 16 2016