Master Naturalists’ Capstone Project at Newport

Helen Kenny and Maureen Flatley, two NWS members who have already given so much of their time and skills in support of Newport, recently completed the Wisconsin Master Naturalist training program held this spring at The Clearing in Ellison Bay. Master Naturalist training is a 40-hour series of sessions and field trips that presents a consistent, statewide perspective on Wisconsin’s natural resources, ecological processes, and conservation issues.

Course participants practice their newly acquired knowledge and skills by designing a capstone project in either environmental education/interpretation, stewardship, or citizen science. For their project, Helen and Maureen designed and, with the help of NWS funding and volunteer support, installed a new songbird garden adjacent to the Visitors Center at Newport. Almost 60 plants, 7 shrubs, 8 yards of mulch, and 7 volunteers have transformed an uninteresting patch of grass into habitat that favors migrating and breeding songbirds, as well as insect pollinators.

Some photos, courtesy of Gene Kenny, of planting day in early June.

Helen Kenny & Maureen Flatley
(L-R) Helen Kenny, Tom Flatley, Gene Kenny, Julia Keepper, Maureen Flatley, Susan Larson, Greg Wilde
Greg Wilde
Greg Wilde, Maureen Flatley, Helen Kenny
Mulch delivery
The finished garden