Built on Water Series wins Preservation Award

 Gail Epping Overholt, UW-Extension Natural Resources Educator, John Gurda, Milwaukee Historian, Megan O’Shea Wisconsin DNRand volunteer John Hacker are recent recipients of the Ozaukee Washington Land Trust Michael Frome Outreach Award for the Built on Water lecture series. 
Built on Water, presented by John Gurda, tells the story of how Lake Michigan and the rivers that feed it have been Milwaukee’s dominant natural resources since the days of the Potawatomi. Historical photos illustrated how area rivers served the community as transportation routes, industrial corridors, and centers of recreation and how they weathered a cycle of heavy use and abuse to emerge as focal points of both concern and celebration in the twenty-first century.
Gail Epping Overholt used a creative communication approach to network and successfully organize “all the pieces” to bring the lecture series to 11 venues throughout Milwaukee County while reaching a diverse audience of almost 1,000 participants with the assistance of 60 volunteers. Not only did this project build awareness of Milwaukee’s water resources and the issues facing them, it allowed citizens to engage with local restoration efforts, attracted new partners and audiences to the broader outreach effort.
According to Epping Overholt“The greatest part of the honor was meeting Michael Frome and hearing his stories!  What a wonderful man, and now mentor.  He certainly chose his passions wisely and OWLT is certainly deserving to be one of them.”
The Outreach Award is named after Michael Frome to honor his excellence in educating or sharing information related to land preservation and the environment.   Michael Frome is an internationally renowned environmental leader and wilderness author.  At 93 years old is still writing strong and working to protect wilderness and America’s public lands.  Michael and his wife June could have chosen any place in the world to settle down and enjoy life – they chose Port Washington.
$51,800 inadditional money has been received to take the lecture onto the next level as a TV documentary to reach hundreds of thousands of viewers.

For more information contact Gail Epping Overholt at gail.overholt@ces.uwex.edu or 414-256-4632.

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