Washington Island, Wisconsin
“Celebrate Earth Day in May”
Gathering Ground, a nonprofit based on Washington Island with a mission to educate youth and adults in sustainable agriculture, promote economic development, and strengthen the health of individuals, the community, and the environment, will celebrate Earth Day with festive work parties.
Gathering Ground has 40 acres with a 5 acre vineyard. During the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday celebrations volunteers will be able to help prune the vineyard and plant apple, chestnut, heartnut and pear trees. There will be snacks, music, wreath-making and more! See full schedule here.
After a long winter, the nonprofit board members and volunteers are looking forward to being back outside in the vineyard. A serene setting a block from the Island school, the vineyard and surrounding acres is the perfect place to welcome spring.
Earth Day has been celebrated since 1970 to raise awareness for the need and community desire to care for the environment. Gathering Ground’s Earth Day celebration will include the opportunity to get your hands dirty, as well as enjoy a community atmosphere with wreath-making with vine trimmings, snacks, and music. You can also adopt a tree through Gathering Ground’s “First Fruits” Adopt-a-Tree program. For $50, your donation will take care of a fruit or nut tree for the first five years of life, providing the deer protection, fertilizer, mulch and care it needs. As the tree adopter, you will get to enjoy the first fruits produced by the tree, which will occur around year 3 to 5. A tree tag that identifies the type of tree will also be emblazoned with your name on it, or the name of the person you wish to honor.
Gathering Ground was founded 2016 when Tim and Julie Lyons donated the 40 acres to the newly incorporated 501(c)(3). While the Lyons were searching for the right owner, five people connected with each other through their shared interest in Washington Island and sustainable living; from diverse backgrounds in education, entrepreneurship, and land stewardship, Sue Dompke, Margaret Foss, Laurel Hauser and Russell and Alessandra Rolffs began a conversation about agriculture and sustainability and now form the board of directors of Gathering Ground: Planting for the Future.