The Central Wisconsin Sustainability Newsletter is a collection of local, regional, national and international articles related to a variety of sustainability subjects focused on helping people learn about issues, research and events that impact sustainability in Central Wisconsin. Topic areas include food, farming, sustainable energy, and environmental health covering issues involving land, air and water. A separate topic area provides articles on more in-depth pesticide research.

You can sign up to receive a bi-monthly bulletin that highlights recent articles posted to the Central Wisconsin Sustainability Newsletter website. Upcoming local community events are also noted in the bulletin.

Blog Highlights


June 16-18, 2017
7558 Deer Road, Custer, WI

Celebrate the summer solstice at The 28th Annual Energy Fair, June 16-18, 2017! The Energy Fair brings over 13,000 attendees together to learn about clean energy and sustainability, connect with others, and take action towards a sustainable future. Enjoy over 200 workshops, over 200 exhibitors, inspirational keynotes featuring JB Straubel, Co-Founder of Tesla, live music, camping, family fun, great food, and more. Organized by the Midwest Renewable Energy Association, The Energy Fair is the longest-running event of its kind in the nation. Tickets and event information at:

NEW this year: Attend a second Energy Fair in St. Paul, MN on September 9-10, 2017, with a pre-Fair Solar Professional Day on Sept. 8th.Come for the atmosphere, and stay for the fun!

Portage County Funding Assistance with Healthy Lakes Improvements

May 15, 2017

There is still funding for 6 more lakefront property owners in Portage County to sign up for the Healthy Lakes grant program, which can cover up to 75% of costs (max $1000) for your small lakefront conservation project.  Because of limited funding, this offer is on a first-come, first-serve basis. Registration will be available until enrollment quota is met, so sign up today!

There are many ways that shoreland property owners can help to create a healthier lake, such as adding natural beauty to your shoreline with a colorful rain garden or small native plantings; creating fish and wildlife habitat through the addition of “fish-sticks;” and curbing runoff and water pollution with a water diversion project.

See the brochure at for more info on eligible projects.  These can be friendly “do-it-yourself” projects, or participants can hire professional assistance.  Not sure which options are right for your property?  Portage County staff can provide you with free technical assistance and suggestions.

Don’t miss out on this limited opportunity!  For more information or to enroll, contact the Portage County Land & Water Conservation Division at 715-346-1334 or

Whitefeather Organics to hold pizza nights

From the Stevens Point Journal, May 11, 2017.

Events will be held from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on May 27, June 10, July 8, July 15, July 22, Aug. 5, Aug. 26, Sept. 9, and Oct. 14. All events are open to the public.

Pizzas are handmade on site with organic vegetables and meat from the farm, and are on a 10-inch thin crust. Gluten free options are available. People bring their own beverages. Read the original article and watch the video.

For more information on Whitefeather Organics, visit or find the farm on Facebook.

Program offering $17,500 off Nissan LEAFs for Wisconsin utility customers extended

From Wisconsin Clean Cities, April 11, 2017.

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – The third phase of a program providing Wisconsin utility customers and employees with up to $17,500 off Nissan LEAFs is underway through June 30, program partners announced Monday.
“Wisconsin Clean Cities is thrilled to build on the successes of the two previous REV UP WISCONSIN cycles to allow for expanded use of electric vehicles in the state at a reduced price to consumers,” Wisconsin Clean Cities Executive Director Lorrie Lisek said. “When you are able to combine cost savings with emissions reductions and cleaner air, everyone wins.”
REV UP WISCONSIN is being offered in partnership with Wisconsin Clean Cities, Nissan, Alliant Energy, Madison Gas & Electric, Minnesota Power, We Energies, Wisconsin Public Service and Xcel Energy.* The partnership allows for a $10,000 group buy discount for participating utility company employees and customers which, when combined with the $7,500 federal tax credit, provides a savings of up to $17,500 off the retail price of 2016 and 2017 Nissan LEAFs.

Read the full details.

Fish Hotel

From University of Wisconsin-Extension, October 26, 2016

As the University of Wisconsin-Extension’s Lynn Markham travels around the state talking with local government officials, lakes groups and retirees about caring for the state’s lakes, she hears people say they would have done things differently years ago if they’d had the information available today.

“I started to think, how can we reach people earlier so they can put information about caring for lakes to work for 80 years instead of 20,” says Markham, who works as a shoreland and land use education specialist for the Center for Land Use Education based at UW-Stevens Point.

Read full article here.