Sauk County’s Earth Day celebration will return to Rock Springs for a weekend packed full of conservation-related activities.
Sunday will mark the second time Sauk County’s Earth Day celebration has been held in Rock Springs since the Sauk Prairie River Project Association took over organizing duties from the county two years ago. Past celebrations had typically been held at the University of Wisconsin-Baraboo/Sauk County.
Sauk Prairie River Project Association President Scott Weber said he hopes the venue will encourage visitors to reconnect with the natural sites in Rock Springs.
“It started out in Rock Springs many years ago, and I really like that location because there’s a lot of natural areas like Ableman’s Gorge,” he said. “There are a lot of things to do, and I’m hoping because of the natural area, the river and the surroundings that people get a chance to go outside.”
This year’s event will feature plenty of opportunities for visitors to celebrate Earth Day both indoors and out. The celebration will include Earth Day exhibits, vendors, mini-workshops, nature hikes and a wide array of kids activities. Sauk Prairie River Project Association secretary Anna Bruhn said the activities are intended to promote conservation organizations and eco-friendly projects taking place across Sauk County.
“We’re helping people learn more about what kinds of things go on in the area,” she said.
The celebration is slated for Sunday at the Rock Springs Community Center, although one new event will take place Friday night at the Flood Zone Bar and Grill in Rock Springs. During the “Bats and Beverages” activity, visitors can enjoy a few beers before seeking out flying nocturnal critters along the banks of the Wisconsin River with Devil’s Lake State Park naturalist Sue Johansen.
Johansen will be on hand with “high-tech” bat gear that finds and differentiates between the critters using echo location. Following the search, the group will head back to the bar to warm up.
“When that’s done we’ll go back to the Flood Zone because I suspect it will be cold out,” Bruhn said. “It’s family friendly, and we asked them to make sure there will be hot chocolate and other nonalcoholic drinks.”
Sunday’s activities will include hikes through Ableman’s Gorge led by Ken Lange, a workshop on living “off the grid” presented by Weber, live music and an outdoor photography session led by Skillet Creek Media owner Derrick Mayoleth.
The Sauk County Art Association also will display a collection of various works created by local artists using repurposed trash, and author Elise Mosser will be available to…