Clean Green Action (CGA). a local grassroots environmental group, is beginning its tenth year of working on projects which focus on sustainability and reducing impact on the environment. In 2016 we continued to build on successes in previous years, and in 2017 we will maintain some past projects while adding some new projects.

Continuing projects include the following:

Choose to Reuse – This event, which is organized by different area townships (e.g. Rome, Grant, Grand Rapids, Seneca), allows people to drop off useful items for others to have for free. Check with your local township for dates.

Recycling Rangers – This group will continue providing recycling containers and volunteers at local community events to help eliminate the amount of recyclables going to the landfill.

Sustainable Wisconsin Rapids – This involves working with Wisconsin Rapids officials to move the city towards becoming a sustainable community by getting involved with the Mayor’s Sustainability Council.

Earth Care Booklet – This booklet contains information on items to recycle, energy saving tips, buying locally, and money saving options with respect to food and transportation. To review the electronic version of this booklet, go to the Clean Green Action Facebook page at

Bird City – The Bird City designation for Wisconsin Rapids was renewed with a June event at Lake Wazeecha in conjuntion with the Kiwanis Youth Outdoor Day. In 2017 work will continue on a woodlot project behind Lincoln High School and will support the Wisconsin Prairie Chicken Festival in April.

Highway Pickup – Our adopted stretch of highway is cleaned up twice each year so our group can walk the talk in a very public and noticeable way.

Nonpartisan legislative committee – This committee keeps the group abreast of pending legislation and policies that impact the environment.

Booth at local/area fairs – Look for us at events like the Grand Affair to learn more about our group.

501(c)(3) – In 2016 we began the process of becoming a nonprofit organization by receiving IRS approval. We now need to complete the process by drafting by-laws and appointing a board of directors.

We are also involved in projects for which other agencies have the lead. Our members are assisting with the River Riders Bike Share program, which is led by the Wood County Health Department. Clean Green Action members also help out at the Growing Friends Community Garden which has completed four successful growing seasons and at the Wisconsin Rapids farmers market by collecting (gleaning) food donations from the vendors and distributing them at places like the South Wood Emerging Pantry Shelf (SWEPS).

New projects for 2017 include the following:

Prairie Chicken Festival. CGA and Bird City Wisconsin Rapids will provide manpower and assistance to organize and promote this festival in Wood County.

Sponsor a Central Wisconsin Environmental Summit. It is anticipated that this event will be held at the Ho Chunk Casino in October and that it will have greater emphasis on Native American speakers, food, and entertainment.

Investigate Funding Opportunities. For our projects we will look for outside funding through grants and donations as well as fees.

The success of our on-going and new projects depends upon our selfless volunteers. With more help, our chances of success will improve. Clean Green Action is a local grassroots, citizen-led group working to create a sustainable community through education, recycling and conservation efforts in the south Wood County area. If you are interested in joining our group and helping out on one or more of these projects, we invite you to attend our meetings which occur at 4 p.m. on the first Wednesday of each month (except for June, July and August) at McMillan Library.

Contributed by Joe Ancel, Chair of Clean Green Action