Genoa National Fish Hatchery Receives Funding for New Outdoor Classroom
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today that the Genoa National Fish Hatchery in Genoa, Wisconsin, will receive more than $95,000 as part of the National Fish Hatchery System Volunteer Act of 2006, to apply toward the construction of a new outdoor education classroom.
Plans for the outdoor classroom include the construction of a boardwalk with interactive stations within a working wetland that explain the importance of wetland hydrology, pollution control, and the fish and wildlife that wetlands support. Children and adults will be able to access a wildlife area adjacent to the wetland for unstructured exploration and play. A handicap accessible fishing dock will also create recreational fishing opportunities for persons with disabilities. The Outdoor Classroom and hatchery tours will be available to school groups and to the public.
“The staff and I at Genoa are excited to work with local educators and Service groups to develop this outdoor classroom and learning center. We hope that this effort will help develop the next generation of conservation stewards, and pass along a conservation legacy that our children can respect and admire,” said Doug Aloisi, project leader at Genoa National Fish Hatchery. Aloisi extended his appreciation to Congressman Ron Kind who has been an instrumental advocate for increasing volunteerism and visitor services at National Wildlife Refuges and National Fish Hatcheries.
The Genoa National Fish Hatchery works to recover threatened and endangered aquatic species in the Midwest Region. The hatchery’s current programs include Threatened and Endangered mussel recovery, native fish restoration, and fish production and stocking. The hatchery also works cooperatively with state and tribal partners to restore declining populations of lake sturgeon and coaster brook trout. In 2007, the hatchery produced more than 31 million fish and native mussels of 23 species. Genoa’s groundbreaking work in mussel recovery is also assisting in recovery efforts of two of the Upper Mississippi River Region’s most endangered mussels.
Regional Director Robyn Thorson said that funding this outdoor classroom reflects the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s commitment to providing accessible outdoor teaching facilities that foster an appreciation for nature. “Genoa’s new project will educate people about wetland ecology by opening the doors to a real working wetland. The interactive features of the outdoor classroom will engage and inform local Genoa residents and tourists from across the region.”
Construction of the outdoor classroom is expected to begin in July 2008.
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit http://www.fws.gov