Volunteers Help Clear the Beach at Wisconsin Point for Endangered Birds


The weather was nice and warm this morning on Wisconsin Point during a volunteer effort to clear the critical beach habitat for the Great Lakes’ piping plover.

The birds head south for the winter, but they nest right here on the shores of the Great Lakes.

These volunteers are working with the St. Louis River Alliance and the City of Superior to pull plants from the sand, and remove any garbage they might see as well.

Folks with the St. Louis River Alliance say pulling the plants manually is better for the habitat than using chemicals.

“It’s more in line with our mission to try to do things without using chemicals,” said SLRA Executive Director Kris Eilers.  “So every year after that I would come out with small groups of volunteers and take a section of the beach and hand pull.  And lo and behold it worked a lot better than the chemicals.”

The volunteers are employees at National Bank of Commerce.

They’re working with the Minnesota Banking Association’s ‘Community Impact Week.’

“We want to show the community what we can do and how we can give back,” said Jaron Larson, a banker who helped coordinate this volunteer effort.  “All of our associates here are local members of the community and so this is also an important area to them.”

Larson and his colleagues from the Bank of Commerce say they wanted 100 percent participation from their co-workers on this project.

“It’s a natural species to this area, and it’s becoming extinct,” he said.  “So we thought it was a good idea for our associates to come out here, not just to help out but also as an educational piece to show everyone why we’re doing this.”

There are still opportunities to volunteer on this effort to clear up the shoreline.

Anyone interested can contact the St. Louis River Alliance or Andrea Crouse with the City of Superior.

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