Wolf Peach – Posh & Sustainable WaterMatters.Org

One can’t visit Milwaukee without stopping at one of the fabulous restaurants.  I loved this Wolf Peach  because I immediately saw their rain barrels connected to the gutters  ready to water the summer vegetables already planted in their plant boxes and gardens.  Ironically, it has done nothing but rain for the last many days, but during the drier times of the summer, this irrigation method will provide plenty of awesome veggies, lettuce, and herbs for lunch, dinner and cocktails, and will be sustainable too!! The outside patios and balconies lined with green makes a really nice atmosphere for meeting and greeting family and friends.

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As far as rain barrels are concerned.  I love the publication put out by the Southwest Florida Water Management District under the heading of WaterMatters.Org. There are amazing water management materials on this site for all ages.  Downloadable materials allow teachers and students to learn about water matters no matter whether in my home state of Florida or my other home state of Wisconsin or my other home state of Indiana!

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#WetskillsUSA Conference held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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Also exciting at the Global Water Center in Milwaukee,  when I visited yesterday is the current Wetskills Water Challenge taking place between June 12-26 for the first time in the United States.  Professionals and students from The Netherlands, Canada, and the United States will be competing to research and develop case studies creating solutions for water issues in our global environment.

In the same manner the Global Water Center supports BREW participants, University of Wisconsin Freshwater Sciences, water experts, and industry will be sharing best practices and working together to find solutions for our global energy, water, and food challenges.

Included in the program is brainstorming, collaboration, and team presentations.  These presentations will be judged by an international jury during the Milwaukee Water Summit on June 23 and a winner will be announced on June 24, 2015.

A joint initiative between the water sectors of Milwaukee and the Netherlands, the Wetskills challenge provides opportunities for students and experts to share successes in the Netherlands with others striving to find solutions for similar issues and challenges.  At the same time, Milwaukee is being recognized globally as a significant hub for water research and development facilitating successful collaboration for all.

Graduate students from around the world have been participating in these challenges now for 14 years, I would love to hear that the University of South Florida #USF- Patel College of Global Sustainability Masters Students participate in the 15th year!!

The Water Council members and BREW Winners are also participating in this event.  I was glad to see Cadens, LLC as one of the collaborators as I have been working with them for my graduate internship studying hydropower and small (low hydro) hydropower opportunities!

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Randal Mueller, Principle of Cadens, LLC a Small Hydropower design & manufacturer located in Wisconsin and a recent BREW Winner with me (Luann Collins).
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Director of Water Council Elizabeth Thelan and I (Luann Collins) at the foyer of the Global Water Center where the mission is clear! Research and Education in the area of Water!!
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Collaboration going on in the first floor lab.
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Collaboration of Industry, Researchers, & Education is evident from the very first sight at the Global Water Center in Milwaukee Wisconsin, USA

A Green Roof on top of the Global Water Center

Ms. Elizabeth Thelen, Director of Entrepreneurship & Talent,  the Water Council is Pointing to the University of Wisconsin School of Freshwater Sciences.

This was the beginning of an awesome tour of the “rooftop” of the Global Water Center a part of a major emphasis the city has in Milwaukee, a focus on WATER.  Studying at the University of South Florida Patel College of Global Sustainability for the past two years, I have been extremely interested in the topic of green roofs.  Walking through the hallways of the UW Engineering Water Research hallways provided inspiration and amazement at the projects currently being researched within the walls of the Water Center.  So much knowledge and so much expertise in the field of water!  I realize there are so many things I don’t know  and continued learning is so important to me!  We walked up the steps to the rooftop and it was so amazing.  I could see the plants immediately on the rooftop and was drawn immediately to them!

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The view of the rooftop – green roof that is at the Global Water Center in Milwaukee.

Leaving my tour guide and my colleague Mary Jane Sanchez, behind, I quickly walked over to see the rooftop garden I had glimpsed from afar.

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The beginning of spring colors on the Rooftop of the Water Council offices in Milwaukee Wisconsin

During one of the Water Council Meetings, I had met leaders of Hanging Gardens, one of the resident businesses in the building and heard about the green roof on the top of the Global Water Center. However snow, and bad weather had prohibited me from going to the “Top” during those visits!!  Although, a sort of rainy, icky day from my standpoint, it was bright and beautiful on the rooftop.   Although heavy clouds hovered in the sky, the view of the city was beautiful.  Summer is just beginning in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and so is the beginning of growth in this garden.

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Always Gracious, Tour Guide Ms. Elizabeth Thelen , Director of Entrepreneurship & Talent, showed me the Green Roof at the Global Water Center!
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Another View of the City and those heavy clouds

Water Projects Milwaukee, Wisconsin United States of America

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When I began my journey for selecting a location for my internship, I decided I wanted to stay in the United States and find a city that was actually implementing sustainability as a part of their current and future agendas specifically in the area of my focus concentration WATER. With a second home, near Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, I decided to look in my backyard, and simply typed the words, “Water Projects Milwaukee” and the words “The Water Council- Serving the World Water Hub” appeared.

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The Water Council site contained up to date information about collaborations between the city, state, local, federal, and globally interested entities. Organized on a membership basis, the group facilitates exchange of sustainability dialog relating to the Food, Energy, and Water Nexus I learned about in my #GlobalSustainability classes at the University of South Florida, while studying for my Masters Degree at #USF. The members meet quarterly to discuss progress and new opportunities and focus on education and opportunities for employment within the area of sustainability.

I was not surprised to learn Milwaukee was a forward thinking city because in 2009, I became a Milwaukee #CTA after participating in the Certified Tourism Ambassador program geared toward educating visitors and residents of the 7 county area about the opportunities for recreation, business collaboration, education, history, entertainment, and of course, beer, brats & cheese! Milwaukee was fourth in the nation to implement the Certified Tourism Ambassador Program.

Encouraging business and industry, educational facilities, local government, and citizens of the 7 county area around Milwaukee to research opportunities and work together for future sustainability collaborations they are focused on being the “World Water Hub” located on one of the largest freshwater lakes in the world, Lake Michigan.

In future posts, I will describe the specific details of businesses developed through the “Brew” program, the #MilwaukeeBucks, #Bucks strategies to include sustainability in their branding & marketing materials, will discuss the amazing opportunities in the areas of freshwater studies at #UW school of Freshwater Sciences, the Upcoming #WaterSummit and my specific interest in small hydropower in Wisconsin! Stay Tuned…..