Schmeeckle has been a staple of campus since I first became a student. This history of the reserve is very interesting. Like most of Wisconsin in the 50's, the land was used for farming. Turns out the topsoil couldn't handle the crops, so farmers just sort of deserted it. The University bought up some land in the 60's and then by 1974 the land was proposed for a reclamation project.
It has been a stunning success. With the help of Sentry Insurance (this might be the only time I would say they helped), Lake Joanis was created and the Schmeeckle wildlife refuge was born! As a student, I spent a lot of time by Lake Joanis. I remember great days swimming in the lake, walking on the ice to the island, climbing to the tree house, and seeing so much wildlife. It creates a wonderful buffer between the campus and the Sentry building/golf course. After working at the golf course for so long, you forget the majesty that is the forest in between.
Lately, the area has been hit by drought. The new Moses Creek revitalization project, though looks wonderful, is horribly dry. There are many spots along the way that are just barren where months ago there was water.
It's funny. In 2008, we have the worst collapse of the economy since 1929. In 2012, we have the worst drought since 1934. The main problem with this comparison is that it is leading towards something that isn't good. In fact, all around the world the tension can be felt. Whether it's worrying about feeding the hungry, trying to reverse the adverse impacts of climate change, or simply trying to stop the bloodshed of war, humanity isn't doing so hot. Actually, we're plenty hot enough as it is.
I will continually do my best in preserving water. Fresh water is a commodity that shouldn't be wasted. I will start watching where my water goes and make sure that if there are any leaks in faucets or hoses I will replace them. Saving water happens one drop at a time. It's also something everyone can do. I will affirm myself a water saver!!
Here's a few pictures and a nice video on water conservation.