Environmental Organizations in Racine

Eco-Justice Links

Annotated list of environmental organizations in Racine
[Updated 12-26-2014]


Racine is globally recognized as a model of sustainability because all its citizens, businesses, organizations and municipalities provide, in an economically viable and equitable way, a high quality of life through exemplary stewardship of its ecosystems and its air, land, and water resources

 Environmental Organizations

§  KOBO (Keep our Beaches Open), River Bend, 3600 N. Green Bay Rd., Racine, WI,  53404, 639-0930, Contact: Dave White, E-mail: rivrbend@rli-net.net; Mission: To improve Lake water quality so that Racine's beaches will be clean, healthy, and open forever for all. Projects: Community education with a watershed display, storm drain stenciling, water testing as part of EMPACT grant ('99-'00), and partnering with city officials on watershed issues. Citizen Involvement: Attend monthly meeting (1st Wednesday at 7 PM at the Nature Center); volunteer to stencil stormdrains from June to September. Year Founded: 1997


§  Caledonia Conservancy, Contact: Suzi Zierten, suzi.caledoniaconservancy@gmail.com, 262.498.4998

postal address: PO Box 044714, Racine, WI 53404, website: www.caledoniaconservancy.org

The Caledonia Conservancy is committed to preserving the rural character of the Village by acquisition, stewardship and holding conservation easements on the land. The Conservancy works cooperatively with the community, schools, business and government providing public access to equestrian and recreational trails and nature education enhancing the quality of life.


§  Hoy Audubon Society, Inc., P.O. Box 044626, Racine, WI, Contact: Helen Pugh, 262.637.4359, helen.pugh@hoyaudubon.org, Website: http://www.hoyaudubon.org/; Philo Romayne Hoy was born into a pioneer family on November 3. 1816 in Richland County , Ohio with three gifts: physical energy, mental hunger, and joy of life. These gifts shaped all of his 76 years.  As a schoolboy "he kept close watch of everything about him-the stars above and the waters and earth forms below: the winged things of the air, the creatures of field and forest, and the trees, forests, flowers, grasses, racks, fossils and soils..." He found joy in observing carefully, drawing his own conclusions, and then comparing discoveries with others.  Several years after graduating from medical school, Dr. Hoy took a canoe trip along the west shore of Lake Michigan. He decided that the new little town of Racine was a place he liked. In 1846 he brought his wife and infant son here, bought two lots on 9th Street between Main and Wisconsin, built a house, a stable and an office, and settled in.  His practice was mostly outside the little town, but the long rides were not idle times. Along with his medical case he carried a butterfly net, a pocket lens, a botany book, and his ever curious interest in the natural world.  His constant interest in nature led to many achievements, including several articles about Indian mounds, as well as platting Mound cemetery in a way to preserve the original mounds.  He was president of the Wisconsin Academy of Arts and Science.  He made a thorough collection of bird specimens, including some now extinct.  He also wrote extensively about migration patterns of birds, especially those passing through Racine County.  Dr. Hoy died Dec. 8, 1892 , and is buried in Mound Cemetery.  On May 16, 1964, a group of Racine nature enthusiasts held an informal gathering with the hope of creating a club through which the members could share their strong interests in nature. The group also hoped to stimulate public interest in the need to protect and preserve our natural heritage.  They chose to name this new group in honor of this very special Racine pioneer, Dr. Philo Hoy. On June 4, 1964 The Hoy Bird Club was formed. In 1970 the name was changed to The Hoy Nature Club, Inc. as a means of recognizing the broader interests of its members and in keeping with the varied range of Dr. Hoy's interests.  In 1999, the club became affiliated with National Audubon Society, becoming the Hoy Audubon Society, Inc.

§  Sierra Club, 1512 Chatham Street, Racine, WI,  638-8632, Website: http://wisconsin.sierraclub.org/segg/; Since 1892, the Sierra Club has been working to protect communities, wild places, and the planet itself. We are the oldest, largest, and most influential grassroots environmental organization in the United States. Our founder, John Muir, appears on the back of the California quarter. John Muir spent much of his childhood on a farm near Portage, Wisconsin, which is why Wisconsin's Sierra Club Chapter is called the John Muir Chapter.  The Southeast Gateway Group is part of the John Muir Chapter. SEGG includes Kenosha County, Racine County, and the eastern portion of Walworth County.  Our club activities are divided into 2 categories: activist and non-profit. The activist portion includes things like getting involved in political campaigns, lobbying for or against proposed or existing laws related to the environment, meeting with lawmakers, and club committee work. The non-profit activities include educational efforts not related to politics or laws, volunteer work such as Weed Out! and highway clean-up, and social activities. Sierra members are welcome to get involved in both our activist and non-profit efforts if they like, but certainly do not have to.  Members are also encouraged to join some of SEGG's many committees. Our committees are always in need of more volunteers who can donate a few hours of their time each month.  SEGG Sierra members receive three Sierra publications: Sierra magazine which is produced at the national level, the “Muir View” chapter newsletter, and the group newsletter. Email newsletters are also available from the national organization.

§  Racine County Conservation League, PO Box 55, Franksville, WI, 53126, Active Facebook page: www.facebook.com/pages/Racine-County-Conservation-League/315267186248. , Contact: Wally Ott, 262.498.9649, racineconservation@gmail.com; The Racine County Conservation League is a community minded organization dedicated to the preservation of our natural resources. RCCL is a conservation education and outdoor advocacy not for profit organization committed to educating youth and adults about conservation and outdoor issues and providing enhanced opportunities for outdoor recreation.

§  Eat Right Racine, Website: http://eatrightracine.org/, Eat Right Racine partners with community, business, agriculture, and schools to develop integrated policy, education, and action for a food system that supports healthy children, communities, economies and environment.

  §  River Bend Nature Center, 3600 North Green Bay Road, Racine, WI 53404-1410,

262-639-1515, Website: http://www.riverbendnaturecenterracine.org. The YWCA River Bend Nature Center is located on 80 acres of natural area along the banks of the Root River in Racine, Wisconsin. Hiking trails are free to the public 7 days a week from dawn to dusk. Fees and registration generally apply to River Bend programs and events. Our forests, fields and wetlands provide habitats for many different plant and wildlife communities, as well as many recreational opportunities for hikers, cross-country skiers, paddlers, bird watchers and all students of nature.  We offer a host of educational programs and seasonal events. Our mission is to help people of all ages learn to live more harmoniously and joyously with the natural world. We reach over 10,000 children every year through school field trips, in-class presentations and summer Kids Nature Kamp. We also offer public programs, including a maple sugaring event in March, canoe and kayaking trips on the Root River, cross-country skiing, teambuilding and scouting programs, birthday parties, and other building rentals. 

§  Transition Racine (Transition US), Website: http://transitioninaction.com/group/transitionracinewisconsin?xg_source=activity,  Contact: Betty Brenneman, e_bren@sbcglobal.net This program has limited activity in Racine.


§  Root-Pike Watershed Initiative Network, PO Box 044164, Racine, WI 53404, Phone: 262.898.2055, Contact: Susan Greenfield, E-mail: info@rootpikewin.org, Website: http://www.rootpikewin.org/; Our Vision: Foster the Root-Pike and adjacent Lake Michigan watersheds where the integrity of the land, water, and air resources are protected and enhanced, while maintaining the strength and sustainability of the regional economy, and contributing to the health and social well being of all community members.  Our Mission: To protect, restore, and sustain the ecosystem in the watersheds through the funding and facilitation of a regional network of locally initiated projects.

§  Root River Council, Contact: Ben Lehner (?), Website: http://www.rootrivercouncil.org, The Root River Council is a volunteer committee that is working with the River Alliance of Wisconsin to engage the Racine community to develop an Urban Root River Plan that will bring a positive focus back to the Root River. The Urban Root River Plan has been funded by the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program and the Racine Community Foundation.

§  Racine Eco-Justice Center, 7133 Michna Road,
Racine, WI 53402, Contact:
S. Janet Weyker, OP,
eco-justice@racinedominicans.org, 262.681.8527, Website: http://www.racinedominicans.org/eco-j.cfm, Rooted in Hope, the Racine Dominican Eco-Justice Center is dedicated to environmental education and care of Earth in a context of Community, Contemplation, Creativity and Cultivation.  The goal of the community that lives and works at the center is to create a sustainable relationship with the biotic community with whom they share our 15 acre site.  To promote this goal the sisters and straff of the center aim to model sustainable, simple living while reverencing the land and all who have live in this place before them.

§  Kenosha/Racine Land Trust, P.O. Box 833,
Sturtevant, WI,  53177,
Phone:  262.552.6861,
Email: infokrlt@krlt.org, Website: http://senokrlt.org. The mission of the Kenosha/Racine Land Trust is to protect open space and natural areas in Kenosha and Racine Counties for the benefit of current and future generations.

§  Racine Urban Garden Network, E-mail: Rugn.org@gmail.com, Website: http://www.rugn.org/ 

§  Racine Transit Task Force, http://www.transitnow.org/RacineTransitTaskForce1.htm, The Racine Transit Task Force is a group of advocates actively working to advance a Regional Transit Authority, KRM Commuter Rail, and improved bus transit for Racine County.  The Racine Transit Task Force is made up of organizations, individuals and business leaders in Racine and the region. It was recently created to collaborate and coordinate in building community and political support to improve and expand transit that will connect workers and employers, create new job growth, spur sustainable economic development and global economic competitiveness, reduce the brain drain, decrease our dependence on foreign oil, and improve the quality of life in Racine and throughout Southeastern Wisconsin. The task force is a means to provide transit outreach, education, and advocacy.

§  Sustainable Edible Economic Development (SEED), Website: http://seedtofood.com. We collaborate, educate, advocate and empower the people of Kenosha and Racine Counties to utilize local agriculture to support economic, environmental, socially responsible and sustainable communities.

§  Community Action Agency, 2113 North Wisconsin Street, Racine, WI 53402, Phone:
262.637.8377, Website: http://www.rkcaa.org/RKCAA.htm, Mission: To focus and direct all available resources in order to enable low-income individuals, in rural and urban areas, to attain the skills, knowledge and motivation to achieve self-sufficiency.

§  Focus on Community, 1220 Mound Ave., Suite 307, Racine, WI 53404, Phone: 262.632.6200, Website: http://www.focusracine.org. Focus offers innovative and integrated services for the prevention of substance abuse by providing education, building positive values and promoting healthy lifestyle choices for youth, families, and community members.

  • Weed Out! Racine Email: melissa.warner3@sbcglobal.net. Website: http://wisconsin.sierraclub.org/segg/WeedOut.htm. Office: 4444 North Green Bay Road, Racine WI. Mission: aims to maintain the biodiversity of our native spaces by stopping the spread of invasive plant species. We work in coordination with the City of Racine, Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services, and Racine County Department of Public Works. We will remove buckthorn, honeysuckle, garlic mustard, dame's rocket, burdock, wild parsnip, japanese knotweed, and other exotic species from City and County Parks.
  • Wild Root Market, Website: http://wildrootmarket.com/, What’s our Goal?  To open a cooperative retail grocery market, providing quality, fresh food, locally grown where possible, accessible to all of Racine. E-mail: info@wildrootmarket.com.

    Our mission is to enhance the quality of life and economic vitality of southeastern Wisconsin through the sustainable operation of a full-service, cooperatively owned grocery store serving its community, employees and owners while working as a part of a stronger local food system.  

    Wild Root Market is a values driven business which will operate according to the 7 Cooperative Principles  Thusly, Wild Root Market will promote and model business practices which underscore the ideas of equality, economic justice, environmental sustainability, and fair trade.  As a for-profit corporation, Wild Root Market promises to be an excellent corporate citizen that values a triple bottom line:  profit, people, and planet.  For more information about Wild Root Market, to buy a share, or to become involved in growing it's membership, please send inquiries or mailto:colleen@wildrootmarket.com.  

  • Wisconsin Interfaith Power and Light. Website: www.wisconsinIPL.org. The mission of Wisconsin Interfaith Power and Light shall be to inform, train, and activate people of all faiths and faith communities to take concrete steps in response to gloabl warming through the promotion of energy conservation, energy efficiency, and renewable energy in order to protect Earth's ecosystems, safeguard public health, and ensure just, sufficient, and sustainable energy for all. See the website for a "Partnership Organization Covenant" as a step to joining this organization.

  • The Nehemiah Project: Contact: Rev. Thompkins, 262.412.6922, wthompkins@aol.com This is a program devoted to beautifying areas of Racine with flower and vegetable gardens. They also work with city parks to make them more attractive and safe for families. The program was started and continues to be run by the Rev. William Thompkins and the Fellowship of Christian Believers. They sponsor a similar program in Haiti.