AT&T Wisconsin: Rice Lake School District receives $2,500 AT&T Innovation & Investment grant to support Environmental Day

Contact: Jessica Erickson
608-282-7870 (work)
608-692-5340 (cell)
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Students, Volunteers Give Back to Community By Cleaning Up River, Improving Ice Age Trail,
Planting Trees, Landscaping, and Volunteering at Boys & Girls Club, Nature Sanctuary

RICE LAKE, WI, Tuesday, April 24, 2012 – At an event at Rice Lake High School on Friday, AT&T Wisconsin announced a $2,500 Innovation & Investment Award grant to the Rice Lake Area School District to help support this year’s Community Service Environmental Day. A joint effort between the school district and the community, the mission of the annual Environmental Day is to promote education and appreciation of the environment, especially among the area’s youth.

“Our environment is our most precious natural resource, and we need to not only take steps to protect it, but to also educate our young people about the importance of taking ownership in the environment – now and for the future,” said Chad Harnisch, Principal of Rice Lake High School. “This contribution from AT&T will help us continue our tradition of giving back to our community and showing our students what it means to make a difference in the environment.”

This year’s Environmental Day is being held on Thursday, May 10. On that day, the high school’s 760 students will be sent out to locations throughout the city of Rice Lake and Barron County to help clean up and enhance the environment and improve their community through volunteer service projects. More than 80 school staff members and 40 community volunteers will also join them in the day’s clean up and restoration activities.

“We are very fortunate to have such committed and caring school leaders, students and volunteers all working together to improve our environment and our community,” said State Rep. Roger Rivard (R-Rice Lake), who plans to participate in the river clean-up activities on May 10. “Environmental Day is a great way to instill in our students the value of environmental stewardship and ensure that our beautiful natural resources can be enjoyed by future generations.”

Some of the day’s planned activities include:
– Cleaning up three miles of the Red Cedar River through a partnership with American Rivers
– Completing maintenance and improvements projects on the Ice Age Trail
– Weeding the flower beds, re-mulching and picking up litter at all four district elementary schools
– Planting 200 small trees at two elementary schools
– Painting U.S. maps, hopscotch boards, and four square boxes on the playgrounds at each elementary school
– Landscaping, planting flowers, raking leaves, weeding the flower beds, sweeping, and picking up – Painting the Township of Brill’s town hall
– Community service projects at the Boys & Girls Club, the Hunt Hill Nature Sanctuary, and a local homeless shelter

The AT&T Wisconsin Innovation & Investment Award program provides grant funding to organizations and programs that improve the community by: advancing education; enhancing the environment; promoting economic development and new technologies; or delivering other essential community services. This is the first grant in a new program aimed at supporting local organizations that enhance and give back to their communities.

“AT&T Wisconsin is proud to support the Rice Lake educators, students, and volunteers who are making a real difference in their community,” said Kent Disch, Director of External Affairs for AT&T Wisconsin. “Through Environmental Day, these students and volunteers are not only improving the environment, but also strengthening the fabric of our great state. We are pleased to provide this grant to assist their efforts and help ensure future generations can enjoy the magnificent natural resources of our Northwoods.”