The endangered Rusty-Patched Bumble Bee (c) U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services
Root-Pike WIN Secures Grants for UW-Parkside "Pollinator Patch Program"
Improvements and Enhancements to Begin this Fall on the Cross-Country Course
This fall, Root-Pike Watershed Initiative Network (WIN), in partnership with the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, will begin Phase One of the Pollinator Patch Program, a native re-vegetation effort focused on restoring the federally endangered Rusty-Patch Bumble Bee habitat. Funding for the 20-acre project is being provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and The Brico Fund. Future phases and improvements are also being planned.
 Removal of invasive vegetation within the old forest begins this fall
Phase One will be concentrated on removing invasive/undesirable plant species and enriching the native plant community along CTH JR west of the start and finish line of the course. Two land types – the “old growth forest” and “shrub/scrub” – will receive attention over the next three years. The woodland and spring ephemeral species will take three to five years to mature after seeding. The goal is to naturally bring back the immune-boosting foods and much needed habitat that these pollinators must have to thrive.
Phase One of restoration is located along CTH JR
UW-Parkside Chancellor Dr. Deborah Ford said in regard to the program, “When we signed the agreement with Root-Pike WIN in 2019, we knew it was the beginning of a strong partnership. We are pleased to start phase one of the Pollinator Patch Program and the restoration of the nationally recognized Wayne Dannehl Cross-Country Course. This demonstrates another winning opportunity for UW-Parkside, Root Pike WIN, Ranger Athletics, runners of all ages, and the environment.”
UW-Parkside's Chancellor Dr. Ford after signing the "pollinator" partnership
Before the area was settled, historical native prairie and oak savanna once grew. Over the past 100 years, non-native species and insect diseases have invaded the 210-acre UW-Parkside natural area. Loss of native food sources, habitat and stresses from pathogens are reducing the federally endangered Rusty-Patched Bumble Bee (RPBB)’s numbers. Since the farmland was never planted properly since its acquisition in the 1960’s, the natural area lacks the native vegetative diversity the RPBB needs to thrive. This fall, Root-Pike WIN and UW-Parkside will begin reversing these negative conditions.
Improvements to the shrub/scrub area will also improve native plant diversity and trail stability
The Root-Pike WIN and UW-Parkside partnership was created to boost the habitat for the Rusty-Patched Bumble Bee through a major native species replanting effort. The net benefit also adds value to the UW-Parkside campus and the Kenosha-Racine community. Native plants reduce flooding, cleanse storm water, bring more related native species to the food chain, and add to the aesthetic appeal in the hub of the Pike River Watershed.
Root-Pike WIN is already seeing the positive domino effect this program is having on the community – and throughout southeastern Wisconsin. It’s the start of something pretty special that generations of people… and pollinators will come to love.

UW-Parkside student Katie Loesl-Dunk surveys the bee population with Root-Pike WIN's Nan Calvert. Student participation is a key part of the program and UW-Parkside's "Ranger" spirit.
Root-Pike WIN is leading the planning, fundraising, surveying, design and implementation efforts.The UW-Parkside is the ultimate decision-maker and will remain the landowner. Applied Ecological Services is the chosen restoration firm. Course operations may have some minimal access impacts, but work will be timed to occur around restoration activities – and the Rusty-Patched Bumble Bee’s foraging and nesting needs.The program also includes new educational opportunities for students and volunteer projects for companies and the community.

Overall, Root-Pike WIN and UW-Parkside are adding to the ‘Bee at Parkside’ vision. By focusing on this delicate pollinator, the course’s natural storm water functions will be strengthened.

To learn more about the Pollinator Patch Program or other Root-Pike WIN initiatives, visit their website at

Executive Director

Our mission is to protect, restore, sustain the Root-Pike basin watersheds.
The Root-Pike Basin Watersheds
Root-Pike Watershed Initiative Network
4116 12th St.
Kenosha, WI 53144