SIGNS OF SPRING: Frogs are singing.

Crossroads at Big Creek is proud and honored to host the Kick Off Event for the 5th Annual Sustainable Living Fair.  The Fair, celebrating “Stewardship Today for a Better Tomorrow.” will be held at Martin Park on Saturday, but the Opening Reception and Program: “Our Water Resources–Cultivating a Stronger Water Ethic” will be held in the Collins Learning Center on Friday, April 25. . The fair organizers could not have selected a topic more aligned with The Crossroads mission.

Our Great Lake Ecosystem Display celebrates Lake Michigan. Our Escarpment display was created to demonstrate the vulnerability of ground water on the Door Peninsula. The tee-shirts we give out to kids actually says “Water is Precious”.  Even the last couple of astronomy programs have focused on water because on Earth Day and throughout the year, we look at the Earth–Our Water World–and ponder our whether our planet is unique.

The famous astrophysicist  Neil deGrasse Tyson discussed this very topic in a lecture (in the My Favorite Universe Series)  called “The Search for Life in the Universe.” Dr. Tyson explained, “We’ve all seen lists of the chemical ingredients of human life. We know that the human body is 80% water, and therefore contains more hydrogen atoms than anything else. Next in order comes oxygen, carbon, nitrogen, and so on.

“The same list of ingredients fro the universe would match one for one for one with those in the human body. First in the universe is hygdogen, followed by helium, which is inert; it has no chemical utility. These are followed by oxygen, carbon, nitrogen…..

“The conclusion is that humans are of this universe. If we were made of extremely rare ingredients in the universe, we might have an argument for our uniqueness, but that is not the case.”

Water is found throughout the Solar System and an estimated 70.8 % of the Earth is covered with water.  But, according to Wisconsin Sea Grant,  “Just 3 percent of the world’s water exists as fresh water and 2 percent is locked in the polar ice caps; less than 1 percent resides in freshwater lakes and streams. The Great Lakes are the largest freshwater system on Earth—a fifth of all the liquid surface fresh water on Earth. And  more than 35 million people rely on the Great Lakes for drinking water, jobs and their way of life.”

Is healthy water precious? Ask the volunteers from Habitat from Humanity who recently returned from Honduras. Ask people who have gone on mission trips to other underdeveloped areas of the world. Ask local citizens who dealt with frozen pipes this extreme  winter.

Think of the Door Peninsula and of how we depend healthy water for tourism, agriculture, manufacturing, and our very basic needs like drinking, cooking and bathing.

Healthy water is rare, precious and extremely vulnerable.  We must  Cultivate a Stronger Water Ethic and the Friday evening program three dynamic speakers will discuss water stewardship. A reception begins are 6:30 with the program starting at 7:00. It is free and open to the public.

On Saturday evening, weather permitting, the Door Peninsula Astronomical Society will host a viewing night at the Leif Everson Observatory and Astronomy Campus (reached by the Utah Street Entrance to Crossroads.)  Jupiter and Mars should light up the sky and this informal event will be an opportunity to bid farewell to the winter constellations—and hopefully, to the winter that never ends.

The Door County Master Gardeners are pleased to welcome Sue Zimmerman, a Jefferson County Master Gardener, who will speak in a free public program about Wisconsin’s Intersectional Peonies on Tuesday, April 29th at 7PM at the Crossroads..  Intersectional Peonies are a hybrid cross between a tree peony and an herbaceous peony, with the best characteristics of both parent plants.  Intersectionals can only be created by dividing mature plants or grafting, but result in terrific flowers that many consider the most beautiful peonies available.  Wisconsin has played a leading role in the development of these plants.


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