Category Archives: Projects

Tree Inventory: How’s it going?

Although we wont consider education and outreach (e/o) complete until our urban forest is secure and healthy, were pleased to report that we have accomplished many of our e/o goals as stated in Sustainable Atwood’s grant proposal to the DNR. We started with a host of excellent partners working with us to accomplish the sizable goals of the project and have gained the interest of individuals and groups ever since—some of whom have become key figures in planning, teaching, coordinating, and evaluation of the project. Our partners seem to have a natural ability to collaborate, build on each others ideas and go the extra mile. Thanks to their hard work, weve completed and continue to build on the activities described in the blogs to follow!

“Good food for great kids”

Radio Hour Scheduled to Educate Community and Focus Conversation
around School Lunch
Retiring Food Service Director opens up Opportunity for Families to Act

February, 2011 (Madison, WI).  The excitement is building throughout parents in the Madison Metropolitan School District that there might be hope for the health of students who eat school lunch.  With MMSD Food Service Director Frank Kelly set to retire this summer, momentum is building to educate the community about the unhealthy state of the school lunch system.

Madison Families for Better Nutrition is moving forward with several community educational opportunities.  They have written and published a Healthy School Food Resolution (found at  This resolution was passed by three Parent Teacher Associations, including Lowell Elementary, Gompers Elementary, and OKeefe Middle School.

Their next effort will be to host a Radio Show on WORT (89.9) on February 21, 2011, at 7pm.  During the first part of the show, Dr. Nancy Gutknecht  will speak about what the bad food does to our kids.  The second part of the show will be live interviews with kids who attend Frank Allis Elementary who formed a group “Boycott School Lunch” in 2009 when they were in the 4th grade (  The  third part of the show will feature Diane Chapeta, the Nutrition Manager for Chilton Public Schools, who has drastically changed their school lunch system to include local whole and nutritious foods.

Community members are encouraged to call in during the program to talk about their experiences with their children and school lunch, as well as ask questions of the three experts.  Locally, call 256-2001;  Toll Free, call 866-899-WORT (9678).

The group, whose motto is “Good Food for Great Kids” successfully acted to have the Slushie Machine removed from  OKeefe  Middle School (Isthmus,

The group had decided to focus this year on getting Sugared Drinks out of the schools, but now is expanding their focus to help get the right person into the Food Service Directors position.  Because 1 in 4 of todays children are considered obese, and given that 40% of MMSD students through Free and Reduced Meal Service (FARMS) eat the innutritious food every day as their main calorie source, the group is hoping the MMSD Board of Directors will see the urgency of this hire.  “This one decision will affect the health of the communitys children for the next 30 years,” says Martha Pings, active member in the group.  “If there is a time to get excited and a time to get passionate and active, this is it!”

DNR Grant


The Department of Natural Resources has awarded Sustainable Atwood $21,000 to inventory SASY neighborhood’s private and public trees and perform outreach  about the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB). We’ll begin in January and finish in December 2011. We’ll match this grant with $21,000 in “donations” for a total $42,000 value to the neighborhood.

Special thanks to Neighbor Maria Moreno for spurring the development and writing of this grant, and to Goodman Community Center for acting as our fiscal agent–believing we could get the job done!

To the many of you who have expressed concern for our urban forest, we look forward to enjoining you in this important work of documenting the makeup of our forest. To those fruit and nut tree enthusiasts, this project will indicate our  publicly available edible resources–we hope you’ll be interested in joining, too. To all of you who love this neighborhood and are interested in urban wildlife habitat, property values or cool shade on a hot summer day–can’t wait to get started!

Thanks to the following partners working with us:

  • WYOU Community Television
  • Marla Eddy, City of Madison Forester
  • Sean Gere, ISA Certified Arborist
  • University of Wisconsin (UW) Forestry and Wildlife
  • UW Horticulture Department
  • UW Landscape Architect Department
  • Marquette Elementary School
  • Lowell Elementary School
  • OKeeffe Middle School
  • East High School
  • Fair Oaks Nursery & Garden Center
  • WORT Community Radio
  • Sustainable Atwood Members

Is your dog green? Kitty too?

Get that dog poop out of your trash!

Pet waste creates methane in the landfill — a greenhouse gas 20 times worse than the CO2 from your car.
Buy two boxes and get one FREE if you tell them Sustainable Atwood sent you!

Digest the poop in your yard, while creating nutrient-rich soil for flowers and plants.Non-compostable foods can digest too, like meat and high fat foods.

No plastic bags in your digester. Use bio bags from Bad Dog Frida.