MILWAUKEE — A once vacant site in the middle of Milwaukee has been transformed into a place promoting environmental education. It is called the Green Tech Station.

The station aims to give students the opportunity to see the nature that they learn about in class.

What You Need To Know

  • The Green Tech Station promotes environmental education to local schools

  • The station is able to capture stormwater every time it rains

  • Students from Milwaukee German Immersion School recently identified various species at the site

Aston Martin is a third grader at Milwaukee German Immersion School. He visited the site with his classmates for a field trip.

One of the activities they did was a nature scavenger hunt.

“I found a flock of birds and I also found a bunch of red flowers,” said Martin. “There were a bunch of them scattered.”

Martin also observed how different species interact with the trees at the Green Tech Station.

“It’s amazing to be just outside and learn,” said Martin. “I have barely even done this before. This is the first time I have been outside to learn about trees.”

Asher Kingdom and Tegan Staler were some of the other students making discoveries.

“He (a cricket) was my best friend. His name was Mr. Crickcockus,” said Kingdom about the cricket he found.

“I found a leaf with holes, a Y-shaped twig and a multicolored leaf,” said Staler.

Lisa Neeb is the Green and Healthy Schools Program Coordinator with Reflo. Reflo is a nonprofit organization that helped create the Green Tech Station. The goal is to promote environmental education in Milwaukee.

(Spectrum News 1/Phillip Boudreaux)

Neeb said it’s important for students to know about the different types of green infrastructure that protects our environment.

“In addition to bioswales that are depressions in the ground that collect the water in a low spot and have beautiful plants growing through them that help to clean the water that falls in it, there are lots of trees,” said Neeb. “There is an underground cistern that can hold 20,000 gallons of water like this school bus behind me.”

Milwaukee German Immersion Teacher Susan Richardson said she hopes the lessons learned will go beyond this field trip.

“I would love if they could go home and explore our new playground, their backyard, their local parks but also this awareness of how we all work together to benefit trees as well as we can harm them, so they are learning a lot of the life skills to be good stewards of our planet,” said Richardson.

Martin has already taken away one important lesson.

“Trees help the environment,” said Martin. “If there were no trees at all, we would not be able to breathe. No one would be on this planet.”

He said he is looking forward to learning more about the world outside of the classroom and to continue growing his appreciation for nature.

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated the amount of gallons of water the underground cistern can hold. The error has been corrected. (Nov. 3, 2023)