Since its inception, the Alliance has been deeply involved in public education. In 1998, the Alliance (Coalition, at the time) organized a series of public forums to provide background and ideas for potential future uses of the soon-to-be decommissioned Badger Army Plant. Continuously since that time, the Alliance has strived to engage the public in events, programs, lecture series, field trips and volunteer work parties on the Badger lands.
The Alliance has a long history of working with teachers and youth groups, introducing the next generation of conservationists to the tremendous conservation potential of the Badger landscape through guided hikes, educational activities and work events. Curriculum and other materials about the natural and cultural history of the Sauk Prairie and Badger have been provided by the Alliance to schools throughout Sauk County.
The Alliance has had a long and close working relationship with the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Faculty have incorporated Badger into their coursework as a model for integrated land management on a large scale, and students have undertaken studies on the 7,400-acre Badger property over many years, some serving as thesis work for higher degrees.
The Alliance has partnered with several area organizations to offer prairie restoration opportunities for their members, including The Youth Environmental Projects of Sauk County, Cub Scouts, Ho Chunk Youth Groups, and more. These partnerships have supported the goals of each participating organization.
The Alliance believes that learning comes about through doing, and volunteer work parties to help restore prairie landscapes at Badger also serve an educational purpose. Routinely, as part of each work party, there is an educational component—perhaps identifying native plants that are in bloom or looking for wildlife signs, or some other “Skills Builder” activities.
The Alliance will continue to plan, host and lead educational programs about and at Badger into the future, now that the fate of the property has been determined and ownership established. Much of the former Army facility, once completely off-limits, will now be open to a wide variety of educational opportunities.