Since 2002-2003, Green County Leaders has completed 75 community projects. The work on these projects results in over $404,000 in volunteer hours contributed to Green County communities.
The community project component of Green County Leaders is specifically designed to provide leadership to Green County through a service learning opportunity that will positively impact a community issue, need, or opportunity. This hands-on leadership education approach is a highly interactive way for Green County participants to experience leadership in community.
Aspiring Leaders of Green County
The team worked on creating and maintaining a group that consists of like-minded individuals who want to improve Green County. To do so, the group has worked to provide members with civic, social, and professional opportunities. Those opportunities may include but will not be limited to networking events, fundraising, and community volunteer work. The project has had to adapt and pivot due to covid-19.
4-H Multicultural Pilot Program
Worked with Ellen Andrews, 4-H Youth Development Educator with Extension Green County, to develop a pilot program that will engage with minority students and give them a positive experience with Green County 4-H. The project has had to adapt and pivot due to covid-19.
Monroe Community Gardens
A community garden will offer a place to grow vegetables, flowers, and herbs for individuals that lack adequate space to have a garden at their house/apartment. The community garden will also have a plot managed by organizers, whose goods will be donated to local food pantries. The project has had to adapt and pivot due to covid-19.
Convivio is a multi-cultural program focused on exploring diversity through art, culture, and language. The project has had to adapt and pivot due to covid-19.
This project focused on conducting a feasibility study and exploring funding for adding an admission free splashpad in Green County, ideally located in Twining Park in Monroe. The group proposed partnering with the City of Monroe and Monroe Park and Recreation Department to customize and build the splashpad, and would turn the finished project over to the city to manage ongoing maintenance. The project has had to adapt and pivot due to covid-19.
“Hello Monroe!” Downtown Virtual Tour
Amanda Krier, Nicole Witt, Ruedi Bucher, Devin McCormick, Jenny Bochar, Drew Goeke
LIFT Afterhours Healthcare Transportation
Carla Crawford, Chris Hendrickson, Lorie Lance, Taylor Jacobsen, Julie Davis
Green County Connect
Chris Burton, Laura Vorpahl, Todd Huebler, Kenzie Leverton
Volunteer Network WOW Factor
Sam Liebert, Sharon Schmidt, Erica Roth, Randy Klein
Baseline Survey of Green County Employers Related to Mental Health Stigma
Heath Isely, Ian Schiltz, Kim Schiferl, Kali Drane, Jane Sybers, Maribel Lobato, Noah Engstrom
Nationwide, schools are seeing a decrease in team sports participation. Additionally, there have been occurences of parental, coaching, spectator, and participant actions which have negatively impacted the health, emotional, and pyschological well-being of young athletes. This group set out to enhance youth athletic experiences involving team sports for children between the ages of 5 through 8th grade in Green County. Based on survey results, the team created a toolkit for training and empowering team sport organizers and coaches. The toolkit includes materials involving communication, codes of conduct, concussion protocols, first aid guidelines, tips for working with children with special needs, team building exercises, child abuse reporting instructions, as well as protective measures for coaches. The Monroe Parks and Recreation Department shared that “I anticipate that the coaching materials you have put together will help provide much needed resource to help improve the level of volunteer coaching and as a result will have a positive impact on thousands of kids!”
Monticello Pony Pack Program
34% of Monticello elementary students are at risk of food insecurity. Many of these students participate in the free or reduced lunch program at school. However, many of these children still go hungry over the weekend. To help improve their quality of life, Green County Leaders has partnered with the Monticello School District and Green Cares food Pantry to introduce the Pony Pack Program. Each Friday, or day before a break, students enrolled in this program will have a pack of healthy snacks discretely placed in their backpack before they leave for the day to help nourish them over the weekend. The Monticello School District nurse shared that, “It is our hope that these weekend healthy snack packs are able to help families in need when resources may not be available.”
Middle School Youth Center
The team created an after school hangout center for the middle school youth of Monroe. Many students walk home to empty houses or hang out in the downtown area, having little or nothing to do after school. Previously, there were activities available both the younger and older children, but there was nothing being offered to middle schoolers. The goal was to provide a safe, fun environment for middle school students to hang out and socialize outside of school. We are hoping to offer these youth daily opportunities to socialize, learn responsibly, have fun, and to feel safe.
Wellness in Green County
The team’s goal was to assist the Green County Health Coalition Committee (GCHCC) to bring awareness to the many resource that help improve physical, emotional, social, spiritual, and intellectual well-being Green County community members. The team also worked to hep the Physical Activity subcommittee increase business participation in the “Let’s Get Moo-ving in Green County” wellness challenge. Their project partner shared, “The Green County Leaders group has helped us encourage a healthier community through their drive and determination. We are very thankful!”
Monroe Area Community Closet
Partnered with Green County Family Promise and the Church of Nazarene in Monroe to create a community closet. Free clothing is available to any community member through this community closet. This has already helped several families who have experienced difficulties such as house fires. Extra clothes that are collected will be sold to a company in Milwaukee that reuses the clothes for various purposes. In other communities, the money made from these transactions have gone to the local school district.
Promoting Inspire: Youth Career Programs
The Inspire program helps connect youth with career and apprenticeship opportunities in the Madison area, including Green County. However, at the start of the GCL year, only 8 businesses in Green County participated in this program. Through outreach and education, this group increased the number of participating businesses to 28. The group also worked with the Inspire program to develop marketing materials specifically for Green County to assist in increasing engagement.
Expanding Access to Broadband
This group partnered with the Green County Development Corporation (GCDC) to reach out to municipalities across Green County to engage them in expanding access to broadband. Specifically, they asked municipalities to support the creation of a grant application to increase broadband in Green County. This required a financial contribution and a letter of support. These efforts made it possible for GCDC to contract with the Southwestern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission to put together a grant application on behalf of Green County. The grant application is anticipated to be submitted in 2017.
Expanding Bicycle Benefits to Green County
This group worked with several area businesses to bring the Bicycle Benefits program to Green County. This national program involves bicyclists purchasing a special ticket for their helmet. They can then receive different benefits, such as discounts, from participating businesses. Because this is a national program, tourists in Green County will be able to also receive benefits, and Green County will be included in the national program map.
Synthesizing the Monroe Arts Center Focus Group Study
In fall 2016 the GCL class facilitated 14 focus groups designed to get community perspectives on the Monroe Arts Center’s (MAC) programming. This project group analyzed that data, synthesized it, and wrote a report to inform the MAC board of the community perspectives. MAC will be using this information to inform their strategic planning process and their future programming.
Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse (AODA) Workplace Assessment
Conducted an AODA workplace assessment in partnership with the Green County Human Services Department. The team developed a survey concerning employee substance abuse policies and assistance programs which was distributed to Green County businesses in order to raise awareness, gather information, and determine business needs in Green County communities. Survey results will be shared with local business leaders along with information assembled by the team pertaining to substance abuse policy guidelines, employee education, prevention, assistance, and supervisor training.
Worked with the Monroe Public Library and the City of Monroe to install a Walking Storybook in an under-utilized park on the west side of Monroe. Honey Creek Park had the space and size needed to implement the project. It is also home of the “Barry” Prairie Grass Park. To increase the use of this park and encourage literacy and healthy habits, the group selected a walking storybook to appeal to current and potential users of the park. The group selected a visually graphic children’s book from a Wisconsin author. The group coordinated with the Monroe Public Library to have the Launch of the Walking Storybook to coincide with the final day of the Youth Summer Reading Program and incorporate the story during one of the farmers’ market events this summer.
Food Waste Management
Worked on developing a pilot project with the City of Monroe to explore food waste composting at the municipal level. Halfway through the project, the City of Monroe determined it was no longer able to continue with the project due to personnel changes at the City.
Bike Trail Mapping
Created a bike map for Green County that includes seven mapped out routes throughout the county. While the planned routes vary in difficulty, they all measure out to be around 25 miles in distance. The maps, which we are designing and printing through American Publishing Company, Inc. out of Madison, will be distributed around Green County to the local chambers, bike shops, etc.
Twining Park Fitness Stations
The group fundraised over $20,000 for the purchase and installation of 5 fitness stations in Twining Park. These fitness stations will have instructional signs that guide people to do a variety of fitness exercises and there are options for logging workouts on your mobile phone. A local fitness instructor has indicated that he will be integrating them into his fitness classes; it looks like the YMCA and high school may also integrate this into what they offer. Either way, these stations will be completely free and accessible to people looking for a more structured way to work out outside — or to incorporate a variety of exercises while they walk or run in the park.
The community partner for this project is the City of Monroe Parks and Recreation Department. Marge Klinzing, the Recreation Director, says “We appreciate the Green County Leaders choosing to install an outdoor exercise circuit in Twining Park. This facility will have a positive impact on youth and adults and is a great addition to our park system. We have enjoyed working with the group on this.”
Mental Health Resource Fair & Resource Guide
The group increased the marketing and vendors at the wellness fair held by the Monticello School District and packaged their marketing materials for fair organizers in coming years. They also created a resource guide providing information on mental health resources in Green County. This guide is geared towards audiences such as teachers, pastors, etc who frequently work with people who may have such challenges but not know what resources are available to assist them. This resource guide was explicitly recognized as a need for Green County communities by the Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) Mental Health Group, which has committed to annually updating the resource guide and serving as the “home” for this resource. The GCL project group provided the CHIP Mental Health Group with information that they used to create the guide and efficient strategies for updating and distributing the guide. Anecdotally, health professionals at Monroe Clinic have already found this guide useful.
Telehealth and Mental Health Capacity Building Needs Survey
This group started by researching options and resources Green County would need to develop a telehealth network to increase access to mental health care, particularly for underserved populations. They interviewed many stakeholders and learned about different resources and then identified the options to developing such a network and the existing resources in the community. This information was then presented to the CHIP Mental Health Group. Their discussions and research helped lay a foundation for understanding how this strategy could be implemented in Green County — including what is needed to make this reality. They also made various stakeholders aware, through their discussions, of assets and resources available through different community stakeholders. The group then surveyed stakeholders who deal with mental health issues — medical professionals, pastors, teachers, etc — to identify where these groups felt a need to increase their capacity to handle mental health issues. This information was provided to the CHIP Mental Health Group, which is using it to put together capacity building events based on the work of the GCL group. As the CHIP Mental Health Group leaders say, “nothing like [this project] existed before for mental health related services for our area. This was needed and is already useful.”
Monroe Farmers’ Market
This group has worked to strengthen the Monroe Farmers’ Market. Organizationally, they’ve worked with the Monroe Chamber and Monroe Main Street to have the Farmers’ Market go back under the Main Street umbrella. This gives them 501(c)3 status and therefore increases the amount of funding/grant opportunities they are eligible for and increases the ease with which they can co-market events. They have also worked to get a paid market coordinator position; they have developed a job position for this and are currently in the process of hiring for this position. The group also worked to increase marketing, both to buyers and to vendors. They have helped attract additional vendors and, by tracking numbers, so far this year compared to last year it appears they have had success in doing so. They have also worked at increasing marketing efforts — they have revived the market Facebook page, designed a new logo, created marketing materials such as refrigerator magnets, and worked on identifying potential family-friendly entertainment options that the market can partner with. The group also assisted the vendors in tracking market expenses so they have a better idea of the amount of money it takes to run the market on an annual basis. Finally, the group has assisted the market in making arrangements to accept FoodShare benefits.
As Jordan Nordby, Executive Director of Main Street Monroe said, “The group that worked on the Farmers Market was exemplary. They had a clear vision of what the market needed to grow and better serve the community. The scope of the project was large and they have made a real positive impact.”
Civility Project: Promoting Civility in Green County
Partnering with Shakespeare on the Edge, this group developed an arts-based curriculum to engage students in learning about components of civility.
Silver Lining Project
This group researched, fundraised, and established a drug drop box at the Green County Sheriff’s department. By engaging stakeholders, they were able to market this box as a safe way for prescription drugs to be deposited. The information they gathered was able to be used by each police department in Green County to set up a drug drop box at the police stations in Green County.
Silver Lining Project
In an effort to encourage increased physical activity, this group partnered with the Monroe Kiwanis to increase awareness of the new disc golf course in Monroe. They created an event that enabled people to learn how to play disc golf, and shared the event materials with the Kiwanis group so the event could be replicated.
Silver Lining Project
Homeless Awareness Campaign including presentations to a variety of students from Monroe and Brodhead schools, media announcements, and business promotions.
Creation of a website to educate low-income renters on housing options for landlords to learn about the needs of low-income tenants and to provide a central database of rental property in the Green County area.
Family Promise Video
Creation of a video for Family Promise of Green County that helps to explain the Family Promise mission, purpose, and day-to-day needs. This video is available online here.
Literacy Council Awareness
Focused on bringing awareness of the Literacy Council to Green County residents.
Focused on areas of economic, social, and environmental resources for Green County that promoted individual, family, and community sustainability.
Green County Humane Society Buy-A-Brick Campaign
Creation of a Buy-A-Brick fundraising campaign for the Green County Humane Society.
Visibility Toolbox for the Homeless
Creation of the “Golden Key to Volunteer Riches,” a toolbox of resources for the Homelessness Prevention Coalition of Green County to use in its efforts to increase visibility and to recruit and retain volunteers.
Welcome to Green County
Identified the need to create a social connection to our local community for people who have recently moved to Green County or for those considering such a move.
We Care: Snow Day Emergency Meal Kit
This kit provides emergency food and water to help a homebound person get through a snow emergency.
Healthy Habits Start Young
Gathered data from a local school to help develop a strong case for a grant.
Green County Volunteer Network
The development of a county-wide list of organizations and their volunteer needs. This list is posted on the Monroe Chamber website.
Increased the awareness regarding an increasing trend in homelessness in Green County by supporting the formation of the Homelessness Prevention Coalition.
Making Green County More Green
This team challenged area students, businesses, and government employees to think about how they can make a difference in Green County on Earth Day.
Pawlapalooza: A Fundraising Event for the Green County Humane Society
Assisted the Green County Humane Society to raise funds for the health and well-being of the animals in their care.
Created a way to promote working with local vendors as sources of products that can be used in community fundraising.
Green County Volunteers
Created a forum, specifically internet-based, where organizations needing volunteers and volunteers looking for opportunities can meet.
Green Grant Directory
Explored what grant opportunities are available for green building and remodeling projects, dialogued with a business owner who has used this type of grant resource, and created a directory of options that businesses could use to quickly explore grant options.
Explored the need for a marketing video to replace the Cheese Days Farm Visits and created that video.
Connecting Past and Present Green County Leaders
Explored the best way to improve communication between former Green County Leader participants and current class members.
Implemented ideas from Jim Ditto’s 90 Days to a Winning Community to create momentum and new ideas for implementation in Brodhead, with the goal of encouraging other community groups to follow these steps in their own communities for a renewed vision and purpose.
Green County Leaders Lend-A-Hand
Increased the amount of donations of goods and money to four organizations that serve residents in Green County — the Green County Inter-Church Food Pantry, Green Haven, Green County Humane Society, and CareNet Pregnancy Center of Green County’s Family Resource site.
What We Have and What it Takes:
A Survey, Analysis, and Plan for Future Economic Development in Green County
Identified what resources and assets Green County has, how it compares to the state and the nation, and where the county should focus its efforts in creating economic development.
Green County Humane Society Community Interest Survey
Created and administered a survey of Green County residents to provide feedback on the Humane Society.
Welcome to Green County: A Relocation Guide
Created a simple relocation guide for new county residents to give them easily accessible, useful information about important services and phone numbers.
Green County Young Professionals’ Interest Survey
Created an instrument to gather information from young professionals in the county to see if there was a need for a social/networking organization for young professionals.
Sugar River Clean-Up
Recruited volunteers and resources for a designated clean-up project focused on a portion of the Little Sugar River that flows through New Glarus.
Green Recommendations for Green County
Identified ways that the community could reduce the amount of energy that would be used in applying “green” practices to the new Justice Center design.
Improving Community: Spanish-English Translators
Identified ways the team could aid in the transition and acclimation of new Spanish-speaking community members to the Green County community.
Created an effective means of communicating and empowering people in Green County.
Connecting Volunteers to Volunteer Organizations
Created a method of connecting people who might like to volunteer with organizations that need volunteers.
Linking Local Schools and Businesses
Helped to identify and encourage partnerships between schools and communities.
Green County Leaders Reunion
Facilitated the opportunity to unite graduates from all GCL classes and begin the process of creating an on-going resource group to address county needs.
Green Haven Repairs
Identified needs at Green Haven and organized and oversaw the filling of those needs through the labor of team members.
Identified ways farmers could reduce economic risks with focused planting through researching the options for diversifying the field crops planted in Green County.
Improving the Green County Leaders Program
Examined the content of the Green County Leaders class to determine whether changes could be made to improve the class.
Strength Through People: Reducing Brain Drain in Green County
Addressed the need to get post high-school age people who have left Green County to return.
Recruiting Volunteers for “Meals on Wheels”
Linked volunteers from the business community with the Green County Transportation and Volunteer Coordinator so that the “Meals on Wheels” deliveries could continue to provide services in winter months.
Community Leader Exchange Program
Encouraged the sharing of experiences and information among Green County municipalities.
Sixth Grade Pilot Program
Introduced sixth grade students to knowledge and skills to help them resolve conflict and avoid risky decisions and behaviors.
Youth Asset Building Tools — From Student to Community Member
Introduced the “senior project” program to high school administrators in Green County with the intention of implementation in the schools.
Seven Habits Training in Public Schools
Introduced the teachings of Seven Habits of Highly Effective People in Green County public schools.
Community Welcome Wagon
Established and enhanced programs in New Glarus, Brodhead, and Monroe where new residents can receive community information.
Service Learning Project
Informed school leaders about service learning, provided service learning implementation ideas and resources, and provided an opportunity for creating a network of interested school leaders who have common interests in service learning.
Local Government Template Website
Improved the ability of local governments to post information on the internet
Safety Town Program
Facilitated the development of a place where children can learn and practice safety skills.
Community Resource Development Educator
Extension Green County
608-328-9440 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Green County Development Corporation
608-328-9452 Email: email@example.com