News & Media

Teen Leaders in Action

Tue. May 14, 2013

Area teen leaders are helping with the planning, design and installation of a vegetation buffer for the City of Wisconsin Rapids’ Two-Mile Detention Pond Project.

Area teen leaders are helping with the planning, design and installation of a vegetation buffer for the City of Wisconsin Rapids’ Two-Mile Detention Pond Project.

Area teen leaders have spent the past nine months learning valuable leadership skills. Now they are ready to put them into action.

The South Wood County Teen Leadership Program consists of 26 sophomore students from five area high schools: Lincoln, John Edwards, Assumption, Nekoosa, and Pittsville. Teen Leadership helps participating high school sophomores become involved in their schools and communities.

The program, organized by the Incourage Community Foundation, teaches potential new leaders the skills and knowledge necessary to become effective community leaders through hands-on learning. Part of the program entails that they participate in a community project. It has proven to be beneficial to the community, as well as the teen leaders.

Tyler Wolosek, 15, Lincoln High School, says, “I respect other people’s opinions more and work better in groups (as a result of participating in the Teen Leadership Program).”

This year, the south Wood County teen leaders chose to assist the City of Wisconsin Rapids with its Two-Mile Detention Pond Project which is part of the City’s Storm Water Management Plan. The scope of the project includes the planning, design, and installation of a vegetation buffer which will be the final element needed to complete the water quality project that the City began in fall of 2012. This planting takes place on Wednesday, May 15.

Katie Delaney, 15, Pittsville High School, says she has learned, “We, as teenagers, have the ability to make a change in our environment.”

The vegetation buffer of approximately 140 total plants provided by the city, includes seven species of both trees and shrubs, and would provide environmental benefits, seclusion, and natural aesthetics, as well as protection from soil erosion of the bank. The SWC Teen Leaders have researched habitation needs for various species of trees and shrubs.

Josh Schraeder, 16, John Edwards High School, is excited to, “Help make the community cleaner.”

The final project design plan was approved by the City. Special thanks go to the design engineer for Wisconsin Rapids, Joe Eichsteadt, the sponsors, community presenters, Incourage coordinators and organizers, and the community businesses that donated their time, resources, and money, to help the class enhance its effectiveness in the community.

If you are interested in supporting this program, send your contribution to Incourage Community Foundation, 478 E. Grand Ave., Wis. Rapids, WI 54494, or online at incouragecf.org/give/. Designate your contribution to the SWC Teen Leadership Program.

Contributed by members of Incourage’s 2013 South Wood County Teen Leadership class: Alexandra Sosin, Spencer Howard, Tristan Gardner, Jacob Mueller, Haley Goggins, Laneli Patino, Toni Kiedrowski, and Sienna Preuss

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  • About Incourage

    Established in rural Wisconsin in 1994 to serve the changing needs of the south Wood County area, Incourage has become a nationally-recognized leader in place-based philanthropy and community development. Guided by values of equity, opportunity, and shared stewardship, Incourage envisions a community that works well for all people. One physical manifestation of this vision is the redevelopment of the Tribune building, which demonstrates Incourage’s user-centered approach to growing a strong and inclusive local economy.