Passover and Earth Day coincide this year | Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle

Passover and Earth Day coincide this year 

Why is this night different from all other nights? 

Well, it’s Passover. It’s also Earth Day.  

Both holidays celebrate renewal and redemption. The yearning for freedom, of Passover, has been compared to the yearning for liberation from the great issues facing the Earth. 

If you’re looking to celebrate the Earth before or after your Seder, consider the Mequon Nature Preserve. The preserve, located at 8200 W. County Line Road, is home to 510 acres of prairies, wetlands and woods along with six miles of trails to hike and explore. 

“We are free and open every day of the year from sunup to sundown, so people can come out and hike. We’re dog friendly,” said Amanda Neimon, the preserve’s ecological outreach manager. “You can run, bike, snowshoe and cross-country ski during the winter months.” 

The preserve will hold its own Earth Day celebration on Saturday, April 27. The event will feature a presentation by water expert Marissa Jablonski, a guided tour and lunch.  

“We all love nature here and know the importance of nature,” Neimon said. “It’s a really great time for people to just get outside enjoy and help nature.” 

During April, visitors can also take part in scheduled craft and story time events for children and Woodcock Wander, a guided viewing of the unique species.  

“They’re kind of a funny little bird. They have a real cool mating call,” Neimon said about the Woodcock bird. “They kind of bob their head a bit.” 

The preserve was made possible by a grant from Richard Paddock to the Greater Milwaukee Foundation 24 years ago. The City of Mequon leases the property for $1 annually to Mequon Nature Preserve, a non-profit, tax-exempt organization.  

“There were lots of barren fields, and now it is a blooming prairie with lots of plants and flowers growing,” she said. “It’s really cool to see how the land will heal back to what it wants to be.” 

For those who want to get involved, the preserve offers opportunities for community members to volunteer to help restore the grounds with staff. Volunteers help staff plant trees, clean up the premises and assist with field trips that visit the facility.  

“There’s a lot of (volunteer) groups that come out,” Neimon said. They “either help pick up litter off the trails and around the road” or “remove mustard or garlic mustard that has started to pop up.” 

Visitors can use adventure backpacks, snowshoes and four-wheel wheelchairs, made available by the preserve free of charge. They can also take advantage of the preserve’s natural play space, hammock station and 40-foot observation tower.  

“We can see the full preserve… for miles all around from the tower,” Neimon said. 


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April 22, 2024
The first night of Passover
Earth Day

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Mequon Nature Preserve
Trails open sunup to sundown; dog friendly.
Education Center is open this month, Monday-Friday. 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Education center includes live animals and a library
8200 W. County Line Road;