For Immediate Release
Binational Conference to Host Public Tours of Milwaukee Area Attractions
As part of the International Joint Commission's 1999 Great Lakes Water Forum being
held Thursday through Sunday, September 23-26, 1999 in Milwaukee, a variety of exciting tours
have been arranged that showcase the best of the nature environmental Milwaukee has to offer
and to provide an educational tour of local water quality information and areas that are being
protected and restored. Some tours have a $20 fee and include coach bus service and lunch,
others are free and all are open to the public.
On Thursday, September 23, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. a coach tour will visit Fischer Creek and
Saxon Homestead Farm. A fee of 20$ per person is required and can be paid in advance or at
the Midwest Express Center the morning of the tour. Join tour guide Rolf Johnson of the
Milwaukee Public Museum to learn about, experience and hike the Fischer Creek Conservation
Area, a 125-acre near-shore complex of semi-wild habitats, dunes, wetlands and over one mile of
lake Michigan shoreline. A coalition of private and public groups worked together to secure and
purchase the site, which represents the nucleus of a proposed 1,500-acre conservancy area. The
Saxon Homestead Farm demonstrates the positive environmental effects of rotational grazing
practices for dairy-based agriculture and a bison farm. A bratwurst fry lunch on the lake bluff is
"A Living Landscape for the 21st Century," the Menomonee River flows past rural,
suburban and urban parkways and through heavily industrialized areas. It is a prime example of a
degraded urban waterway that is being actively restored in keeping with its location and use. On
Saturday from 1-5:30 p.m. Bob Boucher, riverkeeper and executive director of Friends of the
Menomonee River will guide the coach tour along the river from it rural source to its end and
discuss the problems, programs and progress affecting its restoration. A fee of 20$ per person is
required and can be paid in advance or at the Midwest Express Center the morning of the tour.
For canoeing and biking enthusiasts: 2 2-hour bike trips are planned, one along the
Milwaukee River on Friday at 2 p.m. and one along Lake Michigan on Saturday at 2 p.m. A fee
of $20 covers transportation and bicycles. A canoe trip on the Milwaukee River on Friday from
9:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. will excite the advance canoeist and beginners will enjoy the trip
planned on Sunday from 9:30-11:30 a.m. A fee of $20 includes lunch.
Take a tour of the Milwaukee Harbor and nearshore of Lake Michigan aboard the research
vessel W. G. Jackson. Scheduled tours start at 3 and 5 p.m. on Friday; 1 and 3 p.m. on Saturday
and 9 and 11 a.m. on Sunday.
Tours and activities that are free of charge and open to the public include:
- dockside tours of the Great Lakes research vessels the Lake Guardian, Limnos and
Mobile Bay any time between 1-4 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 9-11 a.m. on Sunday.
The vessels will be docked at the site of the Wisconsin Lake Schooner, which is also
available to tour.
- tour of the University of Wisconsin Great Lakes WATER Institute and dockside tour of its research vessel Neeskay any time between 12:30 and 5 p.m. on
- tour Milwaukee's Linnwood Drinking Water Treatment Plant on Friday or Saturday
from 1-3 p.m. Transportation to and from the plant will be provided from the Midwest
All coach tours and shuttles to others begin and end in front of the Midwest Express Center in
downtown Milwaukee on the corner of 4th Street and W. Wisconsin Ave.
The Great Lakes Water Quality Forum, being held during this time at the Midwest Express
Center, is hosted by the International Joint Commission, a binational Canada-United States
organization established by The Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909 to help the two Governments
prevent and resolve disputes over use of waters along the U.S. and Canada boundary. Under the
1978 Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, IJC assesses progress by the two counties to restore
and maintain the chemical, physical and biological integrity of the waters of the Great Lakes
basin ecosystem. The Forum is free and open to the public.