BROWN COUNTY, Wis. (WFRV) – Residents of Brown County celebrated the 52nd Earth Day with grants and actions enforcing community-wide sustainability.

Earth Day in Brown County kicked off bright and early at the Fox River State Recreational Trail with students and staff from Aldo Leopold Community School gathering to plant some trees.

“We wanted to commemorate Earth Day. We know that planting one tree or picking up one stretch of trash isn’t going to solve everything but we want kids to know that there are things they can do to help out,” shared Aldo Leopold Community School teacher Ned Dorff.

And this event is on-brand for the Aldo Leopold Community School.

Dorff shared that the man that their school is named after, Aldo Leopold, reportedly had a passion for helping restore ecosystems and promote sustainability.

This resulted in the Also Leopold community being motivated to carry on his legacy through their actions.

And the kids weren’t the only ones making positive changes this Earth Day.

Just down the street, the Green Bay Metro Fire Metro Department, joined by Mayor Eric Genrich and members of the City`s Sustainability Commission, announced that an $87,000 Comprehensive Energy Planning Grant was awarded to City of Green Bay by the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin.

During the announcement, Mayor Genrich shared that the grant was the second-highest scoring grant application in its respective category.

Mayor Genrich says that this grant will help put the city on a ‘realistic path’ to achieving its 100 percent renewable energy by 2050 goal.

Resiliency Coordinator, Melissa Schmitz, shared that the grant will be used to create a community-wide energy and decarbonization plan.

This plan will reportedly outline actionable steps on how they can get to their clean energy goals by 2050.

“As three of the city’s largest energy users, the water utility, the city as a whole, and Green Bay Metro Transit we feel that taking this collaborative approach is going to increase our community’s success at really implementing the plan going forward,” said Schmitz.

The first phase of the project will reportedly involve city officials seeking community input. The second phase of the project will include a baseline energy compilation being done to gather a full picture of the community’s energy usage. And the third phase of the project will involve energy audits being done throughout the city.

In the end, Schmitz said they hope to have an extensive in-depth report to serve as a ‘roadmap’ for how they will begin to execute these changes within the next 10-20 years to acheive their sustainability goal.