Friday, June 12, 2015

Foundation supports Memorial Pavilion on Coal Dock Park in Port Washington

Our foundation supported construction of the Memorial Pavilion on Coal Dock Park in Port Washington, Wisconsin. The city’s Waterfront Safety Advisory Committee began raising money for the pavilion following the loss of two individuals in Lake Michigan in 2012.

Construction of the Memorial Pavilion began in early spring of 2014 and was completed in June 2015, just in time to host family gatherings and community events for the summer.

“We’re pleased to support a project that will bring a heightened awareness to water safety. We’ve had a strong relationship with Port Washington for many years, and that relationship continues to grow through innovative projects like this,” said Gale Klappa, chairman and chief executive officer of Wisconsin Energy.

The coal dock was built in the 1930s to support operations at the original Port Washington Power Plant. Following the opening of the natural gas-fueled Port Washington Generating Station, the former coal dock was leased to the City of Port Washington. Coal Dock Park was dedicated and officially opened in September 2013.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Peregrine Falcon returns to skies after being shot

Madame X
Reprinted with permission of Wisconsin Humane Society

Meet Madame X, the Peregrine Falcon who was shot last February in West Allis. After months of rehabilitation for her injuries, she stunned us all by making a full recovery. The falcon was released by Wildlife Director Scott Diehl in the Horicon Marsh in mid-June.

The injured falcon was originally discovered outside a tavern at 55th & Grant in West Allis, and promptly brought to the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center at WHS for care. Due to the severity of her injuries, her long term prognosis was guarded. She suffered not only from internal injuries, but a broken coracoid bone, which could have prevented her from flying again.

Peregrine Falcons are native to Wisconsin, but the widespread use of the pesticide DDT decimated their population by the 1960s. A reintroduction campaign started by Peregrine Manager/Researcher and Wisconsin native Greg Septon in 1986 has made steady strides in reestablishing the Peregrine Falcon in Wisconsin. There are currently 32 nesting sites in Wisconsin, and Madame X hatched her first chicks last spring at the We Energies power plant in Wauwatosa.

When the leadership at the We Energies Foundation heard the news about the shooting, they graciously decided to make a $2,500 donation toward the falcon’s medical care and treatment. The Wildlife Rehabilitation Center at the Wisconsin Humane Society receives no government funding for its work in caring for 5,000 wild animals a year, and this support from We Energies Foundation is deeply appreciated. Such support is what made Madame X’s return to the skies possible!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Foundation supports recovery of injured peregrine falcon

Madame X, an adult female peregrine falcon that has nested at the Milwaukee County Power Plant, was found shot and seriously injured in West Allis on Feb. 27. She was unable to fly and in obvious distress. She is being cared for at the Wisconsin Humane Society’s Wildlife Rehabilitation Center (WRC).

Madame X suffered extensive injuries. Several shotgun pellets were lodged in her body, and she also had a broken collar bone. She likely will not fly again. Nevertheless, she is improving, and the staff at the rehabilitation center is impressed by her feistiness and hearty appetite.

Authorities believe Madame X was purposely shot and are asking for the public’s help in making an arrest. The falcon was found around 2 p.m. in a yard outside the Cocktails & Dreams tavern at 55th and Grant streets in West Allis. Anyone who heard or saw anything unusual during this timeframe is asked to call West Allis Crime Stoppers at 414-476-2274. Callers may request confidentiality.

A $5,000 reward is being offered by the Humane Society of the United States and the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the responsible party. The We Energies Foundation also is contributing $2,500 to the WRC for Madame X’s continued care and recovery.

We Energies has been involved in Wisconsin’s peregrine falcon recovery effort since the early 1990s. The company sponsored the release of captive-produced peregrines and then installed nest boxes at six power plant sites. To date, nearly 200 peregrines have been produced at company facilities. Last year, peregrines nesting at We Energies power plants accounted for 20 percent of Wisconsin’s total state production.

Peregrine falcons are listed as an endangered species in Wisconsin. They also are protected under the Federal Migratory Bird Act. Shooting a peregrine falcon is a serious crime, punishable by jail time and fines. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is the lead investigative agency in this case.