About This Series
In a small rural school in Western Wisconsin, educators work tirelessly to meet the demanding and ever-changing needs of its’ school children. Often times this is done while facing glooming budget cuts and fewer resources then they have had in the past. After school programs are on the chopping block all too frequently, but sometimes in the unlikeliest of places, partnerships are formed to ensure the academic success of our children along with economic prosperity of our state. Recently, funding was needed to secure necessary staff, resources, and educational materials for an academic after school program. Educators wrote a grant to a local sand mine and were incredibly grateful to be gifted the ten thousand dollars needed so protect its future for the next two years. Stories like this are heard around the state from schools who find backing in sand mines. Schools can’t advance this work alone, we must collaborate together to ensure every child can succeed. The children of our state and other states are counting on all of us to fiercely advocate for them.
Wisconsin is experiencing rapid expansion in their frac sand mines. Sand mining is an intricate part of the state’s history for over a hundred years and has been mined since the arrival of the first permanent settlers. Mining of this sand has been useful in glass making, molds, and the petroleum industry. The latest widespread rise in sand mining is due to the recent technological breakthroughs in extracting oil and gas. The demand for frac sand has increased exponentially in the past three years. The hydraulic fracturing industry has placed a high price on Wisconsin’s pure, round silica sand. This record rate of growth has resulted in a boom or “sand rush” in frac and sand mining. Similar to the “gold oil rush” in North Dakota, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Texas are facing an industrial mining boom because of the demand from large oil companies for silica sand. This has brought about big changes to rural life and scenic landscapes in the state of Wisconsin; once quiet agricultural lands are now the sites of industrial mining and created quite an interest amongst varies parties.