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April 17, 2017


This weekend (April 22nd) is Earth Day, an internationally celebrated holiday that was the brainchild of Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson. He envisioned the day as a "national teach-in" on the environment to get people talking about environmental issues. 

The natural world inspires many of our stories and many of the people that we meet around Wisconsin. From the park ranger with a passion for the Namekagon River to the "Tombeaux" video game that explores the history of the St. Croix River, the innovative Trees for Tomorrow program, and the Niagara Escarpment that has shaped the human and geologic history of Wisconsin, our landscape has an inexorable pull on our hearts. 

- Your Wisconsin Life team
Have You Heard?
Poet John Keats once wrote that the poetry of the earth is never dead. In honor of this week's celebration of Earth Day, writer Jill Sisson Quinn tells us why she can't stay away from the woods.
Have You Seen?
A Walk Around St. Martin Island
The Nature Conservancy’s Mike Grimm regularly walks this island sanctuary where most people will never step foot. Mike explores this newly acquired island for the National Fish and Wildlife Service to provide the agency with a complete inventory of migratory bird use of the island and to better understand importance of these islands for migratory birds.
Finding Inspiration
Celebrate Earth Day The Wisconsin Life Way 
If you are looking for something special to do on Earth Day, look no further than Wisconsin Life for inspiration. We have gathered a few ideas for Earth Day activities inspired by some of our stories. So get out and enjoy nature!

Visit a Natural Area or State Park
Unlike Josh Mayer, we don’t expect you to visit every natural area and park around Wisconsin. But maybe just one. Find a local county park to have a picnic or hop in the car and explore a state park.

Try your hand at plein air painting
Not up for a rigorous hike? Grab paints and brushes and head outdoors. Plein air painting involves painting outdoors in natural light. Listen to how these artists approach their paintings at the annual Plein Air Event in Cedarburg.

Learn to forage 
Wisconsin’s landscape offers a bounty of edible plants, nuts and mushrooms. Sam Thayer teaches foraging techniques, highlighting the benefits of nutrition, fun, and connection to the earth that finding wild edibles entails.

Go underground 
Wisconsin has so much to offer above the ground that it's easy to forget the handful of caves available to explore around the state. Writer Alex Bledsoe shares how a book inspired a journey with his son to the Cave of the Mounds.
Meet The Wisconsin Life Team
Five Questions With Executive Producer Erika Janik
As co-executive producer of Wisconsin Life, Erika Janik spins multiple plates as she acquires, edits, records, and mixes radio stories for broadcast. A writer and historian, she's the author of six books, including her most recent Pistols and Petticoats: 175 Years of Lady Detectives in Fact and Fiction.

1. Name your favorite Wisconsin Life story and why? This is basically an impossible question as my personality is such that I fall in love with all of my contributors and interviewees. The best part of this job is the permission it gives you to follow your curiosity. The microphone is magic for getting inside and being nosy. I’m continually surprised and honored that people are so willing to share their stories and themselves with me.

2. What is the most fun you have had yet working on Wisconsin Life?  So many things come to mind! Talking with musician Peter Mulvey about his Wisconsin roots and getting a private concert in our studio; discovering how many things buttons can tell you about world history from collector Gary Brockman; watching Monsiri Baird carve a watermelon into a cactus flower in front of my eyes (you should have seen how many people stopped me on my way home with it).

3. What do you love about Wisconsin?  I love how much people from Wisconsin love Wisconsin. I hadn’t experienced this deep love of place coming from the Northwest. It’s real and profound.   

4. You’re having a dream dinner party. What three people, dead or alive – real or fictional, would you invite?  Abigail Adams, Anne Shirley (aka Anne of Green Gables), and Belle La Follette.

5. When not working on Wisconsin Life what are your hobbies? Sewing, writing, reading, sewing, running, cooking, sewing, sewing, sewing.
"Something About A Flower"
"Something About A Flower" comic series features the rich, multi-generational relationship between a single father, his young daughter and his retirement-age parents. 

Having trouble reading this? Click here to open the comic in your browser.
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This newsletter was sent to <<Email Address>>. Wisconsin Life is a coproduction of Wisconsin Public Radio and Wisconsin Public Television. Funding for Wisconsin Life comes from Alliant Energy, Lowell and Mary Peterson, the Wisconsin Humanities Council, and the Friends of Wisconsin Public Television. For questions or comments about Wisconsin Life, please use our contact form.

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