Posts tagged ‘Family’

Earth Week


The birds are finally happily chirping away, as each day that passes is getting warmer and brighter! The bike paths and lake docks are starting to swarm with all the people excited that spring is finally here. What a perfect time of the year to get outside and celebrate Earth Week 2015! Engage in an intellectual discussion on hard-hitting environmental topics or take the whole family to the zoo for some outdoor enjoyment. Check out this list at some of the most exciting happenings for Earth Week activities near you!

Monday, April 20th:

Nelson Institute Earth Day Conference Celebrate Earth Week with the 9th annual Earth Day Conference held at the Monona Terrace Convention Center. Pre-registration was required and the program begins at 9am.

Tuesday, April 21st:

Sustainability Business Panel Enjoy speakers from local businesses such as Sustain Dane and Capital brewery to engage in conversation about the importance of sustainability in businesses. Hosted in Grainger Hall, Room 1266 form 6-7pm.

Aldo Leopold Wonder Bugs – Bring the whole family to learn about the wonder of the environment at the Aldo Leopold Nature Center from 9:30-10:45am.

Reflections of an Environmental Advocate Come here Brock Evans speak about his experiences as an advocate for the environment at the Fluno Center from 6-8pm.

Wednesday, April 23rd:

Pictures at Senator Gaylord Nelson’s Desk Get your picture taken at the desk of Senator Nelson to remember this special day! Pictures from 11am-1pm at the Nelson Institute Director’s Office.

Willow Creek CleanUp Join the Lakeshore Nature Preserve crew for an afternoon helping to clean up Willow Creek. Meet on the Willow Creek Bridge at 5pm.

Panel on the Future Conservation Science in Wisconsin Join the discussion on environmental legislation at Tripp Commons in Memorial Union from 7-9pm.

Earth Day Trivia Come for a fun night of trivia at The Sett in Union South from 7-9pm. Hosted by the Nelson Institute Ambassadors.

Arboretum Garden Tour Go on a native plant garden tour of the UW Arboretum to see all the beauty of early spring! Tours are from 7-8:30pm.

Madison Children’s Museum Bring your nature-minded kids for an afternoon of fun and educational environmental programs. Programs and classes from 1-:30am-3:30pm.

Thursday, April 24th:

Film Screening – Sierra Student Coalition of UW Madison is hosting a screening of the film “Plan B: Mobilizing to Save Civilization” in the Education Building, Room L196 from 6-7:30pm.

Friday, April 25th:

Seminar – Come learn about the characterization of variations in Wisconsin’s extreme weather from Steve Vavrus. The seminar will be held in Room 811 of the Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences building from 1:30-2:30pm.

Toddler Story & Stroll – Bring your kids to the Olbrich Botanical Gardens to spend a nature-focused experience from 10-11am.

Saturday, April 26th:

Ecological Restoration – Volunteer to help learn about and restore the Curtis Prairie at the UW Arboretum. Meet at the Visitor Center; volunteering runs between 9am-12pm.

Henry Vilas Zoo – Have an afternoon of environmental education with visits from the MG&E solar energy trailer, the Dane County Arborists, and the Wisconsin DNR from 10am-2pm.


April 22, 2015 at 9:53 am Leave a comment

Madison Winter Activity Guide


February in Wisconsin brings more cold weather, inches of snow, and brisk winds. Instead of letting this cold weather keep you and your family inside, let’s remember all of the outdoor winter activities that Madison has to offer! Before you get too stir crazy stuck in your home, try a new fun activity such as cross-country skiing, ice skating, hiking, or ice fishing!

Madison parks have a lot to offer for you and your family! Cross-country skiing is a great activity to stay warm while in the cold outdoors. Six parks in Madison provide a combined 32 kilometers of clear, groomed trails. Twelve more parks are open for outdoor ice skating too! Whether you’re a novice beginner or a seasoned expert, these activities are sure to brighten your mood during the grey winter months. Be sure to check out the City of Madison website to choose your venue and for helpful information about park conditions, fees, and more winter park activities! (

If outdoor sports aren’t really your thing, why not plan a hike in this beautiful winter wonderland! Challenge yourself with the adventurous Ice Age Trail, one of the 11 National Scenic trails that run through Dane County and a perfect activity to increase your heart rate during these frozen months in Wisconsin. Otherwise, you could take a casual walk through the UW Arboretum and enjoy the natural landscapes of Madison. At the arboretum there are also opportunities to volunteer, participate in classes, take a private guided tour, or explore on your own!

No Wisconsin winter activity guide would be complete without ice fishing! Here in Madison, we have plenty of frozen but fish-filled lakes just waiting for you to set up your fishing lines. There is nothing like cooking up some fresh fish that you proudly caught earlier in the day. So grab your warm boots and fishing bait and head to the lakes!

Don’t let the cold keep you inside all winter! Pick a new activity for you and your family to try this  weekend!

February 23, 2015 at 11:02 am Leave a comment

Some Help with Spring Cleaning

There may still be ice on the lakes and the last bits of snow melting, but Spring is fast approaching.  Spring means a lot of things to people: more time outside, the start of longer days, summer vacation is coming, and also taking time to clean out your house.

De-Clutter your wardrobe:

With winter ending, many of the clothes you purchased  for the cold weather or had lying in your closet will not see use for another 9 months or so.  This is the perfect excuse to go through your closet and get rid of things you didn’t wear this last season, or you know you won’t be wearing again.

Tip: Take all of the clothes hanging in your closet and turn the hangers around so they are hanging facing the opposite direction than usual.  When you wear an item of clothing, turn the hanger around when you put it back.  That way, at the start of your next cleaning, any clothes that are still hanging the wrong direction can be recycled or donated because you know they weren’t used.

4 Container Cleaning Method

One other tip to think about when cleaning is 4 container cleaning.  You can use this to help declutter your house and make cleaning areas out much less stressful.  The system works by setting up 4 distinct areas or containers for your things; each container has a distinct purpose:

1. Keep

2. Give Away/Sell

3. Storage

4. Toss

This can help you make tough decisions about clothes or items and move on.  Ideally, you don’t want to keep everything, but don’t give away objects that you will need to repurchase later.  Hopefully you can put this to use and lose any unnecessary chaos in your home.

Where to donate

Ofcourse, once you fill those boxes, you need to know where to go with them.  We started a list that by all means isn’t fully complete, but if you are frantically searching for places to go, try any of these stores:

GoodwillHabitat for Humanity ReStore, and St Vincent de Paul all offer both drop off locations as well as free donation pick-ups.  To learn more about what you can donate or scheduling a pick-up with them, check out their websites.

Freecycle is another place that you can look to donate materials.  This website is like craigslist, except everything is given away.  All you have to do is make an account, post what you’re donating, and wait for requests to pick up.


Everything that isn’t good enough to be kept or given has to go somewhere.  Madison Streets and Recycling has a fantastic resource for curbside deposits that can come in handy when cleaning out your house.  If you are unsure what to do with different materials you find, check out Recyclopedia; it’s pretty much all inclusive and has an index in the back to help you out.

Clean Sweep

Clean sweep is a Madison City program that aims to help residents dispose of any hazardous materials they encounter in their home.  The hope is that by providing people with a free site to drop off hazardous waste, those chemicals can be treated correctly and the environmental risks associated with them is drastically lowered.  Clean Sweep will be opening their new, year round facility on May 1st, if you experience any hazardous materials (Oil-Based Paints and Paint-Related Products, Pesticides & Poisons, Household Products Containing Organic Solvents, Ignitables, and Aerosols, and Rechargeable Batteries) while cleaning, make sure you handle and get rid of them correctly.


This is a somewhat diverse compilation of resources for your Spring Cleaning, but I’m under the impression, if you are ready to undertake the challenge of cleaning out your house, you don’t necessarily need a checklist of rooms to clean, but would rather have a few interesting and helpful tips along with some great programs that benefit your community.

Hopefully your cleaner house puts a new Spring (pun intended) in your step.


EnAct Intern Adam


image credits:

April 2, 2013 at 12:04 pm 1 comment

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