–submitted by Kay Schwichtenberg; photos by Jeff Tews
Indiana Jones would have been proud… sort of! 15 Rotarians and guests set out for a hiking adventure on Saturday morning, December 3, at the UW Arboretum. High spirited and bundled up for the looming winter weather, we set out to find Madison’s ‘Lost City’ and enjoy the woods, prairies and savannas along the way.
The Arboretum is amazing this time of the year. While the lilac grove definitely is brighter in bloom, it makes for an interesting backdrop against the changing landscape ready for another Madison season.
Along the way we encountered 25 turkeys. One of which was easily large enough to be ridden by Ellie Schatz or worthy of a Presidential pardon before Thanksgiving.
Now, back to that ‘Lost City’. While we gave it our best attempt, it will remain lost to this group … for now. Another attempt will be made in the spring. So join us on the next Rotary hiking adventure.
–text and photos submitted by Karl Gutknecht
Downtown Rotarians and guests were hosted by The Wisconsin Friends of John Muir and Natural Heritage Land Trust while hiking Muir’s boyhood farm home terrain in Marquette County Saturday.
They learned that Muir’s conservation ethic was formed as a young man on the Muir Wisconsin homestead. These boyhood years in Wisconsin inspired his conservation ethic and love and appreciation of the natural world. Muir went on to espouse an intrinsic, spiritual value and beauty in nature and maintained that all living things are interconnected.
Providing interpretations on the John Muir Memorial Park and nearby Observatory Hill hikes were Wisconsin Friends of John Muir Board of Directors Mark Martin and Fred Wollenburg as well as Heidi Habeger, Natural Heritage Land Trust. Hiking/Skiing Fellowship Group chair, Bob Graebner, was hike coordinator.
The John Muir Memorial Park and Friends of John Muir celebrate the legacy of this great naturalist, a founder of The Sierra Club and often called the father of our country’s National Park System. The Natural Heritage Land Trust seeks to permanently protect local natural areas, rivers and streams, wildlife habitat, and working farms. It recently purchased part of the original John Muir family farm, bringing the total protected landscape to 1,400 acres, which includes the Muir Park and Fox River National Wildlife Refuge.
Further information on the John Muir Memorial Park can be found at Wisconsin Friends of John Muir, website www.johnmuir.org/wisconsin and for the Natural Heritage Land Trust, www.nhlt.org.
–submitted by Dawn Crim; photography by Karl Gutknecht
On Saturday the Hiking Fellowship Group enjoyed its first hike of the season organized by Rotarian Karl Gutknecht with Bob Miller, President and Executive director of the Aldo Leopold Nature Center, and board member and Rotarian Deb Gilpin on hand at the Black Earth location. What a wonderful way for over 25 Rotarians and friends and two dogs to welcome spring! Bob provided background on the 38 acre site in front of the Leopold Lodge that can be rented for camping trips, meetings,etc. An excellent location for our group photo too.
The site has wonderful hiking trails. We hiked the first loop, about 1.5 miles consisting of mature woods, and rocky outcroppings. This path had somewhat steep terrain that took us high in the treetops before winding down into the valley. Once at the bottom, Bob shared stories of several scouting troops who rent out the site to test for hiking badges and other camping adventures. We embarked on the second loop which was about 1 mile. This path was not as steep as the first and had a fire pit and council ring at the top.
Our hike concluded with a picnic lunch on the wooded deck of the Alexander Studio. The studio has high cathedral ceilings, a center stage and originally served as a rebirthing center in the early 1970’s.
It was a beautiful day and great location to kick off the hiking season. Bob invited us all to visit the Monona Aldo Leopold Nature Center later this summer.