Eco Efforts

Leopold Legacy Center near landmark shack

We are surrounded by wood: a cherry hardwood floor, a red maple ceiling, white oak doors, a black locust deck. But most of the panels, posts and beams are pine – Leopold Pine, a reference to the thousands of evergreens planted by the legendary environmentalist in the 1930s and 1940s, in what is today the(…)

‘Inspirational Wisconsin’ shows off bounty

Hundreds of people in Wisconsin have recommended more than 600 nominees as “Wonders of Wisconsin,” and now the voting begins at You’ll likely have a tough time with this one: The terrific assortment of special places was hard for our committee to whittle down during our recent meeting with first lady Jessica Doyle at(…)

Ecotourism: It means ‘green is the new black’

Our base for three nights was an eco-camp inside of Torres del Paine National Park, which since 1978 has been part of a UNESCO world biosphere reserve. The park is in Patagonia, at the bottom of Chile and near the end of the world. While Wisconsin struggles with windchills and snowfall, it is full-throttle summer(…)

Yurt, dining gems in northwest Wisconsin

It’s been six days away from home and 1,000 more miles on the odometer. Northwest Wisconsin is full of good reasons to dawdle. Like a fine cheese or decadent dessert, we’ll parcel it out in small servings. When wandering this part of Wisconsin, here are a few places worth noting. — Four out of five(…)

Introducing Travel Green Wisconsin

The mattresses are made of organic materials, as are the sheets and towels. Breakfast menus contain whatever is in season, and locally grown ingredients are a priority. Solar panels heat water. Radiant heat insulates floors. If travelers could be persuaded to lose their interest in whirlpool baths, we’d really be on a roll. Madison’s Arbor(…)

Luxury camping, 10 miles into Grand Canyon

Most deaths here, our guide explains, can be attributed to poor judgment. Hikers underestimate how much water they will need, how close they are to a ridge, how much the temperature can change after sunset, how quickly and high the water will rise during a storm. None of it has kept Bruce Corey away. He(…)

Millennium Park: Chicago wonder to wander

The city whose name came from a Native American phrase for “smelly onion patch” has a new air of distinction – one that builds upon an already strong architectural identity. Millennium Park, a $475 million project on 24.5 acres off of Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago, is an amazing place to wander. Its bold flourishes(…)

For bird lovers: tours, talks, exhibits, festivals

Bird lovers have all kinds of events to attend in Wisconsin during the next month. There are exhibits, tours, field trips, workshops, talks by bird experts and just plain great spots to see birds during migration. Instead of squawking more about it generically, here are the specifics. — For 28 years, there has been a(…)

Visit state parks, other great natural retreats

It is easy to recommend a natural high for this weekend, as the annual Wisconsin State Parks Open House Day is Sunday. That means free admission to all state trails, parks, forests and other recreational areas. People also can fish any Wisconsin waterway without a license this weekend. It is customary for special activities to(…)