Posts Categorized: What We’re Loving

Loving: Love Wisconsin Project

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Love Wisconsin Project

We discovered the Love WI Project this spring when they shared the lovely #wimade love and business story of Austin and Hallie Ashley of WiscoPop! in Viroqua. It led us down a rabbit hole of amazing content on their website, lovewi.com. Wow, they are a talented crew.

At lovewi.com, you’ll find hilarious WiscoStyle videos – like one schooling viewers on how to do Supper Clubs right – poignant snippets of Wisconsin artists’ lives, sweet videos of kids and their Wisconsin wishes, tales of generations of Wisconsinites living their dreams in this dreamy landscape…and lots more.

Based out of Madison, Love WI is a digital storytelling project that celebrates Wisconsin.

“From our quirky state pride, to our unique history, to our deeper passion to work hard for our communities, Love WI brings Wisconsinites together and into conversation about our lives, our state and its future,” says co-founder Jet Waller.

Jet, along with co-founder Megan Monday and the rest of the Love WI team – Nelson Cho and Tom Kuplic – spent some lovely days in the Driftless this spring. They’ll be sharing these stories for the next couple of months on their website and social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter).

The project’s main mission is all about bringing the love to Wisconsin and, through that, bringing people together and building community. Of course, we here at Inspire(d) LOVE this! (Seriously, you should hear Aryn gush every time she visits the site.)

“Cheese curds. Relish plates. Old Fashioneds. The deep North Woods. The rolling Driftless. The dunes along Lake Michigan. Point. She-Vegas. River West. We are the Cheeseheads. A little bit quirky, and we like it that way. We are obsessive about our craft beer, fanatic about our family farms, and devoted to the beauty of our land. Midwestern to the core: we look out for our neighbors, and love our state by taking care of it. The Love Wisconsin Project is an experiment; one born to celebrate our state. We want to have a conversation about our lives, our state, and its future. We want to tell the stories of our neighbors, our kids, our grandparents, our friends. Your story. Our story. We hope you’ll join us.”

We hope you’ll do that too! <3

Above: Love WI Project storytelling photo from the Thimmesch Family Farm. Photo of Jenelle and Nanka Thimmesch by Metta Monday Creative.

Loving: Summer School in the Driftless!

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Summer School is Cool!

WhatWereLoving_LogoThe words “summer” and “classes” don’t often work together to bring that magical vacation feel, but what if we told you there are classes all summer long that are fun and life-skill worthy? From breakfast in a “Victorian kitchen” to freestyle painting for tots, photography… even chain saw skills – classes are cool! Forestville Historical Site outside of Preston, Minnesota, as well as Villa Louis in Prairie du Chien, offer unique historical peeks into the past like bread baking, preserving, and “behind the scenes” tours. Vesterheim Museum in Decorah offers incredible classes (year-round!) from food to folk art, and even wood and metalworking. Our region is also rich in visual arts for young and young-at-heart as ArtHaus in Decorah, the Guttenberg Creativity Center, and the McGregor/Marquette Center for the Arts (to name a few) crank up the summer schedule with options for all ages – even some classes for the whole family! Another incredible network is our regional food cooperatives. The Oneota Food Co-op in Decorah, along with People’s Food Co-op in La Crosse and Rochester, Bluff Country Co-op in Winona, and Viroqua Food Co-op all offer great opportunities to dive into demonstrations, hands-on cooking classes, and pretty much anything healthy food- related. And what would summer in the Driftless be without a nod to the outdoors? If you missed our special on regional Nature Centers in the Spring issue, check it out online (iloveinspired.com) for lots of fun adventures. Places like Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center near Lanesboro and the Kickapoo Valley Reserve near Viroqua are offering up awesome arrays of skills classes and outdoor opportunities – yep, even chain saw skills! So get out there and make this summer your school of life – these are the days we’ve been waiting for!

Loving: Longest Loop

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What We’re Loving Right Now:
Longest Loop: A fundraiser for Neste Valley and Dry Run Trail!

WhatWereLoving_LogoAs you may know by know – we love our local parks and trails! Inspire(d) is partnering this summer with Winneshiek County Conservation, the Iowa Natural Heritage Fund, and The Decorah Rotary to launch a new annual fundraiser called the “Longest Loop!” The project is a century (100-mile) bike ride that will be completed by a small team of local cyclists on the Trout Run Trail. The main goal: raise funds and awareness for Winneshiek County Conservation’s new Neste Valley Recreation Area and the Dry Run Trail. The ride will take place Saturday, July 9, 2016.

Neste Valley Recreation Area, set to be just south of Highways 9 and 52 in Decorah on the previous Neste Family Farm, will be the first new Winneshiek County park built in 20 years! The Dry Run Trail will connect the Trout Run Trail through Neste Valley Park to the Prairie Farmer Trail reaching access to Calmar, Ridgeway, Cresco, and beyond. Seriously cool!

The “Longest Loop” event team is asking supporters to consider making pledge donations to the project, which will help enable this incredible public infrastructure. A Decorah Rotary District Grant is also being sought to help the “Longest Loop” fundraiser to get off the ground in 2016, with plans to make it a continuing annual fundraiser for the Neste Valley Recreation Area, Dry Run Trail, and Winneshiek County Conservation.

The event concept is based off a previous long-time successful fundraiser, “The Longest Day of Golf,” that Decorah residents Jim Friest and LeRoy Kopriva completed for many years. 100 percent of funds raised by the Longest Loop ride will go directly to the park and trail project via the (501c3) Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation on behalf of Winneshiek County Conservation. Pledge donations will be made online through Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation’s website and will be tax deductible via the organization.

For more information visit www.longestloop.org or contact Benji Nichols 563-379-6315, benjinichols [at] gmail.com