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FALL 2013

ISSUE 01 produced by


devil’s lake pg. 24

PUSH is a seasonal magazine that loves


to showcase the best of everything that Wisconsin has to offer. Since we are one of the few states who get to enjoy four full seasonal changes, we are also one of the few states who know how to utilize each season to satisfy our own personal indoor and outdoor activities. PUSH is dedicated to bringing you news relevant to Wisconsin’s cultural, historical, and natural heritage so that you can continue to take pride in our beautiful state! In this magazine, we’re celebrating fall – a wonderful season in which many of us enjoy gorgeous fall colors, picking out pumpkins, and spending time with family for the holidays!


08 Local Q&A A little local question and answer fun

16 The Nerdy Niche Be sure to get your geek on.

24 Fall Fun Check out events and fun things to do this fall.



Sweet Water Organics A first hand experience on what volunteering and a hidden gem of Milwaukee have to offer.

Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.

18 Wolves In Our Backyard Experts give insight on Wisconsin’s wolf population, letting us in on the benefits that they actually have on our ecosystem.

10 Organic Architecture: Wright’s Wisconsin An inside peek at what Wisconsin’s natural environment has inspired in the world of an architect.


editor M E LY S S A K E N T

Dear Reader, PUSH has just begun, and we are so excited to share with all of you our debut issue featuring everything fall in celebration! What first started as a publishing dream is now coming a reality for all of us here at PUSH. Every one of us has a unique connection to this beautiful state and we thought it only fair that we bring other proud citizens a wonderful place in which we are able to spread ideas, experiences, and events. In every magazine we will showcase a local question and answer section, a nerdy set of fun information, and an event calendar so that you can have an inside peek at some of the things you and your families can do to take part in enjoying Wisconsin during every season. Our intent is to inspire and capture the essense of what our communities have to offer and to showcase some of the wonderful individuals who are proud to call Wisconsin home. We thank you for your continued enthusiasm and support. You all have helped PUSH become a fantastic expanding and evolving publication. We owe you one. Please don’t be afraid to write or send in anything of your own to share - we will do our best to include you in our upcoming issues! Keep on lovin’ , Wisconsin!









We’d love to showcase your photography, writing, or suggestions in the upcoming issues! Please send your submissions, questions, or concerns to

sweet water Written by Anna Stephens


This semester I volunteered 43 hours at Sweet Water Organics in the neighborhood of Bay View in Milwaukee. My responsibilities there included maintaining the general store helping out with things like merchandising, stock and working with customers. I enjoyed these tasks because they enabled me to work with people, to educate visitors coming on tours, as well as an avenue to apply my artistic interests. My supervisors, Toni Johns and Margaret Muza, were two very enthusiastic individuals who made the work environment exciting and fun. We were constantly brainstorming creative projects to do and through our collective dedication, we accomplished many of them. Coming into work, seeing what had to be done such as painting a work space, or making a sign and physically doing it, left me with a sense of gratification when seeing the result of our efforts put in. Sweet Water as a whole reflects a philosophy of creating “transformative change” through sustainable tools, and resources, which benefit the community. Their alternative ways of urban farming provide an infinite amount of education and job opportunities within their headquarters. What makes their on-goings unique is that it

is a collaborative effort in every sense of the word. Fish farming, planting, harvesting and teaching all take place under the same roof. Activities and classes are offered yearlong throughout the Sweet Water complex. Because it is completely run off of volunteers, they are always bringing people in for tours, seeking new help and trying to get the word out. Whether you are interested in composting, the science of hydroponics or the art of merchandising there are jobs/volunteer opportunities available for nearly everyone. What is particularly great about the activities that go on there are how hands-on they are. Learning is doing at Sweet Water and nearly all tasks given at the foundation involve making it happen and working with others. According to their mission statement, “The Sweet Water Foundation develops intergenerational and interdisciplinary educational programming for sustainability with a focus on the potential of urban agriculture and aquaculture in the 21st century setting.” What is commendable about this is how they have addressed important

issues relating to the community (nutrition, agriculture, sustainable methods in urban farming) and they have proceeded to give back, through the opportunities they offer and through the distribution of their crops. Their mission statement and methodology behind their efforts reflect their honest approach to attempting to solve very pertinent issues through solutions with longevity.


How have they achieved this? I believe they have done this through dedication and hard work. For being an organization primarily run by volunteers, they have found some very dedicated and knowledgeable individuals who have put in the time and work to expand the foundation. What began in 2008, as an abandoned warehouse, designated to store train cars, is now a flourishing oasis of thriving agriculture, a center for learning and a spectacle of modern science. I don’t think Sweet Water would be what it is today if it weren’t for the shared sense of pride, purpose and responsibility the people who work there have. Their expansion and success of how the foundation functions today have been built from the ground up, literally, with a collective drive and passion for the organization and what goes on there. For example, one common job there is harvesting lettuce. This job is something that most anyone could do if taught. However you might wonder what motivates these volunteers to come in on a weekly basis on their own time to stand for hours without pay to pick leaves of this seemingly precious hydro-lettuce? If there weren’t a sense of community there, with a genuine interest and passion for the tasks that

needed to be done, none of this would happen, or survive for that matter. There seems to be a shared sense of pride and importance for the activities that go on there. For instance, if the lettuce pickers didn’t come in to work how would the fish in the same system, survive? If there weren’t any fish left, how would Sweet Water go on to provide The Green Kitchen (and countless other local businesses) the staple, nutritious ingredients they need to serve their customers? Without this on their menu, would customers come back; would they stay in business? Sweet Water’s business model/ collective efforts function like a food chain. No single task is undermined in the process of production. Everyone is valued, every job is relative.

“If there’s one thing I believe in, it’s the importance of bringing these issues down to a very human to human level.” Aside from the many jobs I took on working in the general store, I sought out to organize a volunteer appreciation event one that would in essence help bring people together and celebrate their hard work. What I proposed was a potluck gathering open to everyone who was a part of Sweet Water, friends and family as well included. I worked with my two supervisors, as well as a guy named Jeff Redmond who was head of the art projects held at the foundation. Jeff became an important contact for this endeavor and for future projects as well. There, at the warehouse I

discovered that he has all the materials necessary for screen-printing. He even had several screens already burned and ready to go which had Sweet Water’s logo on them! This was very exciting for me, as a printmaking major that gave me motivation to want to include this as part of our event. As for the future, myself and the people who helped me plan that event want to make a public version of our potluck happen for the summer. We are determined to make it happen and motivated by how much fun we had. In turn, this could be a great way of recruiting more volunteers to help continue to expand Sweet Water. Hosting it in the outdoor area of Sweet Water would be a great way of making it visible to people passing by. Inviting local vendors, musicians and neighboring businesses will be a great thing for the community. Jeff was kind enough to offer his screenprinting materials again/ anytime needed, which I am very grateful and excited about. I have plans for the near future to work with him on a mural project there as well, which is to be taking place in early summer. This is something, which I have wanted to do for some time there now. The plan is to paint a large portion of the exterior of the building, which now sits untouched. Not only will this advertise for visitors, but help make for a more

If there wasn’t a sense of community there with a genuine and , none of this would happen. inviting outdoor area for events to be hosted. Needless to say, I am very excited to continue to work with and create projects at Sweet Water! If there’s one thing I believe in it’s the importance of bringing these issues down to a very human-to-human level.

“After all, it is because of these people who come in and spend their time here who make Sweet Water Organics run.” We can read about all these things as much as we want, and granted there is vital that we educate ourselves on different ideas, however I believe in the value of doing things. Going back to Tonnie’s emphasis on the power of the people, I strongly agree with this. Daniel Judt also discussed this in his article “Rethinking Politics in the Classroom” which talked about teaching younger students about politics and the importance of sparking conversations on controversial issues early on. The over arching idea here was the value placed on making things relative. Whether it is an experience, an idea or something spontaneous I believe that there can be a lot gained through reflection and thoughtful

consideration. This is how we can better our communities and ourselves. Over the course of this semester volunteering has opened my eyes on ideas of community and the importance of making connections. The readings we have been given as well as in class discussions have brought up some very important points such as the power we have as people and the responsibility we have to demand change. However, I do believe the most impact experience I have gotten from this course has been through the volunteer work itself. Sweet water was a great setting where art and community work went hand in hand. This type of creative environment is one that I can see myself continuing being a part of. I have always been very driven by the process of making things. I do think this is one reason why I enjoyed working at Sweet Water so much. Everything from harvesting lettuce, catching fish and the event we threw was extremely hands on and process-driven. Being able to experience first hand the pay-off of hard work and to see a change in the place after putting in hard work was extremely satisfying. Likewise, having the openness to craft new events and projects was very motivating. Of course running a business of any kind being run off of volunteers is risky and

has its pros and cons. However this is an aspect of Sweet Water, which I enjoyed the most because it offered flexibility and creativity to go on to the planning of new exciting projects. The people that I worked with played a huge role in everything too. Getting to know the charismatic co-workers at the warehouse was just as much fun as the jobs themselves. Being around entertaining individuals who were so dedicated and creatively motivated, was an encouraging environment to be a part of. After all, it is because of these amazing people who come in and spend their time there who make Sweet Water Organics run. Getting people interested means getting people motivated to get involved and that’s the most important thing that I’ve learned during my volunteering there semester.

To learn more about Sweet Water Organics or to get involved, visit


Do you think the growth

Photo Credit: Gary Porter Edited by: Melyssa Kent I n t e r v i e w e d b y To m D a y k i n

is sustainable?

Prior to joining Sprecher and w o r k i n g i n t h e c r a f t b e e r i n d u s t r y, what industry were you involved in?

Jeff Hamilton: Actually, I am a Metallurgist, or metallurgical engineer. I spent a lot of time in the metal casting business. Probably the most fun thing I did was work for Carroll Shelby for a while making wheels. After that, I worked for about 13 years with Rockwell Automation in the plant automation business. Then I came over to Sprecher as the Vice President and General Manager, and I have been President for three years. How long have you been with Sprecher?

JH: I’ve been here eight years. How long have you been the president of the Wisconsin Brewers Guild?

JH: I’ve been president for three years and I’ve been on the guild board for seven.

BEER THIRTY AN INTERVIEW WITH JEFF HAMILTON President of Sprecher Brewery & Co-founder of the Wisconsin B e e r L o v e r ’s F e s t i v a l

We r e y o u i n v o l v e d i n t h e

JH: I think it will be sustainable for quite some time. I think if you look at any industry, and there are a few I could cite here in recent history. Software is one of those things that if you look in the late 80’s and early 90’s there was an explosion of that industry. Everything was moving from noncomputer to computer, if you will, and there were a lot of companies jumping in to make all different kinds of software. Over time a lot of that has shaken out, that boom came and went, although now computers are part of our everyday lives. I guess another one that was more recent is in the early 2000’s there was a huge explosion in the popularity of custom motorcycles. That was one of the hottest things going. Harley’s business rode up to all time highs as part of that and then it kind of tailed off. It’s still very popular, but certainly not like it was then. So I think that every business has natural cycles. When it appears that things are hot, like they are for craft beer now, a lot of people want to get involved. They see it as their way to prosperity I guess. The other part of it is that a lot of people just love beer and there are a lot of intriguing things about making your own beer, or making beer for others. I think it’s bound to taper off like any natural cycle, but I think you are going to see steady growth. The trend of people moving to more flavorful, more local beers will continue.

craft beer community prior When pairing chefs with breweries

to joining Sprecher?

JH: I was not involved in the craft beer community, but I was a big fan of beer and I had done some home brewing as well.

that you leave up to the chefs and breweries, or is that something that is figured out ahead of time?

What is your opinion of the explosive growth of the craft beer community and craft breweries in Wisconsin and nationally?

for the festival, is that something

Do you

think the growth is sustainable?

JH: I think there are two major factors driving the explosion of craft beer. People are much more interested in what they are consuming. If you look at the popularity of the food channels, there are a lot of people that are interested in.

JH: It’s kind of a work in progress. The first years, we tried to accommodate requests, like this restaurant wanted to work with this brewery or vice versa. That’s become very difficult when we have 40 breweries to work with, so usually what happens is that if it’s a brewpub they are going to bring their own food to pair with their beer. After that, we kind of pair people up. The chefs and brewmasters come up with the pairings that they are going to do. exploring flavorful foods a lot more than they have in the past, so I think that’s one thing. Also, the flavors that craft beer can offer are really enhancements to that whole experience. People are looking for flavor and craft beer brings that, because beer pairs very well with food. The second factor is the movement towards things that are local. People would much rather spend their money on products that are produced, grown and offered within a few miles of their home rather than something that may have come from halfway across the country.

LOCALQ&A There is no other festival that

What are your opinions on canned

Do you have any advice for

you can go to and meet the

c r a f t b e e r, a n d d o y o u e x p e c t

someone looking to start a


an increase in the number of

brewery in the state?

has a chance to talk to the brewers

breweries that switch to canning

and the chefs, not to mention

rather than bottling?

tasting the wonderful food and

think it will become mainstream?

beer pairings that are created.

JH: I hope it does, because it’s the best thing for the beer and it’s the best thing for the environment. There are no real bad things about cans, and there are a lot of really good things about them. So, I certainly hope it becomes more and more mainstream and I think that it will. Every time I pick up one of the trade journals there’s another brewery switching over to canning their beer. Beer doesn’t like light and it doesn’t like oxygen, so a can is the best container for it, besides a keg. So I think that’s part of it. The other part of it is that it’s a lot cheaper to move aluminum than it is to move glass. Water and glass are very expensive to transport so any time you can take some of that weight out, you are doing a good thing.

JH: I would say do a lot of homework and talk to a bunch of other brewers if you can. I think a lot of people tend to think this is a very easy business, but it’s probably one of the hardest things you are ever going to get into. It’s very highly regulated, one of the most highly regulated industries there is. There is a whole lot of science and chemistry involved, you rely on microbiology for your products and that’s something that isn’t always coWntrollable so you have got to know what you are doing and know how to use science to control nature. I also think that people often think there is a lot more of a margin in beer than there is. So, I would advise people to take a good hard look at their business plan before they dive in. Having said that, I think there is room for many more breweries here.

Everyone who is there

JH: Yeah, I love this festival, and we get a lot of good feedback on it, so I think it’s a winner. With that in mind, is that what lead you to work to develop the Wisconsin Beer Lovers Festival, since you were one of the founders of the festival?

JH: What led us to develop that, I think are probably the needs of a couple of organizations. I am part of the Glendale Convention and Visitors Bureau, and our mission is to try to bring business, activity and activity into Glendale. Glendale’s CVB had some marketing funds available and we were looking for a signature event for the city. The Brewer’s Guild at the same time was looking for a way to not only promote craft beer but also to raise funds to operate our organization more efficiently. So it seemed that two things were coming together tat the right time The popularity of beer festivals has increased a lot over the past 5, 6, 7 years. There have been several festivals pop up in the area since we started this one. So, at that point, there weren’t a lot of festivals in the Milwaukee area, the Brewer’s Guild has things to offer that a lot of the other festivals don’t. One of the unique things about this festival is that you will be served by the president, or brewmaster, or general manager or whoever the person is who’s running the plant or producing the beer. You’re not going to be talking to salespeople or outside promoters or retail people. You are actually going to be talking to the people who know the most about the beer. One of the unique things about this festival when we started it is that we want food to be an integral part. So, you also get to talk to a lot of local chefs while you are there, right beside the brewmaster and we try to make sure we are serving beer and food that pair well and complement each other.

Do you

Finally, cans are by far the most recycled item on the planet. People say that glass is recycled and our glass is probably about 70% recycled for our bottles, but that’s very high. Mostly it’s probably in the 40% range, and plastic is even worse. People throw it in the recycling container but there’s nobody to buy it, so a lot of it goes into the landfill anyway. With aluminum cans, almost every can that is dropped in a recycling container, or pretty much ever can that is thrown along the roadside is going to be turned back into a can. The only can’s that probably aren’t going to go back into that cycle are the ones that people throw in the garbage, when they shouldn’t be.

Is there anything else that I haven’t asked that you would like people to know, either about S p r e c h e r, t h e B r e w e r s G u i l d , o r about the Beer Lover ’s Festival?

JH: I would just say that the Beer Lover’s Festival is a great opportunity for Father’s Day. A lot of people bring their father; I think that’s a really cool thing. I don’t know too many dads that wouldn’t like to have a trip to a beer fest. So, it’s a great way to spend Father’s Day!

Do you personally have a favorite beer either in the Sprecher lineup, or from another brewery that you look forward to?

JH: Sure, I could list a few. As far as Sprecher goes, I like our hoppier beers, so I like our IPA, which is one of the beers we make all the time. From time to time we make a couple other specialty beers, we made Citra Bomb with fresh Citra hops and that was probably my all-time favorite, but I like the IPA. As far as other Wisconsin beers that I like, I am a fan of the O’so Hop Whoopin, Blacktop from New Glarus, and Hopalicious from Ale Asylum. I guess if I had to look beyond Wisconsin, my favorite beers are probably from Firestone Walker out of California. That’s not really available around here but it happens to be right up the street from where Randy Sprecher lives, so I end up going up there quite a bit when I am out in California. I am pretty fond of most of their stuff.

Next year ’s festivities are set for June 14th, 2014.

BUT DON’T MISS: Ice Cold Beer Festival January 11, 2014 3:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. 238 Lakeshore Drive Minocqua, WI 54548




W r i g h t ’s W i s c o n s i n Ed i ted by M e l ys s a Kent | I l l u st rat i o n s by A m b e r Wo r k m a n

“Using this word Nature…I do not of course mean that outward aspect which strikes the eye as a visual image of a scene strikes the ground glass of a camera, but that inner harmony which penetrates the outward form…and is its determining character; that quality in the thing that is its significance and it’s Life for us, what Plato called ‘with reason, we see, psychological if not metaphysical, the eternal idea of the thing.”

– Frank Lloyd Wright

Foreword By The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation

Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959) was born in Richland Center, Wisconsin, on June 8, 1867, the son of William Carey Wright, a preacher and a musician, and Anna Lloyd Jones, a teacher whose large Welsh family had settled the valley area near Spring Green, Wisconsin. His early childhood was nomadic as his father traveled from one ministry position to another in Rhode Island, Iowa, and Massachusetts, before settling in Madison, Wisconsin in 1878. Born just two years after the end of the American Civil War, Frank Lloyd Wright was witness to the extraordinary changes that swept the world from the leisurely pace of the nineteenth century horse and carriage to the remarkable speed of the twentieth century rocket ship. Unlike many of his contemporaries, who accepted such changes with reluctance, Wright welcomed and embraced the social and technological changes made possible by the Industrial Revolution and enthusiastically initiated his own

architectural revolution. Inspired by the democratic spirit of America and the opportunities it afforded, he set out to design buildings worthy of such a democracy. Dismissing the masquerade of imported, historic European styles most Americans favored, his goal was to create an architecture that addressed the individual physical, social, and spiritual needs of the modern American citizen. To Wright, architecture was not just about buildings, it was about nourishing the lives of those sheltered within them. What were needed were environments to inspire and offer repose to the inhabitants. He called his architecture “organic” and described it as that “great living creative spirit which from generation to generation, from age to age, proceeds, persists, creates, according to the nature of man and his circumstances as they both change.”

“To Wright, architecture was not just about buildings, it was about nourishing the lives of those sheltered within them. What were needed were environments to inspire and offer repose to the inhabitants.”

By Deborah Solomon


hen I told my friends that I was planning a family vacation in Wisconsin, I received either blank stares or teasing comments about the admittedly unsexy specialties for which the state is known. There was mention of cows and cornfields and cheese curds. Yet Wisconsin is also Frank Lloyd Wright country, the place where he was born and reared and to which he kept returning. To travel there is to marvel at the contrast between the calm landscape and the delirious inventiveness of his work.Unlike books or paintings, the objects created by an architect are not always easily encountered. Most of Wright’s 400-plus buildings are private homes scattered around the country and closed to the public. But Wisconsin has at least three Wright sites that are welcoming: Taliesin, his former home and studio in rural Spring Green; Monona Terrace, a convention center in bustling Madison; and the Johnson Wax building in industrial Racine. As my family and I set out to visit them, we realized we had previously been inside only one Wright building,

the Guggenheim Museum in New York, a dreamy if arrogant masterpiece whose curving white walls seem designed to outshine the paintings.

built for them in the remote hills of his Wisconsin childhood. This is the house known as Taliesin, in Spring Green, about 40 miles west of Madison.

Wright, who died in 1959 at age 91, just six months before the Guggenheim opened, was an elegant and imperious figure. He wore a black cape and could seem indifferent when clients complained about the water dripping onto their heads from roofs he had designed.

Getting there is a bit of a trek, especially if you start in New York and stop along the way to see a Cubs game at Wrigley Field, as my husband and I and two college-age sons did last summer. We flew to Chicago, took an excellent tour of Oak Park’s Wright houses and then drove off for a week in Wisconsin.

His own origins were modest. Descended from Welsh immigrants, he was born in Richland Center, a farm town. After dropping out of college, he moved to Chicago and eventually settled in suburban Oak Park, Illinois, where he presided over a family of six children and was courted by affluent neighbors who longed to live in one of his fashionably low-slung Prairie houses.

Avant-garde art movements generally take root in major cities. It helps to have a dense population of young artists competing for greatness. Perhaps that’s why it feels so surprising to stumble on Wright’s jolting modernism in the quiet countryside. Here, amid the emerald green fields, is Cubism (evoked in the jutting planes of his houses). Here is Surrealism (note his habit of turning a homely edge into a thing of curve and whimsy). Here are buildings whose forms must have once seemed as alien in this terrain as flying saucers.

Everything changed in 1911, after he fell in love with a married neighbor, Martha Borthwick Cheney, or Mamah. They left Chicago and moved to a hideout he



Taliesin began life as a wood-and-stone bungalow tucked into a grassy slope. Over the years, it grew into a rambling compound that is often compared to an Italian hill town. It is, all at once, a house, a laboratory and a manifesto of Prairie-style architecture. The key idea is horizontality. At a time when Americans were enthralled by ever taller skyscrapers whose silhouettes pulled away from the ground as if to escape coarseness itself, Wright wanted his buildings to look as if they had grown out of the earth. Taliesin is also a haunted house whose history is inseparable from tragedy. Wright’s affair with Mamah Cheney escalated from a local scandal into a national one, inciting a barrage of moral condemnation from gossipy store clerks in Spring Green as well as from headline writers at major newspapers. Taliesin imposes nearly militaristic demands on visitors. Granted, I did not mind donning plastic shoe covers to shuffle through the living room or surrendering my purse to minimize

the possibility of grazing a wall. Such are the imperatives of vulnerable houses and historic preservation. The only way to see the house is by guided tour. The Taliesin tours, besides being costly (two-hour house tours are $47), require constant group adherence, beginning at an off-site visitors’ center, where you board a bus. It all began

“The desire to live in a serene space, to make the floorboards glow and purge one’s world of darkness: who wouldn’t want that?” to seem a bit mirthless when, after leaving Wright’s monkish bedroom, we were herded back onto the bus, unable to linger on the green hillside that stretched out in every direction.

The brisk pace is antithetical to Wright’s wise dictum: “Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.” A few days later, I was savoring the warmth of the sun outside a convention center in Madison. Wright attended high school and college there and eventually designed a masterpiece for the city. The Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center, despite its clunky name, is an unutterably lovely building, an all-white semicircle perched on the edge of Lake Monona. The rooftop terrace juts over the water and functions as a gargantuan public plaza, complete with a cafe. Suspended between views of the Wisconsin State Capitol and the level blue stretch of the lake, the building offers a stark choice between the power of the state and the escapism of nature. As I took in the terrace’s perimeter walls, which swoop through space as if in a practice run for the dazzling curvilinearity of the Guggenheim Museum, I found myself thinking about Wright’s suspected learning

To l e a r n m o r e a b o u t F r a n k L l o y d W r i g h t and his architectural contributions to our lovely state, visit our website at w w w. p u s hw i s co n s i n . co m / h i sto r y.

disabilities. According to Ada Louise Huxtable and his other biographers, he was a poor to middling student who probably never graduated from high school. He wangled his way into the University of Wisconsin, where he lasted for fewer than three semesters. Perhaps the insistent horizontality of Wright’s work was rooted in a desire to overcome the indignity of his early academic struggles — one “reads” his buildings from left to right, as opposed to up and down. If his school assignments saddled him with persistent frustration, he turned his limitations into a strength of his art, imprinting the American landscape and Wisconsin with bravura forms that at times seem to echo the flow of sentences across paper. A tour of Monona Terrace costs only $3 and is offered daily at 1 p.m. The history of the building is a fascinating narrative of on-again-off-again city planning. Wright initially proposed his design in 1938. But the denizens of Madison were bitterly divided over whether to lavish taxpayer money on the work

of an adulterer and a scoundrel, and the building was not completed until 1997. For this reason, some scholars characterize it as “Wright-inspired” rather than 100 percent undiluted Frank. The last stop on our Wright tour was Racine, a factory town that has seen better times. Guidebooks tend to talk you out of visiting, perhaps because the city suffers from high unemployment; empty storefronts abound. Yet there remains one incredible draw. The Johnson Wax Administration Building went up in 1939 and continues to serve as the headquarters for the company that started out making parquet flooring in the 19th century. Free tours are offered on Fridays, and nothing about the red-brick building can prepare you for the breathtaking eccentricity of the space known as the “great workroom,” a half-acre windowless, high-ceilinged space furnished with dozens of Art Deco desks. Wright designed furniture, too, and the desks are nifty affairs with wooden tops and curvy metal frames painted Cherokee red.

The grounds include a research library that is open to the public, a handsome room where biographies of Wright, scholarly tomes and historical black-and-white photographs share shelf space with displays of home cleaning products, including antique cans of J-wax, Beautiflor (“cleans as it waxes”) and Glade air freshener. Perhaps cleaning products, as much as Wright’s radical architecture, are part of the story of Utopian longing in America. The desire to live in a serene space, to make the floorboards glow and purge one’s world of darkness: who wouldn’t want that? When you leave the Johnson Wax building, you exit through an indoor parking lot that amounts to an adventure of its own. The white-painted ceiling and red floor continue the color scheme of the building’s interior. Blue reflecting pools amplify the sense of light. Stunning white columns flare at the top into inverted ziggurats, each a mini-Guggenheim Museum.



Get up close with the fall canopy on a zipline. The full two-hour canopy tour includes speedy rides on eight ziplines as well as walks across five sky bridges and a spiral staircase that winds around an ash tree. Lake Geneva Canopy Tours N3219 County Road H, Lake Geneva (262) 248-9271



For a whisper of a few weeks, Wisconsin’s summer marks its departure in a blaze of reds, oranges, yellows and browns. The brilliant autumnal display is quick and elusive — colors can peak anytime from late September through mid-October — making the pursuit of peak even more thrilling. While fall drives are great, your car isn’t the only way to chase the changing leaves. Here are 5 great different ways to savor the season’s beautiful colors in Wisconsin.



Climb the scenic tower on Holy Hill for views of Waukesha and Washington counties.


Kayak through the wetlands of Horicon Marsh. Get an up-close look at 200,000 migrating canada

The tower is open Monday through Saturday from

geese during their fall migration which begins in mid-

9am to 6:30pm and Sundays from 1:30 to 6:30pm. The

September and continues through mid-October–in

178 steps to reach the top are steep, narrow and often

perfect harmony with the changing leaves. Launch

crowded on weekends, so visit during the week if you

from the Blue Heron Landing in Horicon Marsh Canoe

don’t want to wait. Even with a wait, the views of the

Trail north along the Rock River into the marsh.

rolling Kettle Moraine from the top are well worth it.

Horicon Marsh Boat Tours 311 B Mill St., Horicon (920) 485-4663

1525 Carmel Road Waukesha, Wisconsin



Float high above Green County in a hot air balloon. Climb into the eight-passenger gondola basket for a relaxing hourlong ride over the Wisconsin countryside. Dress warmly and be prepared to be flexible in scheduling; even seemingly calm days can produce strong winds higher in the sky that make rides unsafe. Wisconsin’s Majestic Balloons, Ripon (920) 748-3464


Soar 2,000 feet above the changing leaves in Walworth County on a hang glider. No experience? No problem. The Whitewater Hang Gliding club offers tandem rides with experienced instructors. A small tow plane pulls the glider up to 2,000 feet, where thermals help in your slow descent back to earth. Gutzmer’s Twin Oaks Airport, Whitewater; (608) 469-5949

Photo courtesy of Lake Geneva Canopy Tours

“We come out once a year and it’s always a wonderful experience! Fall is our favorite season.” - Jake and Diana


nce upon a time in Wisconsin, the big, bad wolf

was an endangered species. Then he wasn’t. Then he was. Then he wasn’t. Then he was. Then not. Now he is. Again. And all in the last five years. It’s dizzying. In the last generation, the gray wolf — or timber wolf, or Canis lupus, if you’re scientifically inclined — has made a remarkable comeback in Wisconsin. As recently as 1974, conventional wisdom held that our


lupine population was zero. In 2009, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) estimated the count to fall between 626 and 662 — more, it turns out, than the state knows what to do with. Back when the DNR was formulating a wolf recovery plan, it set a goal of 350 to qualify the wolf as recovered. We’ve now passed that goal by more than 78 percent.

In Our Backyard Article written by John Allen

When Wisconsin’s wolf recovery is in the news these days, it’s usually in reference to the animals’ status with respect to the endangered species list. C. lupus has been included on that roll since the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service distributed its first list in 1974, a year after Congress passed the Endangered Species Act. Since 2005, when the state’s wolf population topped 350, the DNR has been encouraging the federal government to delist C. lupus, but it has repeatedly been overturned by legal action, led (at least in the latest round) by the Humane Society of the United States. As the administrative and legal battle over wolves’ status shows, Wisconsin is having a hard time figuring out what to think of its growing population of predators. While interest groups argue over what the state’s optimal number of wolves should be — or even if there is one — UW faculty see the animals’ return as an opportunity to study the interaction of a wild species in a modern environment.


“How fantastic to see a keystone predator return to Wisconsin,” says UW-Madison geography professor Lisa Naughton ’85, MS’87. The state, she notes, offers little actual wilderness. It’s a “mixed-use landscape,” she says, meaning that it’s largely dominated by human activity: agriculture, and small towns, as well as a few forests and bogs, all intersected and connected by a loose network of roads. “Most of the world increasingly resembles Wisconsin in terms of human-dominated landscape,” she says. “That’s what makes [the wolf recovery] so exciting, so interesting, and so important. But, she knows, not everyone feels that way. In 2001, Meyer was hunting bobcats near Pelican Lake, east of Rhinelander, with a redbone hound named Bonnie. Meyer had raised Bonnie for twelve years, spending “hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of hours” training her, but that all came to naught when the two were separated by a river and


Bonnie found not a bobcat but a wolf. “This was a relocated problem wolf that

(C) Steve Greer

had been killing deer on a deer farm,” Meyer says. The DNR had moved it to the Pelican Lake area, but Meyer was unprepared to find it because, he says,

endangered. The [gray] wolf presently

officials didn’t inform the county. “I’ve

occupies only 5 percent of its historical

How Many Is Enough?

always had a contention about that.”

range. Until the wolf is fully recovered,

“One really looks at two questions,” Treves

it should remain federally protected.”

says. “First, what’s the carrying capacity,

By the time Meyer caught up with Bonnie,

which we think is somewhere between five

the hound was dead and partially eaten.

Naughton is familiar with stories like Meyer’s

“It was a horrific sight,” he says. Meyer is

and with opinions like Goldman’s. She and

convinced that Wisconsin has more than

her husband, assistant professor Adrian

enough wolves — more, even, than the DNR

Treves of the UW’s Gaylord Nelson Institute

says it has, and he’d like to see the state take

for Environmental Studies, formed the Living

action to control and reduce its population.

with Wolves project, an effort, she says,

Treves and Naughton have conducted

“to find a fair and ecologically sustainable

surveys of Wisconsin citizens since 2001 to

approach to coexistence” with wolves.

measure their feelings about the growing

Part of that project’s work is listening to

wolf presence. They’ve read reports

the various arguments and gauging the

and complaints from people who have

state’s public opinion about wolves.

suffered wolf depredation, and they’ve

Howard Goldman MA ’71, however, fears government is too ready to reduce the number of wolves. Goldman is the Humane Society of the United States’ state director for Minnesota, and he’s

hundred and seven hundred [wolves]. But second, is that tolerable? Will people who live in areas where wolves are active put up with that many over the long term?”

attended public meetings where people

convinced there aren’t nearly enough

Their work touches on a concept called

wolves. That’s why the Humane Society

social carrying capacity. Carrying capacity

has gone to court repeatedly to keep the

is an ecological term for the number

animals on the endangered species list.

of a given species that an ecosystem

While Naughton says that the public

can sustainably support. Social carrying

meetings tend to be dominated by those

capacity, however, refers to the number of

who feel there are too many wolves

a species that people feel is appropriate.

(“Even in Madison,” she says, “where I

“We’ve argued successfully before federal courts that the wolf is not, in fact, recovered,” he says. “The Endangered Species Act states ‘a species which is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range’ is

have aired grievances — and occasionally support — about DNR wolf policies.

was certain that wolf huggers would come out in force, the mood was solidly against them”), she says that overall, there’s widespread support for the animals.

“...the Grey Wolf presently occupies only five percent of its historical range. Until the wolf is fully

recovered, it should remain federally protected.”

Wydeven, head of the DNR’s wolf recovery

For scientists like Waller, who feel that

program, the state sets aside about $35,000

the state’s large deer population has

a year for wolf compensation — 3 percent

damaged diversity in general, wolves may

of the amount that Wisconsin citizens pay

be a biological boon. Waller notes that this

when they purchase endangered resources

agrees with the writings of Aldo Leopold,

license plates for their cars. But the actual

founder of the UW’s department of wildlife

costs have run much higher — $101,000 in

ecology. In his seminal essay “Thinking Like

the 2008–09 fiscal year. Hunting hounds like

a Mountain,” Leopold wrote that, “while a

Meyer’s account for nearly half that total,

buck pulled down by wolves can be replaced

some $48,250. But while the reimbursements

in two or three years, a range pulled down

weigh down the DNR’s budget, they provide

by too many deer may fail of replacement

little solace to those who’ve suffered from

in as many decades.” But hunters who

depredation. “Compensation is the last of

prefer plentiful deer are less impressed.

“Most Wisconsin citizens want at least some

your worries,” says Meyer, even if the loss

wolf presence in the state,” she says. “But

is livestock. When it’s a hound like Bonnie,

those who feel strongly, at either end of

“it’s like losing a member of your family.

the spectrum, drive the argument.” This

They’re confidants, companions, buddies.”

has left Treves and Naughton open to angry late-night calls from political partisans. Still, they say their work is coming closer to its goal of defining a “fair and ecologically sustainable” wolf policy — and one that

Again, it leaves the question: are wolves protected enough, or are they too protected? The issue of whether wolves remain on the endangered species list, Naughton and Treves

Balancing the costs of wolves, however, are

worry, has the potential to cut into and even

unexpected benefits. As wolves return to

reduce support for wolves around the state.

Wisconsin, they may be having a broad effect on the state’s ecology. UW-Madison botany

“There’s a real and growing difference among people who feel strongly about

is increasingly tolerant of wolves.

professor Don Waller and others have been

“When the DNR set that 350 level, it was

are active, and he believes they’re finding

kind of pulling a number out of a hat,”

evidence that wolves’ predatory presence

Treves says. “No one had really done any

may have beneficial effects on plant life.

research to see what the state’s carrying

Landscapes with wolves seem to support

capacity or public tolerance was. But they

more diverse plant communities than

actually did a pretty good job. When we

similar areas without wolves. They do this,

did our first surveys in 2001, we found that

he thinks, through their effect on the deer

[about] 350 was the tolerance level. But our

As that difference grows, the Living with

population, both in number and behavior.

Wolves project is working to bring the

more recent surveys are showing a higher

studying plant life in areas where wolf packs

number — one that falls closer to 500.”

“Wolves have two kinds of effects,” Waller

But he warns that this tolerance might not

wolves eat some deer, decreasing their

be entirely sustainable. Much of Wisconsin’s

density. But there’s also a less direct effect:

acceptance for wolves is based on the fact

wolves create an ecology of fear among

that the DNR reimburses those who have

deer. When predators are present, deer

suffered wolf depredation, and the cost of

don’t just feed lazily. Instead, they get

those payments is rising. According to Adrian

skittish, move more, and overgraze less.”

says. “First, there’s the numerical effect:

having wolves in the state,” says Naughton. “On the one hand, there are those who are interested in ecosystems and biodiversity, who would like to see decisions made for the good of the species as a whole. And on the other are animal rights groups, which would like to protect every individual wolf.”

various parties to an understanding. “Wolves have recovered beyond our expectations,” says Naughton. “But now comes the hard part — how do we live with them?”


Numbers Game Irrespective of whether Wisconsin’s citizens feel the state has too many wolves or not enough, the more intriguing question to Tim Van Deelen, an assistant professor of wildlife ecology at UW-Madison, is finding out how fast wolves can reproduce and spread. To that end, he’s been following the rising numbers reported by the DNR and trying to come up with mathematical models. But to make an educated guess about how many wolves there will be, it helps to have an accurate count of how many there are. And that number is surprisingly well documented. Once upon a time, Wisconsin’s social carrying capacity for wolves was zero In the nineteenth century, C. lupus was abundant in the Midwest, but it was looked upon at best as a nuisance and at worst as a public


danger. In 1865, the state began to offer hunters a bounty — initially $5 — for each wolf carcass they brought in. That bounty wasn’t repealed until 1957, shortly before wolves were extirpated. Although the DNR received occasional reports of lone wolves in remote regions, official opinion held that none made a permanent home here. Only about seven hundred wild wolves remained in the entire Midwest — all in Minnesota, where the forests were more remote, or in Isle Royale National Park in Lake Superior. But things began to change after the passage of the Endangered Species Act. Once freed from danger, the number of gray wolves began to grow, and the Minnesota population started — slowly — to expand into the animal’s former territory, crossing into Wisconsin. By 1980, the DNR estimated that there were between twenty-five and twenty-eight wolves in Wisconsin, most of them distributed among five packs in the northwest. And then the DNR did something very wise: it started a program of trapping wolves, attaching a radio collar to them, and monitoring their movements in the wild. This program has continued over the last thirty years. Each spring, teams go out to trap wolves, attempting to catch and attach a radio collar to at least one adult animal in 15 to 20 percent of the state’s packs. Hundreds have been collared over the years, enabling the DNR

to track wolves from the air year-round. Every month, DNR pilots take off, armed with a radio telemetry receiver and a global positioning system (GPS) device to find and record the location of dozens of wolves. Though the animals are nearly invisible from the air in summer — when the trees are in full leaf and the animals’ heather-colored coats blend into

“There has been a lot of popular support for wolves over the last decade or so. But there’s a danger of a backlash as we have more conflict.”

the landscape — pilots have a chance to spot and count wolves in the winter, or to direct DNR staff or volunteers on where to find them. The result has been a three-decade accounting of the wolf’s progress across the state.

place where there’s enough prey (which in the Midwest would be white-tailed deer)

“It’s an amazing data set,” says David

and where people wouldn’t kill them, either

Mladenoff ’73, MS’79, PhD’85, a UW-Madison

deliberately or accidentally. Then they can

professor of forest ecology. “Wisconsin was

get by almost anywhere.” Still, wolves seem

really smart to start [radio collaring] early on.”

to like some geographic characteristics better

level density,” he says, meaning that it’s

than others, and Mladenoff has compiled

difficult to generalize from a few years and

those and mapped them in an effort to predict

a few hundred wolves Still, the data on

where wolf packs will become established.

wolf expansion offer some insight on the

The single attribute that appears to attract

animal’s ability to thrive. In fact, with so

wolves most is a lack of roads, which

much available food — that is, with so many

implies a lower level of human activity.

available deer — Van Deelen’s calculations

Those data show that wolf populations remained fairly constant throughout the 1980s, but began showing signs of growth in 1990. But what that growth meant was open to interpretation. The federal government’s wolf recovery program set a goal of eighty animals

suggest that wolves could reproduce at

for three consecutive years in Wisconsin and

“Road density seems to be the key,” he says.

Michigan — meet that target and wolves

“Of course, it’s not like wolves know this.

would be upgraded from endangered to

They’re figuring it out by trial and error. They

threatened. Get the number to a hundred,

survive in some places and don’t in others,

But he doesn’t recommend such action.

and wolves would be delisted altogether. In

and they stay where they survive.” So how

Instead, he’d rather see the animals prove

1999, the DNR developed a state management

many wolves can the state support? Both

his calculations right or wrong. “I’d kind

plan with a goal of 250 wolves in Wisconsin

Mladenoff and Van Deelen suspect that the

of like to see nature take its course,” he

before the animals would be removed from

days of rapid multiplication may be coming to

says. “I’d like to see what [population] level

the state’s list of threatened species, and

an end. As the number of wolves and packs

they arrive at on their own.” Mladenoff is

a long-term management goal of 350.

has grown in recent years, they’ve filled up

concerned, though, about how increasing

all of the best — that is, least road-dense

wolf numbers might affect state politics. “I

— lands. “If you look at the habitat wolves

think, from a wolf standpoint, they’re fine

currently occupy, it’s not all good quality,” says

with continuing to expand,” he says. “But

Mladenoff. And in the poorer-quality areas, the

there’s definitely more conflict [between

wolf population “probably isn’t sustainable.”

wolves and people] happening. There’s been

“At the time, this was fairly academic,” says Van Deelen. “In the 1990s, no one believed we’d ever see 350 wolves here.” But the numbers continued to grow. The wolf population reached eighty for the first time in 1995, and it topped a hundred the

“If you look at the data, you see that there’s

next year. By 2003, it surged past 350 and

almost no support for continued exponential

continued rising. Today’s DNR estimate of

growth,” he says. Looking at wolf populations

between 626 and 662 is up 14 percent from

in the entire territory south of Lake Superior

last year’s. There are some 162 packs spread

— Wisconsin and Michigan, primarily — he

out across the northern and central parts of

concludes that the carrying capacity for the

the state, and as many as 200 cubs may be

entire region is only about 1,300 wolves, split

born this year. Though many of them will

roughly evenly between the two states.

such a rate that they could withstand a hunt that culled up to 30 percent a year.

a lot of popular support for wolves over the last decade or so. But there’s a danger of a backlash as we have more conflict.”

die, enough will likely survive to continue growth.The data have also taught ecologists

That puts Wisconsin’s wolf carrying capacity

a lot about what wolf habitat looks like.

at about the current level — though Van

Photograph credits (in order that they appear):

Deelen admits his calculations are far from

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

“We used to think that wolves needed real

iron-clad. “The trouble is that there are

Steve Greer

wilderness areas to survive,” Mladenoff says.

relatively few data points at recent, high

Wolfgang Hoffman

“But that’s not true. All they needed was a


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Stop by The Elegant Farmer located in Mukwonago for a fun fall day of picking apples or pumpkins! Don’t forget to take home one of their famous apple pies that are baked in a paper bag!

Experience a desert oasis and a tropical garden all in doors at The Mitchell Park Dome Conservancy in Milwaukee. It’s definitely a sight to see!

Visit a dairy farm and watch milk being processed at Lamer’s Dairy in Appleton!

One of Wisconsin’s favorite winter past-times is certainly ice fishing! Visit the Minocqua area and stop into Rollie and Helen’s Musky Shop to grab your bait and ask where it’s best to try your luck.



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Feeling lucky? Take a drive downtown to Potawatomi Bingo Casino in Milwaukee to try your hand and win big. Bring some friends too!

Take a drive to Devil’s Lake State Park in Sauk County for an unbelievable view. Experience Devil’s Lake by hiking, camping, swimming, kayaking and more!

Check out Freddy Valentine’s Public House in Spring Green–a historic building that’s been turned into a pub! The building’s former life has been incorporated into the restaurant’s design; cash drawers and bank teller windows still intact!

Enjoy a tour and wine tasting at Cedar Creek Winery in Cedarburg. Located and restored in an 1860s woolen mill. There’s no way you’ll not want to go back.


Here at PUSH, we understand that you all are just as busy as we are! During our off time, though, we all like to have a little fall fun! We’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite activies to partake in during the fall season. In doing so, we hope we inspire to get out and enjoy some quality family time exploring some of the great activities located throughout communities in Wisconsin dedicated to making your experiences memorable. Visit for more Fall Fun ideas!

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After getting a relaxing spa treatment, relax in the outdoor infinity pool at Sundara Spa or venture outside to the heated pool to enjoy fall colors or perhaps a layering of newly fallen snow!

Walk the streets of Lake Geneva and discover dozens of independently owned shops downtown. You’ll find just about anything from clothing to jewelry to local artisan galleries.



COVER PHOTO BY MACIEJ CIUPA devil’s l ake state park was founded in 1911 and is t h e t h i r d o l d e s t, t h e l a r g e s t, a n d t h e m o s t v i s i t e d park in wisconsin. the location at devil’s l ake offers magnificent views as well as picnic areas, swimming beaches, and 29 miles of hiking trails.



PUSH is a seasonal magazine that loves to showcase the best of everything that Wisconsin has to offer. Since we are one of the few states wh...

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