From the Editor

Kayakers
Photo by Green Concierge Travel

“Acts of creation are ordinarily reserved for gods and poets, but humbler folk may circumvent this restriction if they know how. To plant a pine, for example, one need be neither god nor poet; one need only own a shovel.”

—Aldo Leopold

This quote seems like an appropriate start for multiple reasons. First, I like it. Second, it’s the 25th anniversary of the Aldo Leopold Center, which we talk about in this issue. Third, it’s our Open Air issue. Fourth, it’s springtime in Wisconsin, and many of us are finally ready to spend time in the outdoors!

For me, the concept of open air is even more significant because it leads us toward the environment at large. There are many topics that fall into this category, including some that are more controversial, such as global warming, conservation and preservation, clean air and water, national and local parks, wildlife, green energy, and so much more. All are of great importance and impact, requiring thoughtful education and discussion to make and engage others in the decisions that impact our lives now and for generations into the future. What we can experience in our outdoor spaces is dependent on the ecological decisions we make and the resulting initiatives taken. And Wisconsin has always been at the forefront of these initiatives, with historic leaders including Aldo Leopold and John Muir.

While we are a nonpolitical, local lifestyle publication, every topic I listed above genuinely affects what our community has to offer. Each has become—to me, inexplicably so—political, but in reality they direct everyone’s quality of life. If we are going to be able to encourage you to go paddling, there has to be a viable waterway in which to do it. If we don’t take care of our rivers and lakes, the conversation is over.

So while we’re happy to share many wonderful things you can do that fall under the open air topic, please remember that much of what our state and parks have to offer are dependent upon how we treat them. If you take your family camping, make caring for the campground and park part of your family experience. If we teach the necessity of responsible usage and that we get out of something what we put into it, the stewardship comes naturally.

Wishing you wonderful, nature-filled adventures this season. And remember, always leave it better than you found it. #trashtag

Amy Johnson