Home » The Outside In, by Naturalist Rebecca Clarke
The calm before winter storms..
It has been a wonderful, colorful Fall in Sheboygan. Which can mean only one thing…. Winter is coming! But before the sleigh rides and hot chocolate, we have to prepare! What will we DO this winter season?
I love bringing a little nature indoors by cutting down my own tree for the holidays at a local farm – there are many tree farms to choose from. (Greenview Tree Farm).
For any celebration in any season, it tastes better, smells better and feels better to support local farmers.
I use the Farm Fresh Atlas -to look up a farmer near me. Delicious!
If you aren’t sure where to start in the local food movement, come to Maywood Environmental Park’s Local Food Fair February 9th from 10-3 p.m. Our “Local Food for Global Thought” event will host dozens of local farms and vendors. You can learn about joining a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) or where to find fresh, delicious local cheese, honey, soaps and many more products that are light on the earth, and good for your body. Maywood Park, located on the north side of Sheboygan, is also offering a free “Environmental Movie Series” Tuesdays this winter, featuring 5 award winning documentaries on a variety of environmental topics from water and mining issues to the local food movement. Visit our website for more information. (www.gomaywood.org)
Well, if you’re like me and you feel guilty with all the wonderful holiday eating – never fear! Sheboygan County offers many winter recreation opportunities too!
There is a quieter heartbeat of winter here following the holidays’ mad rush. Soon, blankets of fresh snow will return a quiet pulse to the land and waters around us. We know nature needs rejuvenation and so do we! If you are looking for ways to get out and see Sheboygan’s winter wonderland beyond the holiday season– I have some ideas for you and the family!
In fact, one of the best kept skiing secrets in the area is – Maywood and Evergreen Parks, (www.gomaywood.org) boasting miles of wonderful groomed trails – long or short – challenging or just learning. Maywood has snowshoe trails on the north side of the Pigeon River, and groomed skate and classic skiing on the south- all just a short drive from downtown Sheboygan. I know folks that drive to Green Bay or Wausau for skiing – which is nuts, when the snow is right. The Maywood trailhead to these gorgeous, serene groomed trails is free; thanks to the Sheboygan Jaycees. No park sticker required! We have a trail conditions and printable maps on our webpage so there’s really no excuse….unless you don’t like silently shooshing through pines forests and fields, past herds of sleepy deer or a rafter of turkeys (yes, that’s what a group of turkeys is called.)
I always visit the WI DNR website to look for skiing events and trail info in winter. They have all the trail listings and info on races/events, how to get a park sticker or day pass to one of our amazing state parks. http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/parks/activities/ski.html. This is especially handy for Sheboygan County’s beautifully unique Kettle Moraine state forest – a very popular state natural area, with EASY to challenging snowshoe and cross country ski trails. For an easy snow show on a pretty little trail – I like Butler Lake Loop. There kettles are about as pretty a place to hike or snow shoe as you can find! Trails are well marked and maintained and the Ice Age visitor center is a very interesting stop.
Still not sure about spending a whole afternoon outdoors? You can check back to Maywood’s website and our events calendar all winter long. We have shorter hikes, hot chocolate, winter bird ID, and winter tracking – etc. Keep checking the Sheboygan Tourism calendar of events for great winter activities for the whole family – even for you strange indoor enthusiasts – shoppers!
Maywood NaturalistRebecca Clarke is a Naturalist at Maywood Environmental Park in Sheboygan. She develop, implements and evaluate hands-on education experiences for participants from pre-K to senior citizen programs. Topics include local flora and fauna, sustainable concepts and ecological systems of Wisconsin that inspire stewardship and a lifetime love of science and the outdoors through a sense of place and personal connection. Rebecca earned her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Natural Resource Management/Environmental Education from the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point. She’s been studying ecosystems and teaching nature programs for more than 15 years.