All Blog Entries by Samantha Haas

Found 93 blog entries published by Samantha Haas.

Cheese curds aren’t the only byproduct of cows that we have an excess of in the Madison area. There are also phosphorus-rich turds. And unfortunately when it’s raining, some of that fertilizer runs off farm fields and into our groundwater. 

“Over the last few decades, the phosphorus concentrations of the Yahara chain of lakes (Mendota, Monona, Waubesa, Kegonsa) have led to an increase in the frequency and extent of algae blooms, creating green, slimy lakes and beaches,” according to the Dane County Land and Water Resources Department.

But cows are hardly the only ones to blame for the Dairy State’s environmental woes. For that, we can take a look in the mirror and reflect on how we handle our own messes. 

Even though 94% of Wisconsin

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The trails and surrounding waterways that provide recreation, tourism, and transportation opportunities contributed to the Village of McFarland’s branding initiative in 2018, which generated a new logo and slogan: Naturally Connected. “We are a place of nature...with a small town feel but not too far from Madison,” said village President Brad Czebotar.

When the Lower Yahara River Trail opened in 2017, it created an important link between the southeast side of Madison at the newly renamed William G. Lunney Lake Farm County Park and McFarland at McDaniel Park. Bicycle commuters now have a safer and quicker way to get to work using the floating boardwalk and pedestrian bridge -- the longest in the state and what village Administrator Matt Schuenke

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Have you ever looked around your home and wondered who else has enjoyed the beautiful view from that kitchen window or warmed up to that cozy fireplace? Unless you have lived there since the house was built, you might only know the names of the people who sold it to you or your family.  

There are several resources that can help you uncover the history of your home, and not just about who previously owned or occupied the house. You may also be able to research who owned the land before it was developed, when and for what price your house was built, the architect and specific house style, if it’s part of a historic district, and when major additions or renovations were completed, among many other fascinating tidbits.

Perhaps you want to find out

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Few neighborhoods in the Madison area offer the variety of homes that appear in the Nakoma Historic District, where one of our newest listings is located.

Among the hilly, curvilinear streets just west of the UW-Arboretum you’ll find numerous Tudor Revival and Colonial Revival styles as well as a smattering of Mediterranean Revival, Norman Revival, Dutch Colonial, French Provincial, Arts and Crafts, Prairie School, Craftsman Bungalow, Modern, and International styles.

Some of the best local architectural firms of the 20th century, including Henry Dysland and Law, Law, and Potter, designed these homes, which were built between 1915-1946. This time period was one of immense growth and greater mobility in Madison from streetcars to automobiles,

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Monona is conveniently located just 15 minutes from downtown Madison with beautiful sunset views of the Capitol over the lake and close proximity to the Beltline and Hwy. 51. Even though its roughly 3 square miles are completely surrounded by water or land owned by other municipalities, Monona is carving out its niche as a small waterfront community with easy access to amenities. 

“It’s the best kept secret in Dane County,” said Kathy Thomas, who has served on Monona City Council for about 35 years.  

Thomas moved to Monona in 1969, the same year it became a city. Monona was incorporated as a village in 1938 when more housing and businesses started taking over the farmland that was previously part of the town of Blooming Grove. Her husband

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Eight members of the Mad City Dream Homes and RE/MAX Preferred teams volunteered with Habitat for Humanity of Dane County for a build day in Fitchburg this spring.

They joined Habitat construction site supervisors Greg Kazda, Allissa Tway, and Chad Moen and regular volunteer Greg Louden by installing siding and flooring in two Habitat homes along Unity Lane in the Renaissance On The Park neighborhood.

One of the future homeowners, Tara Rai, was working right alongside the group as he often does -- well exceeding the minimum amount of sweat equity hours required by Habitat. Tara said his wife likes to garden and plans to plant tomatoes and potatoes in their backyard, and his daughter and son are looking forward to having their own bedrooms.

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If Madison is considered the heart of Dane County, then its veins are the network of highways circulating people and goods throughout surrounding communities. Among them are I-94 and Hwy. 12/18, which branch out to another pulsing artery east of I-39/90: the village of Cottage Grove.

Having experienced a 500% growth rate since 1990, the village of Cottage Grove now has a population of nearly 7,000. Surrounded by open rolling prairies and farm fields, there is enough room for continued residential and business growth.

“Dane County is one of the fastest growing in the state,” said village Trustee Melissa Ratcliff, “And our communities all get stronger because of it.” In the five years her family has lived here, Ratcliff said she’s enjoyed

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At the turn of the 20th century, many new house styles emerged in America in opposition to the ornate, Victorian influences from Europe. Through the Arts and Crafts movement, Craftsman style homes were built to be more simplistic and to incorporate quality, natural materials like stone and wood. Frank Lloyd Wright also created the Prairie style of “organic architecture” during this time, with lower profile buildings that blended into the landscape and utilized sunlight. This movement made its way to Madison in the early 1900s, and Craftsman-progressive-prairie styles account for a third of the houses in the Sherman Avenue and Orton Park historic districts, for example.

Nearly 100 years later, Craftsman homes have edged out ranch homes for the most

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Whether you enjoy running, walking, skating, or biking, the Madison area offers countless paths to explore.

Fitchburg is one of 18 communities in Wisconsin that has been named a Bicycle Friendly Community by The League of American Bicyclists since 2012. For a map of the trails in this growing city, click here.

Fitchburg is also home to the area’s first bike roundabout, which can be accessed from the Allied-Dunn’s Marsh Community near Arrowhead Park. Here you’ll have the option to connect to five paved trails depending on which direction you take from the roundabout.

  • Badger State Trail (pass required): 40-mile trail from Fitchburg south to Illinois border

  • Capital City State Trail (pass required): 17-mile trail from Fitchburg

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The Village of Oregon is over 175 years old, but the last few years have been particularly noteworthy for the nearly 10,000 residents in this community just 10 miles south of Madison.

New building projects have been popping up all over -- from single-family homes on the south and west sides to the village’s first hotel in recent history on the east side. And downtown, several Main Street buildings have been refurbished while others have been cleared to make room for a high-demand apartment complex.

But perhaps the most memorable project has been the village’s new welcome center, located in the restored 1899 pump house beneath the “Tin Man” water tower on Janesville Street. Shortly after moving here around 2013 for the “small-town and

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