Life In Madison

Life in Madison: neighborhoods, opportunities and events in the greater Madison, Wisconsin area

Found 163 blog entries about Life In Madison.

What started as a visit to Dane County’s newest gem, Morton Forest near Mazomanie, turned into a “bucket list” of parks for one Madison couple. 

(Michael and Jeanne Mraz stopped at Ferry Bluff State Natural Area after their Dane County Parks adventure, and they continue to explore the beautiful parts of our county and state.)

Jeanne and Michael Mraz have always enjoyed outdoor activities, especially mountain biking at CamRock County Park in Cambridge, hiking at Indian Lake County Park near Cross Plains, and cross-country skiing.

But the lack of snow in recent years meant they had to get creative finding fun, healthy things to do together in the winter. 

So when they saw a newspaper article about Morton Forest, they decided to explore its

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Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter made headlines for rallying volunteers and building Habitat for Humanity homes into his nineties and even after a recent fall. 

It’s a reminder that regardless of age or ability, there are several ways you can contribute to causes that are close to your heart -- just like Habitat is for several members of the Mad City Dream Homes team. 

Take Maureen Moran, a Realtor who joined our team last summer, for example.

Maureen moved from New York to Middleton last July, and by the following month she was already volunteering with the Habitat ReStore, which sells used and new donations of furniture, doors, wood, cabinets, electrical, appliances, building supplies, lights, and fans. According to Habitat for Humanity,

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For many, pets are family. Their companionship brings us joy and laughter; and losing them can cause immense heartache -- especially if a cancer diagnosis is involved. Cancer causes almost half of deaths in pets over the age of 10, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. Since several types of cancer commonly found in pets are also found in humans, treatment options are often similar but also expensive. 

Local resident Beth Viney learned this the hard way when her Great Pyrenees, Czar, passed away in 2013 after 19 months with osteosarcoma (bone cancer) and a leg amputation. This gentle giant had been a therapy dog for five years with the Pet Pals program, bringing smiles and hope to those fighting cancer and illness in our

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Did you know that mental illness is more common than physical illnesses such as cancer, diabetes, or heart disease? Yet we don’t often discuss anxiety, depression, and personality disorders, for example, because of the stigma attached to them. Unfortunately, this can prevent people from getting the help they need to lead a successful life -- whether that’s seeking support from friends and family or getting access to a therapist or medication. 

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Dane County is committed to eliminating that stigma. For over 40 years, this nonprofit has provided essential education, support, and advocacy to people affected by mental illness. 

“I think it’s important for people to know we’re out there and available as a free

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Parks and trails bring communities together by promoting healthy lifestyles through recreational and educational opportunities, and Dane County has over 25 parks and 100 miles of trail for the public to enjoy.

The Dane County Parks department maintains these areas using county funds, but support for projects to enhance the parks, promote education, and provide resources to help volunteers comes from the Friends of Dane County Parks Endowment Fund, managed by the Madison Community Foundation. 

The Foundation for Dane County Parks promotes the county parks system and fundraises for the permanent endowment, which has now surpassed $500,000. The newly established nonprofit hopes to grow the endowment into a multi-million dollar fund, from which the

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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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MCDH Marketing Team

I walked into the Mad City Dream Homes team office recently and found their marketing team gathered around a table, working on a new way to feature nonprofits and give back to the community.

“We have the freedom to experiment here, and to do good for the community, without having to justify every project to a specific budget,” said Samantha Haas, marketing writer for the team.

“We love doing these types of projects. When you do something because it feels right, it eventually comes back around,” added Dan Miller, a Realtor and leader for the team.

The Mad City Dream Homes team includes several realtors, but many clients don’t realize that there is also a robust team of skilled marketers who are focused on promoting listings, community

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Celebrate National Dog Day (August 26 officially, but you can celebrate any day really!) and bring your doggo to any of the eight off-leash dog parks that the City of Madison offers! There are four on the east side and four on the west side, with each park varying in size and offerings. A dog license and dog park permit are required at all locations.

1. Warner Park
2301 Sheridan Dr.
Bag dispenser & benches available
This dog park is very large, comprising of a separate small dog & geriatric dog area, open grass space, woods with trails, many picnic table areas, and a lagoon for swimming. The water in the lagoon is not tested by Public Health Madison & Dane County.

2. Demetral Park
2297 Commercial Ave.
Bag dispenser & benches available

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Sometimes your life’s work happens almost by accident. For Doreen Meland, designing and staging homes came naturally, even before she knew it could be a business. “I didn’t know I was doing it, but I was. A Realtor came through our home, and asked if I staged homes. After thinking about it, I decided it would be fun. My business has grown from there,” she says.

Doreen Meland of Ready, Set, Show!Doreen’s work covers a broad range of projects. She has a natural ability for interior design, and is a gifted landscaper. Both interior and exterior projects fill her portfolio.  She has helped clients efficiently stage their homes for sale. But she has also worked with clients who require a more thorough decluttering.

Doreen loves organizing. Recently, she assisted clients who needed to

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With over 60 community gardens around Madison, there is a wide range of plot sizes and amenities to suit anyone's needs. All of the gardens have a different feel, and with varying degrees of involvement from each community they can serve as a hub for social, educational, and family activities. Below, we highlight five of the most unique community gardens in the Madison area.

Atwood

The Atwood garden has 110 plots and works with the Goodman Community Center to offer youth programming. Located along the Isthmus bike path between Jackson St. and Waubesa St., this is one of the oldest community gardens in Madison. 

Bock

Located north of Middleton on the southeast end of the Bock Community Forest, this land was acquired for

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