Life In Madison

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

Found 167 blog entries about Life In Madison.

5 ideas for self care during COVID-19Daily routines have been disrupted all over Dane County due to COVID-19, and it is making many people feel restless and stressed. Below are some tips for self-care during this challenging time.

Note: For the latest local information about COVID-19, visit the Public Health of Madison and Dane County website or the CDC’s website.

Stay connected

Social distancing means you’re likely not able to be in contact with many of the people you are used to spending time with. You may not be able to see loved ones at all. Calling friends and family on the phone is a nice way to stay connected while you need to physically stay apart. Make a point to reach out to elderly family members or those who may be living alone. Online platforms like Facetime and Skype

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As we navigate the changes in our own lives brought on by the coronavirus outbreak, many people also feel compelled to help the greater Madison community. But how? 

While still maintaining social distancing and following precautionary measures regarding COVID-19 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), and the Public Health Madison & Dane County, there are several ways to get involved.

If you have the means to give, please consider making a donation to a local cause you support. There are nearly 3,000 nonprofits to choose from in Dane County, and several directly provide food, housing, and transportation options for our community’s most vulnerable. 

The United of Way of Dane County, in partnership

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The mission of Waunakee Neighborhood Connection is to provide programs and resources that engage neighbors to support and empower one another. It is best known for its “free store,” which graciously accepts certain clothing items, accessories, shoes, games, books, media, and other household goods and cleaning supplies. 

COVID-19 Updates 

  • (3/20/2020): Waunakee Neighborhood Connection can help individuals and households starting to experience financial difficulties due to a job displacement or reduction in hours. Contact wncteam@waunakeenc.org. 

  • (3/16/2020): Donations can be made here to the PULSE Fund (supports the continuous operation of the free store, client programs, and case management) and the Neighbor-to-Neighbor Fund (provides

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COVID-19 Updates

While the Lussier Community Education Center’s normal operations are suspended until at least May 1, 2020, its mission is still to be a place for people from different walks of life to come together, share gifts, and build community. That typically includes enrichment activities for all ages, games, art, tutoring, hot meals, a food pantry, farmers market, job clinic, radio shows, activism opportunities, and more. During these times, LCEC is practicing social distancing and social solidarity by continuing its food pantry program in a modified way. 

  • (3/27/2020): LCEC received a COVID-19 relief grant to make sure food keeps moving to families in these challenging times. The Center is already using the grant to replace single-use
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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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The mission of Habitat for Humanity of Dane County is to help more people get into homes so they can have a more stable family life and help stabilize the community. Through volunteer labor and donations of money and materials, Habitat builds and rehabilitates simple, decent houses for people in need throughout Dane County. Habitat ReStores, which sell used and new donations of furniture, doors, wood, cabinets, electrical, appliances, building supplies, lights, and fans, have kept over 7,870 tons of building materials out of landfills, and their proceeds have helped build nearly a quarter of Habitat homes in Dane County.

COVID-19 Updates

  • (3/26/2020): A group of eight financial institutions partnered with Habitat to offer emergency mortgage relief
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The mission of Czar’s Promise, a volunteer-run nonprofit, is to provide funding for companion animal cancer research at the UW School of Veterinary Medicine and pediatric cancer research at American Family Children’s Hospital, as well as to provide emotional, educational, and financial support for families whose companion animals have been diagnosed with cancer.

COVID-19 Updates

  • (3/16/2020): Czar’s Promise made the decision to reschedule its spring Inspiring Hope Dog Walk fundraising event to the fall, so please consider marking your calendars for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, October 3, 2020, at Winnequah Park, Monona. In the meantime, donations can be made here.
  • (3/10/2020): Czar’s Promise is in need of items used for Woof Packs, customized
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The mission of NAMI Dane County is to provide education, support, and advocacy for people affected by mental illness in Dane County with a vision of ensuring a stigma-free community where all people affected by mental illness find the help, hope, and support they need.

COVID-19 Updates

  • (3/23/2020): If you need crisis support, text NAMI to 741741. Find more resources for people affected by mental illness during COVID-19 here and frequently asked questions here.
  • (3/20/2020): If you are feeling overwhelmed or frightened by the COVID-19 situation, contact the SAMHSA Disaster Helpline by call the toll-free, multilingual, and confidential DistressLine at 1-800-985-5990 or tex TalkWithUs to 66746.
  • (3/20/2020): The NAMI Dane County Awards Banquet
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The mission of the Foundation for Dane County Parks is to strengthen the endowment fund, grow and support the volunteer program, and fund projects that ensure our Dane County parks, trails, and open spaces are cared for, not only today but for generations to come. 

COVID-19 Updates

  • (3/21/2020): Tag @DaneCountyParks or use #danecountyparks to show creative ways for how you are protecting yourselves out in the parks. Here is an example.
  • (3/19/2020): Getting outside is good for mental and physical well being, but please practice the following park safety tips from Public Health Madison & Dane County: Stay 6 feet away from others as much as possible, for example by avoiding crowded playgrounds and standing away from other groups at the dog park.
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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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