30 August 2013

2nd Annual Challenge of Travel :: Stevens Point, Wisconsin

Welcome to the 2nd Annual Challenge of Travel - Staycation edition! I am delighted to have you along on this journey.

I put out a call at the beginning of the month to see if anyone would like to join me in investigating all that your own hometown has to offer. I don't often get a chance to travel anyplace, and I don't often take the time to appreciate the things that my hometown has to offer, so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to have a little fun in my own backyard.

Instead of a list of blogs, I am trying out the InLinkz system where anyone who has a post to share can do so at the end. Truly, I would do this Challenge even if no one else joined me, but given the initial interest we could learn something new about hometowns all over the world. We might need to fluff up the guest pillows if people are inspired to come and visit.That would be cool!

I live in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. Basically, find a map of Wisconsin and then point to the middle. It seems that all roads run through our area.

One of the things that is unique to our community is the Green Circle Trail. The idea took root in 1989, when a group of residents, businesses, local governments and the university banded together to make this dream a reality: creating a scenic hiking and biking trail that envelops the entire community to preserve forested land, native plants, wetlands and wildlife for current and future generations.

In 1993, the Green Circle Trail received an award from the National Park Service for outstanding cooperative effort. National Park officials consider it one, and perhaps the only, trail system to completely encircle a community. State agencies refer to it as model for trail development. In 2003, the Green Circle received a Great Lakes Partnership Award from the National Parks and Recreation Association.

The Green Circle opened on June 1, 1996, as a 22-mile trail. Today it is over 30 miles. The main trail loop has 11 contiguous segments. It is said that all urban residents are within10 minutes of a trail spur while 80% of the trail winds through forests and parks, over wetlands, and along rivers, much of it secluded. This trail recalls the days of huge pineries, pioneer settlements, and the lore of the Wisconsin and Plover Rivers.

Several local events are held throughout the Green Circle Trail, like the recent United Way Run, Bike Duathlon. The first week in June you can find the entire Green Circle Trail overrun by thousands of walkers in the Midwest's premier non-competitive walking event, Walk Wisconsin.Walkers choose from full, 3/4, 1/2 or 1/4 marathons.
The full, 3/4, 1/2 and 1/4 marathon events utilize the scenic Green Circle Trail which passes the Wisconsin River, Plover River, several lakes, and unique ecosystems. - See more at: http://www.activeportagecounty.com/index.cfm?action=walking.walk#sthash.dqaVDq0F.dpuf
The full, 3/4, 1/2 and 1/4 marathon events utilize the scenic Green Circle Trail which passes the Wisconsin River, Plover River, several lakes, and unique ecosystems. - See more at: http://www.activeportagecounty.com/index.cfm?action=walking.walk#sthash.dqaVDq0F.dpuf

See that red X? That is roughly where my house is. The green lines on the map show where the trails are. You can see that I am within blocks of several segments of the Circle. Shamefully, I really haven't been on those parts. I have walked the Riverfront (I work right there), and the Holiday trail where the Stevens Point Sculpture Park is located, and some of the parts to the west, but not really the ones that I cross almost every single day.

I noticed as I made this graphic from the trail map that the Green Circle Trail is in the shape of a heart! Do you see that? It is like the Trail is giving Stevens Point a great big hug!

Up at the top, in the crook of the heart, you see a large green space labeled Schmeeckle Reserve. This special part of the Circle is located on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.Given that we have a very well known College of Natural Resources, this is a great benefit for the students to have literally right across the street. I decided that this is the part that I would investigate.
Schmeeckle Reserve is a 280-acre sanctuary in the heart of the city of roughly 26,000 population (plus an additional 9,000 during the school year). This site was established to protect the natural habitats of Central Wisconsin. 

There are five miles of trails in this one park. Only part of the trails are actually on the Green Circle. But as I thought about it, this is like a microcosm of the entire Green Circle Trail. In this one little area I would likely experience a lot of the terrain and habitat that would be on the entire 26+ miles.
There is a 24-acre lake in the middle that is available for fishing, canoeing, and just relaxing. Swimming and motor boats are prohibited. Along the shores it is not uncommon to see many wildlife species like fox, flying squirrels, wild turkeys, white-tailed deer, Pileated woodpeckers, ducks, geese and frogs. 

Ready to take a walk with me? 

(Click the picture to see it larger.)

And here is my creation that I call Walking the Trail. Do you see my inspiration?

Lisa Peters Art ceramic leaf focal
Wood button from the fabric store
Wood plank trail
Eucalyptus pod "acorn"
Green Girl Studios squirrel
Humblebeads disk beads
Teal waxed linen thread
Seed bead goldenrod flowers
Peanut bead white blooms
Brass cornerless cubes and rounds
Hammered copper link chain
Green seed beads from a necklace my mother wore

I am thinking about using this piece for the 2014 Verse & Vision exhibit at the Gallery Q. As I understand it, this year instead of us making art from the poems, there is going to be an option for the poets to write verse based on our art. I think this would tell an interesting story! I will also look into seeing if the Green Circle Trail organization will be having any fundraisers soon.

Thank you for joining me on this staycation in Stevens Point, Wisconsin!


Have fun hopping!


Charlotte said...

Stunning piece!! I love how well the different elements come together in such a cohesive look! This was a fabulous idea for a blog hop! I had a blast! Thanks again for coordinating and for including me!

Shai Williams said...

What a fabulous necklace and so different from your usual style. Love it!

Mal said...

Wonderful necklace. I LOVE the path effect. Very clever Erin! And I agree with Charlotte, a terrific Challenge.

LisaS said...

Interesting background on green circle trail. Beautiful necklace!

Karin G said...

Your necklace is beautiful, I want to follow the path...
I loved the challenge, thank you for organizing it!

kimmykats said...

Erin thanks so much for this challenge...what fun it has been. I love all the different components to your necklace...the little beaded flowers, the wood path to the focal. I have visited your lovely city...we had a great time there!

Anonymous said...

That is a gorgeous necklace! I love it! I am so jealous of your talent. Thank you for sharing this story about your local area. It was amazing to follow the trail; one day, I want to visit there!

Unknown said...

Thank you for hosting this hop. I had so much fun participating and I can't wait to see all the posts. Your necklace is amazing - I love how you brought together all of those elements into a cohesive piece. It's beautiful.

Gale said...

What a great idea for a hop--I'm enjoying the visits while everybody else got to stay at home!

I also love how you "translated" that walk on the trail into your necklace. The green with the wood pieces are lovely. Is the round focal wood? It's beautiful.

Sandi Volpe said...
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Sandi Volpe said...

Gorgeous necklace and lovely pictures.

Thanks for hosting Erin and I would love to walk that trail with all the beautiful scenery.

Have a great weekend.

Sandi Volpe said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Cece Cormier said...

Beautiful and so creative. Makes me want to walk that trail.

AntiquityTravelers said...

as always a stunning piece... it has such wonderful flow to it - just like a great hike! I bet you live it a gorgeous place

Maneki said...

Beautiful necklace! Love how you've incorporated so many different elements or parts of the trail into to one "collage" necklace. Managing to do that and still keep it harmonious and tied together can be very tricky, but this looks so balanced and well put together.

Great idea with a trail like that, creating ways out into nature from within the urban fabric.

I looked at that map and the first thing that caught my eye was the Plover River -- what a lovely meandering pattern it makes! It'd make a great border on a bead or pendant.

Thanks for hosting this challenge! I've had a lot of fun with it! And thanks to Uggi's speedy recovery I even managed to finish my creations in time for the hop even if it didn't look like it earlier this worry-filled week.

Tanya said...

Oh, Erin, that is gorgeous -- absolutely gorgeous. I love how it invokes the feeling of nature and the stick beads look so much like a little bridge on a trail.

Don't get me started on the little squirrel or the humblebeads .. it's just perfect!

I know it would be a great piece for the poets. There is so much detail.

My father in law builds trails (as a hobby) and often takes us out for a hike. My husband was very jealous to learn about your beautiful trail so close.

Thank you again for a wonderful challenge. I can't wait to start hopping after work. :)

Monique (A Half-Baked Notion) said...

Erin, you are a born storyteller! It was fun reading about the history of the place you call home... and that necklace is so perfect in its reflection of living close to nature. Makes me want to dash out for a walk in the woods!

EB Bead and Metal Works, LLC said...

Gorgeous piece Erin - it is like walking the trail on daily basis when wearing that piece! Thank you for sharing the walking trails of Stevens Point and I do like the image of the heart!!!

Chrissy said...

Wow...I just love your necklace! All the elements flowed so nicely..It does remind me of a walk along a trail. Its perfect! And the leaf pendent...and the wooden disk are just lovely!

Jean Katherine Baldridge said...

How Beautiful. Always beautiful work from a beautiful person!!! xox jean
I love where you live!
I think it has a lot to do with who you are and why you are the person you are.

koko said...

This is simply beautiful Erin! You are such an inspiration to me :-) thank you for sharing your town and your wonderful art!

Karin Slaton said...

Erin, thank you so much for inspiring us with this hop. Love how you've portrayed your city's walking trail with a canvas of beads - beautifully rendered! I especially love the seed bead goldenrod!

Juliette said...

such a beautiful piece and presentation!! I've loved your work for a long time :)

Ann Schroeder said...

This necklace is so beautiful. I love all the elements from the trail (especially the wood plank trail!) and that you used beads from a necklace your mother wore. This necklace would make a great poem!

Patti Vanderbloemen said...

Wow! This is absolutley fantastic! I wish I had access to something this awesome in my town! Your piece speaks volumes with no words!

My parents met in Stevens Point in 1953. Although the trail was not there at the time, and I have never visited personally, your town holds a special place in my heart!


Lisa Cone - Inspired Adornments said...

I love your piece! It really captures the heart of the trail. I participated with another odd selection of pieces. I tend to just go off on a tangent with this theme! Don't hate. ;)

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful, evocative necklace! It really captures the landscape perfectly! Thanks again for hosting another fantastic hop! It'sso much fun to play along.

Kathleen Lange Klik said...

Wow-what an amazing necklace! You never cease to amaze or inspire me Erin. It really does represent the story of your walk beautifully!

I really enjoy seeing your jewelry creations-they captivate and inspire me all while sharing a unique story. Your words are beautifully spoken through your designs.

CraftyHope said...

That necklace is just phenomenal! I really like the earthiness that you gave to it in reference to the trail. Speaking of the trail, what a super cool resource to have right there in your (almost) back yard. It looks like it's a beauty too! Fun!

Dawn Doucette said...

Erin, I love it and I totally see your inspiration! I really love the little squirrel.... I'm a sucker for cute fuzzy creatures. :) Gorgeous necklace and so perfect for fall!

I love doing this challenge and it was such a joy to be able to share where I live with the world. Aren't we so lucky? Have an amazing day!

Marcie Abney Carroll said...

Gurl, I heart the button, and the skills to put together something like this in just a couple of hours! Talented, wha??? Awesome.

Maplegirl said...

That necklace looks like Mother Nature herself would be wearing it. I love it so much, with all of the interesting components to keep looking at. Andrea

Anonymous said...

What a fun tour of home towns! Such a personal challenge idea and your necklace is a gorgeous result of the inspiration.

Unknown said...

Once again your challenge has been exciting and so inviting, as is all of your creativity. Your nature trail seems like a dream come true, and seeing everyone else's "part of the world" brings us all so much closer together. Thank you.

Naomi Rose Designs said...

I love how your necklace really looks like a walk in the woods!

aneri_masi said...

WHat a wonderful post, Erin!!! I can totally see how the pics translated into the necklace. I do miss living in the mid-west...especially in Fall!!

Thanks for hosting, and another thanks for adding my post to the inlinkz! You the best :)

Anonymous said...

I love your necklace. You did a wonderful job making the assymetry work. The park near you sounds great. I wish I had known about your area. I went to the Bead and Button Show this year and visited Door County. I love it.

Anonymous said...

I love your necklace. You did a wonderful job making the assymetry work. The park near you sounds great. I wish I had known about your area. I went to the Bead and Button Show this year and visited Door County. I love it.

Tracy Statler said...

This is a work of art and so well put together. It truly does tell a story and it would be perfect for the gallery. What a fun hop you put together!


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