Determined. Motivated.

Like many, I’ve been finding ways to adventure in my own neighborhood.

I take several walks to the park, run up and down the hill with my husband and our 3 year old son, 10 year old daughter, and 6 year old husky. I’m thrilled to see the joy of my 3 year old climb trees, something I SO loved as a child! We’re exploring the town, tracking down rivers, trains, butterfly eggs or larva and soaking up as much nature as possible. When I reflect on adventures we have together I’m thankful.

I’m feeling the nudge to climb higher, explore more, and set my own goals. The pace I’ve been living is beautiful, yet slow. I need something fresh, exciting, and  challenging that keeps me craving for more! I don’t sit still for long. The payoff for any goal needs to be well worth it or I will fail. I’ve had many ideas that just didn’t pan out. Things I’ve dreamt of doing and worked hard for and I had the heavy realization that those things just weren’t for me. This was actually a huge bummer and something I can get more into another day but basically not all career goals or things I thought I’d be IN love with were ME and so I moved on. I learned how to tell when it was time to move on, something that was hard and lengthy but has helped me grow in so many ways. Now, enough of all that. Let’s move onto when I felt motivated and determined to be and do more for me.


First, I replaced my Facebook phone app(deleted it) with a fitness app. Yay! On average, I was spending 4 hours a day on Facebook! What a waste. I thought, what else can I do with this beautiful gift of time. I’ve always been the type of person who wished there were more hours in the day and now, I could make that happen?! Check! I started to dream about what I could do in 4 more hours, now that wasn’t all during the day in one block of time, it’s all the countless pickups and brief minutes of scrolling FB. It really adds up! I was a huge scroller at night or in the early morning. It kept my mind going and going a little too fast, anxious fast.

Now….after a few weeks I’m averaging at only 15 minutes a day! Whew!  It’s opened me up to try new things. I went from feeling anxious with a racing mind to feeling motivated, excited and ready to DO the things I love. Don’t get me wrong I still did things I loved before but there was always this excuse or that excuse. Maybe Moms or Dads, or anyone reading this that has ever pushed their life to the side(maybe you tucked yourself next to a pretty growing flower and you’re the little seedling in the shade) understands this. I don’t need to always get X, Y, and Z done anymore. It’s okay if I want to go running and my children don’t want to, it’s okay if I want to go bouldering and not everyone in my house wants to, it’s okay to do things that are my “own” things that make me feel free. I also don’t need to get sucked into things that just aren’t for me. I feel like I’m discovering myself. I don’t intend to make this all about me in this post. I’ve had a lot of support from my husband, homeopath(who is an adventurer too), and my counselor so I definitely didn’t get here easily or quickly.  When I daydream and think of all the things I hope to do I always circle to writing stories on Nature Reel. It’s been a passion of mine and a happy release. I think of some of my environmental “hero”  writers like Thoreau, Whitman, Berry, and Carson. For years I’ve been day dreaming up stories I would write on Nature Reel, some of them I’d like to co-write with my husband. There are wild trips I’d like to share with you. Many. I hope you stay tuned!


Lower Fox River Basin

The Lower Fox River Basin is located in the northeastern part of the state which includes Brown, Calumet, Outagamie, and Winnebago counties. The rivers basin empties 6,349 square miles of water northeast to the Bay of Green Bay which then empties into Lake Michigan, which is surrounded by large industrial, commercial, agricultural, and urban areas. This creates many nonpoint sources that greatly affect the water quality.

The Fox River Appleton Watershed holds 39 square miles of land that include the city of Appleton. Much of the land contains glacial deposits as a result from the WI Ice Age that happened over 10,000 years ago. The soil is rich with remains of limestone. The land’s natural habitat once had prairie, oak, savanna, and maple-basswood forests. Much has changed over the years because of human practices, the forests have lost density and agriculture has decreased. In the 1600’s Europeans used the Fox River for fur trading, fishing, crop maintenance, and transportation. People began to settle in Green Bay and then along the river where a large timber industry began, which led to larger industries and urbanization.Within the last century an extremely large amount of raw waste was running into the river. In 1931 Green Bay formed a Metropolitan Sewage District and its first sewage treatment plant. The Federal Clean Water Act began in 1972 to help limit pollution. WI then created its own Pollution Discharge Elimination System, which required businesses to reduce their organic waste that runs into the river.Now the water is known as a warm river with impaired water conditions. There are advisories of fish consumption since 1976 because of PCB’s that settled along the riverbed.  Various programs that cost millions of dollars are working together to restore the Fox River. NCR Corp. and Sonoco- U.S. Mills spent about $30 million on a project that removed 130,000 cubic yards of PCB-contaminated sediment.

Within the watershed lies 100.87 acres of the Fox River Lock Channel-Appleton, it is located within the Fox River and the Plum and Kankapot Creeks. Agriculture takes up most of the watershed use with a high of 64.15% while residential use is 12.56% and forests use is 7.92%. The watershed has a “high” level of groundwater and streams.

There have been many monitoring projects within the Fox River Lock Channel-Appleton. After looking at the most recent reported data in July of 2002, I discovered that out of the water collected 80% was sand, 71% silt, and 21% clay. There were also reports of 129000.0 UG/G dry of organic total carbon, 93.0 UG/G dry of PCB 1242, while many additional results were reported to have been insufficient sample, reports approximate. Much of this data was received by gathering physical, chemical, and biological data from the habitat. There are 6 point (known) flows of discharge into the river. The Appleton City, Heart of the Valley Sewerage District, Anchor Foods, Foremost Farms USA, and Thilmany International Paper are all known discharges. The Fox River Watershed may now be selected as a “priority”  by the WI Nonpoint Source Pollution Abatement Program. There are also plans under way by the WI Administrative Code NR 121 to help protect the water quality. There have been a variety of grants offered to restore the different areas of the Fox River watershed. The most recent proposed project is to hire a County Aquatic Invasives Coordinator. These projects encourage improvements of the Fox River Basin and its habitat in the future.

Lower Fox River Basin – WDNR.

Non-GMO Month

Non-GMO Month was created by the Non-GMO Project to educate communities about consumption of genetically modified organisms. The upcoming Non-GMO Month is a way to encourage community events and participation in your area. To learn more you can follow the direct link below.
Non-GMO Month

Our Environment- US EPA

This is a very informative link to the EPA’s energy consumption site in Wisconsin. Here you can learn what sites are emitting pollutants such as mercury, etc. You can also track your air, water, and land quality. Based on a 2008 Energy Production vs. Consumption Graph, our state consumed the least amount of nuclear gases compared to other energy sources.

OurEnvironment | US EPA.