Once upon a time, eight years ago this month, I hit publish on THE PARK NEXT DOOR, and this website was born. It was a long time coming. I had been out hiking, bird-watching, and photographing nature for several years, when I finally decided to publish what I'd been finding and share it with the world. If I had been struggling to find local nature spots, others must have been, too.
So, here we are, eight years, and 180 listings later. With blog posts, special features on gardening, bird migration, and Winter in Wisconsin, too.
Season after season, year after year, I'm still discovering new places to spend time in nature. And I'm still in love with the whole process. In fact, I love it even more as time and experience continues.
Through difficult times, creating and publishing this website and its content have kept me going, instead of faltering. Through loss, health issues, a pandemic. Through good times, too, of course. It motivates me, pushes me to get out there, to see what I can see. Breathe the fresh air, walk the trails, listen for birdsong, take pictures. Lots of pictures. Nature is such a healing force. I would be lost without it.
My goal for this year is to get to 200 listings on the site. I have a pretty good wish list of Adventure Goes Local going, so I have no doubt I'll get there. Sooner rather than later, I expect. In the meantime, here are a few recent highlights that have been added to the website. Daylight is lasting longer, warmer weather is moving in. Spring is imminent. Step outside. Visit THE PARK NEXT DOOR. And thanks for coming along!
PLEASANT VALLEY PARKS & TRAILS - Cedarburg
This 88-acre park is one of the many Treasures of Oz maintained by the Ozaukee Washington Land Trust. And it's definitely worth the visit. The day we visited was gray and muddy, and yet its beauty shone through. The trails through the woodlands were muddy, and sometimes steep, but scenic. I can't wait to walk them again once the trees are leafed out and the migrating birds have landed. Mountain biking trails are featured here, and there is a covered picnic shelter as well.
WILSON PARK - Milwaukee
This 76-acre park on the near south side is one of the gems of the Milwaukee County Parks system. Featuring a large lagoon, paved walking trails, a multitude of little league and softball diamonds, and a kids playground. There are picnic spots throughout the park, most notably in the charming gazebo along the walking trail around the lagoon. The pond was busy with migrating geese and ducks, and songbirds were moving among the trees. Spring migration should be fun here!
A nature lover, bird watcher, wildlife fan, amateur photographer, humane gardener, traveler, and singer of songs. I've been keeping closer to home these days, and truly discovering the beauty that lies in TheParkNextDoor.