Tag Archives: bayfield

Romantic getaways for a winter weekend in Wisconsin

Use GPS to find “romance” and the map leads to Romance, Wisconsin, off Route 56 near South Creek Road in Vernon County.

This unincorporated community, which claims to be the turkey capital of Wisconsin, is probably not the best destination for a Valentine’s Day getaway, unless there are plans to go hunting or hiking in the nearby Romance Prairie State Nature Area.

Couples looking to celebrate love on Valentine’s Day instead might use GPS to navigate to Kohler, Lake Geneva, Door County and Bayfield, all destinations to rekindle romance and spark passion.

Seeking counsel on romantic getaways, WiG turned to the experts at the Wisconsin Department of Tourism. The suggestions …

Bayfield Bayfield is Wisconsin’s true north. Visitors bundle up and cuddle close in this romantic winter destination. At the Old Rittenhouse Inn, lodgers can book a room with a working fireplace and enjoy a gourmet meal in the dining room of the Queen Anne-style mansion. At Mount Ashwabay, the downhill skiing is outstanding. Bayfield Winery offers wine tastings to toast the spirits and superior winter views of Lake Superior and the Apostle Islands. For the couple that gambles together, a good bet is the Legendary Waters Resort & Casino at Red Cliff.

Door County Quiet, snow-covered Door County is a great romantic getaway. The Settlement Courtyard Inn & Lavender Spa in Fish Creek is inviting, with fireplaces and in-house spa services. For an intimate dinner, the tourism experts recommend reserving a table at the Inn at Kristofer’s in Sister Bay. For breakfast or lunch, dine at The Cookery in Fish Creek. Art galleries offer an opportunity to fill an afternoon with wandering. And, if the holiday weekend’s skies are clear, take a drive to the 19th-century lighthouses along the shoreline.

Kohler The American Club in Kohler promises pampering with a massage at the five-star Kohler Waters Spa. Specialty treatments include the Hammam Ritual, an 80-minute hydrotherapy treatment based on the traditions of Turkish Hammam bathhouses. Those who travel to Kohler over Valentine’s Day weekend can attend a wine dinner, chocolate workshop, choc-tail mixer or chocolate and coffee pairings at In Celebration of Chocolate.

Lake Geneva At Fantasy Hills Ranch in Delavan, couples can go horseback riding across a 70-acre winter wonderland or get cozy under the stars on a moonlit sleigh ride. The Grand Geneva Resort & Spa offers luxury accommodations. This AAA four-diamond resort also offers dining in three restaurants and boasts an indoor waterpark. 

From Farms Not Factories: An action alert on the mega hog-feeding operation proposed in Bayfield County

Dear friend of Farms Not Factories, 

Thank you for all your support over the past year! We’ve come a long way since the Bayfield County Board meeting on Feb. 18, 2015, when the supervisors passed a year-long moratorium on siting CAFOs in Bayfield County.

The members of the Large Scale Livestock Study Committee have completed the Herculean task of determining both the risks to public health and safety posed by CAFOs — as well as gaps in the current regulations and legislation— and have produced a report with recommendations based on clear and convincing scientific data.

I’m writing again to ask you — if you haven’t already — to contact the Bayfield County Board of Supervisors before Jan. 26.  It is critical that board members hear a wide range of perspectives from both county constituents and non-county residents so that they appreciate the breadth and depth of support for stringent regulations to protect Lake Superior.

The proposed Badgerwood CAFO remains a threat to the health and welfare of the area. Existing CAFO regulations do not provide adequate protection and are not well enforced by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.  Further, Bayfield County is required by state law to allow a CAFO applicant to locate (site) within the county, so it is not possible to simply “say no to the CAFO.”  

Therefore, Bayfield County is considering an operations ordinance as a means of regulating potential adverse impacts to the community including risks to public health, safety, pollution and nuisances. The supervisors also will be reviewing an animal waste storage and management ordinance that will need to be approved by the DNR and is intended to protect South Fish Creek, one of the sources of Ashland’s drinking water.  

Please call or write to Bayfield County supervisors to express your concerns regarding the CAFO and your support for stringent standards such as those provided by the proposed ordinances. It is critical that board members hear a wide range of perspectives from both Bayfield County constituents and non-Bayfield County residents. 

If you are not a Bayfield County resident, please contact Dennis Pocernich, Bayfield County Supervisor Chairman.  

Here are some tools to help:

  • Tips for letter writing and suggested topics to include
  • An executive summary of the proposed operations ordinance
  • An executive summary of the proposed South Fish Creek Manure Management and Storage Ordinance
  • A district map and contact information for Bayfield County Supervisors 
  • The Large Scale Livestock Study Committee (LSLSC) Report and Recommendations to the Bayfield County Board of Supervisors

It is very important that the county board feels supported as the operations and manure storage ordinance moves forward. Please encourage your friends and neighbors to write letters as well. 

Also, please plan on attending the Bayfield County Board Meeting at the county courthouse in Washburn on Jan. 26 at 6 p.m.

And thanks for lending your voice to this important issue. 

Poll: Majority of Ashland, Bayfield county residents oppose proposed mega hog farm

Almost two-thirds — 63.3 percent — of Ashland and Bayfield county residents said they are opposed to the proposed Badgerwood LLC Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation in Bayfield County, according to the Northland College Public Opinion Poll released on Jan. 20.

The Northland College Center for Rural Communities conducted telephone interviews with a random sample of 701 households in Ashland and Bayfield counties in December regarding the proposed CAFO in the town of Eileen in Bayfield County and CAFOs in general.

When asked whether they favor or oppose the proposed CAFO in Bayfield County, 63.3 percent responded that they are strongly opposed or leaning toward opposition, 19.5 percent strongly favor or lean toward favoring it. The remaining 17.2 percent are neutral.

Bayfield County is exploring CAFO regulations that would be stronger than current state regulations. Nearly three-quarters — 72.5 percent — of households support tighter local regulations on CAFOs while 19.8 percent oppose tighter regulations, and 7.6 percent remain neutral. 

All participants were asked whether they agree or disagree with concerns on both sides of the issue. The top five concerns are water quality, smell, divisions in the community, air quality and health risks.

A majority of respondents are also concerned about harm to local fishing, decrease to property values, inhumane treatment of pigs, and harm to tourism.

Those who favor the proposed CAFO, are most concerned about missing out on jobs and sending the wrong message to other businesses.

“One of the most interesting findings is that regardless of where people stand on the issue, the majority are concerned that a CAFO will create divisions in the community,” Brandon Hofstedt, faculty director of the CRC, said in a news release.

This is the first of a regular series of public opinion polls, designed to capture the opinions of people living in the north woods region, according to the college.

“We were pleased with the number of people who participated,” Hofstedt said. “This is a timely and relevant issue, and people feel as though they can still have an impact.” 

In addition to opinion polls, the CRC will conduct regular environmental attitudes polls to gauge the beliefs and behaviors of communities over time. The CRC’s first survey will be conducted this spring, with a focus on winter recreation and climate change.

Interviewers asked 26 questions to a random sample of 701 households between Dec. 3, 2015, and Dec. 22, 2015. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3.6 percent at the 95 percent confidence level. A summary of results can be viewed at www.northland.edu/crc/polling.

Smithsonian puts Bayfield on ’20 Best Small Towns to Visit’ list

The town of Bayfield in northern Wisconsin is one of “The 20 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2015,” according to Smithsonian.com.

Bayfield Mayor Larry J. MacDonald, in a news release from the Bayfield Chamber & Visitor Bureau, said, “The recent designation from Smithsonian reinforces all the qualities of the place we call home.

MacDonald believes the residents of Bayfield place “people, the environment and our businesses in high regard,” making it a community that stands out from all the rest.  

“We are lucky to have a talented community that chooses to be both supportive and protective of our many assets, including both Lake Superior and the Apostle Islands” he said. “It is hard to imagine a better place than Bayfield.”

For the past fours years, Smithsonian Magazine has highlighted its choices for the top 20 small towns in America as a way to encourage their readers to “take the path less traveled.”

A selection committee at Smithsonian.com selected this year’s top 20 towns from a pool of about 13,000 small American towns with populations of 20,000 people or less. According to Smithsonian writer and editor Bess Lovejoy, the committee used a geographic information service, ESRI, to narrow down its selection. 

Lovejoy wrote, “Mother Nature is the undeniable draw in Bayfield.”

The town, which sits on the pristine south shore of Lake Superior, is the gateway to the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. 

Kelley Linehan, marketing and events manager at the Bayfield Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Bureau, said in the news release, “Clearly, the Smithsonian is a very well-respected institution, so this is a high honor for Bayfield. One of the aspects that I found to be particularly interesting is that their definition of a small town is 20,000 people or less. With Bayfield checking in at population 487, we were up against communities much larger than us, yet we made the final list.”

Bayfield is host to four major festivals each year including Bayfield in Bloom, Bayfield Festival of Arts and Gallery Tour, Apple Festival and the Apostle Islands Sled Dog Race.

Home to 14 orchards and fruit farms, the town has also been dubbed the “Berry Capital of Wisconsin.”

Environmentalists raise concerns about proposed pig-feeding operation in Bayfield

The environmental group Clean Wisconsin says it has many unanswered questions about the potential for water pollution, air quality, odor management and other health and environmental impacts of a proposed pig-feeding operation in Bayfield County.

The group says additional study — specifically an environmental impact statement — is needed.

“There are a lot of questions that have been raised, and an EIS can help answer them,” Elizabeth Wheeler, senior staff attorney at Clean Wisconsin, said in a news release issued on March 18. “We need to better understand this project and its potential impact before a permit for the site is issued or denied.”

In December 2014, Badgerwood LLC submitted an application to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to build a concentrated animal feeding operation in the town of Eileen in Bayfield County. The company proposes to house more than 26,000 pigs and apply 6.8 million gallons of liquid manure over 880 acres of land, according to the Clean Wisconsin release. Once weaned, the piglets would be sent to Iowa.

The proposal has sparked concerns in Bayfield, with residents and environmental groups questioning the impact of the operation.

Clean Wisconsin said the operation has the potential to pollute the Fish Creek and White River watersheds, which feed into nearby Lake Superior. In addition, the site could release harmful emissions and odors throughout neighboring communities.

So on March 18, Clean Wisconsin asked the DNR to complete an EIS for Badgerwood.

“If permitted, the facility would be the first CAFO in Bayfield County,” said Wheeler. “Developing an EIS will allow citizens to voice their concerns about potential impacts and would provide a complete evaluation of the impacts so decision-makers can be fully informed.”

The DNR recently revised regulations for when an environmental impact statement must be prepared and, according to Clean Wisconsin, the state agency now has broad discretion regarding whether to prepare an EIS for an operation such as the one proposed in Bayfield — the first proposal subject to the new rules.

As Badgerwood LLC’s proposal has the potential to do environmental harm and may result in human health impacts, such as worsening air and water quality, an EIS is warranted, Clean Wisconsin said. In addition, swine feeding operations are not common in Wisconsin, so more study is needed to evaluate the impacts.

“It’s clear the project meets a number of standards requiring the DNR to issue an impact statement,” Wheeler said. “Any project that has the potential to harm Bayfield County’s natural resources deserves a thorough evaluation.”

Sailing adventure: Learning to harness the wind

In sailing, the wind is both friend and foe. Its absence can leave you adrift in the doldrums, while too much of it can send you places you never wanted to go. 

But the right amount of wind coupled with the skills to take advantage of it cannot only send you in the right direction, but also give you quite an exhilarating thrill. On our recent trip to Bayfield, my wife Jean and I found that there’s little we can do about the wind, but a lot we can learn about harnessing its force.

Sailboats, Inc., on Lake Superior’s southern shore, has been instructing would-be mariners since 1980. In three days’ time, the company promised, we would become certified to captain our own vessels and sail the largest of the Great Lakes and other “big waters” around the globe.

Between us, Jean and I had next to no nautical experience. But that didn’t stop us from climbing aboard to learn how to see through the eye of the wind.

We first heard about Sailboats, Inc., years ago when the husband of a friend took the sailing certification course so he could “bare boat,” a nautical term for renting a sailboat without the corresponding captain and crew. He wanted the ability to pilot a vessel himself in the Caribbean. Ever since we heard about this, learning to sail has been on our bucket list. 

We decided that this year was the right time.

Sailboats, Inc., has been chartering sailboats in Bayfield since 1976 and instituted the captain’s certification course a few years later, according to Colleen Hyde, the company’s president. She and business partner Lida Malmgren were both long-term employees when they purchased the firm in 2013. Sailboats, Inc., operates under different ownerships in Chicago and Lake City, Minnesota. Sailboats’ Bayfield operation trains 30-50 newly minted captains each year. 

Our lesson began weeks before we arrived in Bayfield, a resort community of 487 permanent residents. More than 60 pages of reading in The Sailor’s Handbook by Halsey Herreschoff and two hours of video viewing were recommended. The firm told us to expect spending eight hours gaining the groundwork necessary for the course.

Our classroom for three days was the Frolic from Stillwater, Minnesota, a second-generation, 31-foot sailing sloop built by Pearson Yachts in 1987 and equipped with a mainsail (nautically, a “mains’l”) and a jib sail. Our instructor was Capt. Sue Holloway, a lifelong mariner who once lived on her boat in the Caribbean. In the winter, she instructs sailing students in the Bahamas.

Our sailing course was charted among the islands that make up the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore just off Wisconsin’s northernmost coast. Since it was July, we didn’t know whether to expect fair weather or foul. Lake Superior is home to hundreds of known shipwrecks. The list includes the 1975 wreck of the SS Edmund Fitzgerald, made popular in the 1976 Grammy Award-winning Gordon Lightfoot song.

As it turned out, we got a little of everything during our three days afloat. According to Capt. Sue, each of us rose to the challenge.

We shared our floating classroom with Twin Cities resident Adam West and his teenage sons Andrew and Brigham, amateur mariners eager to graduate from their Hobie Cat 16 into a larger, more seaworthy vessel. When it came to experience, they had the advantage over us, but the mix of ages matched with a unity of purpose quickly turned us into an effective, interactive crew.

And a crew certainly proved necessary for the Frolic, a boat with 10,000 pounds of displacement and a ballast of 3,800 pounds located in its fin keel. The keel virtually assured us that the Frolic would never tip over, an aspect that became quite necessary when Jean took the helm and learned how to run with the wind.

Before departing we learned about the forestay, backstay and the ominously named shrouds, strong steel cables that anchor the mast to the front (nautically, the bow), rear (stern) and right and left (starboard and port) sides of the boat. We learned to chart our course using a divider, which measures the distance between two points on a nautical chart, and parallel rulers, which enable an effective charting pattern employing the compass rose present on every chart.

Mastery of the Wind

We learned that a knot is the speed at which a boat travels 1 nautical mile, and that 1 nautical mile is the equivalent of 1.15 statute (land) miles. We also learned about the true wind, the actual speed at which the wind is blowing, and the apparent wind, which refers to the speed of wind compounded by the speed at which you travel through it. (The wind you feel on your hand outside your car window as you drive is the apparent wind.)

Sailing involves mastery of the wind.

We learned first how to measure and, in effect, manage the wind, no matter which direction it blows. Sailing into the wind involves a technique called tacking, a series of switchback maneuvers that can be either narrow or broad. With this technique, the wind fills the sail for short periods of time, advancing the boat incrementally in the desired direction.

The opposite of tacking is jibing, which involves changing direction when the wind is at your back. In both cases, sail manipulation is critical to control the wind’s strength in propelling the boat in the desired direction.

Manipulating the wind is especially critical when moving downwind, the manis’l and jib stretched taut and filled with energy. Jean discovered her inner mariner during several periods at the helm, when a true wind of some 5-7 knots filled the sails and pushed the boat rapidly through Superior’s icy waters. 

With the starboard side heeling low to the water, the mast tipped at a 45-degree angle and the crew sat on the edge of the port side. The rush of the wind and the splash of the waves were exhilarating. Jean was sailing through the eye of the wind.

“I think this has become my signature move,” she said, at first frightened and later thrilled by the experience.

Perhaps it had, but we both knew this was just the beginning.

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Tiny Bayfield has thriving restaurant scene

With just 487 permanent residents, Bayfield is one of Wisconsin’s smaller quaint towns, with a steeply sloping main street that ends at Lake Superior. But it’s also the gateway to the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, consisting of 21 islands and 69,372 acres of shoreline, which makes Bayfield a year-around magnet for tourists throughout the Midwest.

With so many visitors, Bayfield has an unexpected abundance of restaurants for a town its size. These range from good to distinctly excellent.

Bayfield also has its own regional delicacy — whitefish livers.

If you’re heading to Bayfield, be sure to patronize the local culinary scene. Following are some recommendations.

According to legend, Bayfield innkeeper Victor Greunke was the first to offer whitefish livers to the public in the 1940s. The Lake Superior delicacy, which is the size of a thumbnail, sealed Greunke’s fate and made Greunke’s Restaurant (17 Rittenhouse Ave., 800-245-3072) a popular Bayfield destination. 

Batter-dipped and lightly fried, served on a bed of lettuce with homemade tartar sauce and golden toast points, the livers are richly flavorful. When properly prepared, they have a sweet succulence and no “fishy” overtones.

Greunke’s is also a good place for breakfast and evening fish boils.

Speaking of breakfast, The Egg Toss (41 Manypenny Ave., 715-779-5181) offers interesting takes on traditional favorites. Part of the unofficial family of restaurants financed by local philanthropist/entrepreneur Mary H. Rice, heiress to the Andersen Windows fortune, The Egg Toss features hearty, creative fare that taps heavily into locally sourced ingredients. During strawberry season, delicious homemade preserves sourced from locally grown fruit are not to be missed.

Early French explorers first sited the Apostle Islands in the 17th century, naming the 21 wooded isles after Christ’s 12 Apostles. (Dyslexia, rather than simple math, may have been a factor.) Most islands are uninhabited and known mostly for their lighthouses, sea caves and bears (oh my). 

Madeline Island, the largest of the chain and not designated as part of the national seashore, is the year-around residence of about 250 people. It’s also home to what Travel & Leisure once named as one of its top 10 beach bars, even though it’s not on a beach. 

Tom’s Burned Down Café (234 Middle Road, La Pointe, 715-747-6100) began as Leona’s Bar and Dance Hall, a Madeline Island staple since 1950. In the late 1980s, Leona retired, and island resident Tom Nelson bought the bar and moved it to its current location. Nelson and others spent time renovating the place, but in 1992, a month before the renovations were scheduled to be finished, the building caught fire and burned down to its decks. And that was the beginning of the legend.

Today Tom’s Burned Down Café operates as Northern Wisconsin’s only open-air bar — a thriving, partially tented enterprise that hosts live music, has a gallery of work by local artists, and is home to Nelson’s personal collection of cultural effluvia. Less a cafe and more a constant party, Tom’s is great place to stop. Tom’s signature drink Island Rum Punch, a blend of three kinds of rum with pineapple, cranberries and lemonade — all topped with a cherry — is guaranteed to light your own fire.

The Bayfield area’s best surprises are its fine-dining restaurants, which offer outstanding fare at premium prices that bring big-city dining to mind.

The Old Rittenhouse Inn (301 Rittenhouse Ave., 715-779-5111) has achieved almost legendary status, both as Wisconsin’s first — and one of its finest — bed and breakfasts. Its outstanding restaurant is open for breakfast and dinner for the general public as well as B&B guests.

Originally the home of one of Bayfield’s founding fathers, the enormous Queen Anne Victorian house was converted into a B&B by former Madison music teachers Jerry and Mary Phillips nearly 40 years ago. It’s now one of several such Bayfield properties owned by the Phillips family.

In keeping with current fine-dining trends, dinner is a prix fixe affair, with $39 for two courses (soup or salad and an entrée) or $59 for five courses. Expect starters like Lake Superior chowder or, if you’re lucky, chilled strawberry and champagne soup. Salads run from mixed greens to house-smoked trout. An intermezzo to clear the palate follows and then the third course.

Fresh local fish figures prominently on the dinner menu, as does a delicious Steak Bercy and braised pork loin with an apple cider glaze. One of the menu’s most popular items, it’s the only one that’s remained on the menu since the Old Rittenhouse opened its doors in 1976. Choose either the turtle sundae or rum sundae for dessert.

Current innkeeper Mark Phillips has written a book, The Old Rittenhouse Inn Cookbook: Meals and Memories from Bayfield’s Historic B&B, published by Twin Ports Publishing. An official launch party for the book is scheduled for July 30 at the Old Rittenhouse.

The Wild Rice Restaurant (84860 Old San Road, 715-779-9881), just 13 years old, is the most significant part of Mary Rice’s dining legacy. (She also is involved in the more casual Maggie’s at 257 Manypenny Ave.) 

Open only from May through October, the Wild Rice occupies beautiful rustic-modern, art-filled premises just south of Bayfield. Its menu is a step up from the Old Rittenhouse menu, and its execution superior.

First courses include applewood-smoked Norwegian salmon served with greens, triple-cream cheese, roasted beets and sunchokes ($16) and seared La Belle Farm New York foie gras, offered with duck pastrami, local strawberries and a gingersnap foie gras ice cream sandwich ($19). We liked the creamy wild rice soup with house-smoked chicken, bacon and sautéed Granny Smith apples ($12).

At the top of our entrées list were the roasted Lake Superior whitefish and grilled lake trout dusted in pistachio-thyme crumbs and served with a fresh mozzarella-tomato-mâche (a European salad green) and Serrano ham salad ($31). We also liked the prosciutto-wrapped wild Alaska halibut, served with creamed sweet corn with forest mushroom, leeks, fennel, and sautéed kale in a Béarnaise sauce ($40).

Both restaurants sport sophisticated selections at big-city prices, but both deliver on the quality. Is Wild Rice better than Old Rittenhouse? You’ll have to sample them both and judge for yourself.



Bayfield in Bloom

Spring is finally here, and Bayfield celebrates it like no place else. The city’s annual Bayfield in Bloom celebration is a month-long series of events meant to draw visitors to its exemplary fields of flowers and apple orchards. Throughout the month, various outlets in the city feature specials and sales, so there isn’t a bad day to show up. But perhaps the best times to arrive are: for the start, a live broadcast of Wisconsin Public Radio’s Garden Talk on opening day, May 16, at 11 a.m.; or the finish, when the traditional Blessing of the Fleet Ceremony on June 15 parades fishing boats, sailboats, kayaks and more through Bayfield’s City Harbor, where clergy from the Apostles Island community will bless each.

Visit bayfield.org for more details.

May 16 through June 15

Apostle Island Ice Caves

Take advantage of the dwindling winter days and head north to frozen-over Lake Superior, where the ice path from Bayfield to the Apostle Islands is safe enough to travel across for the first time in five years. This offers an opportunity to explore the isles’ majestic Ice Caves, rock formations decorated with ever-changing icicles and a sheer floor that exposes the bottom of the lake. Free to tour. Call 715-779-3397, ext. 3, or visit wavesatseacaves.cee.wisc.edu.

Through winter, while conditions permit

Acceptance grows in Wisconsin

John Smallwood and I thought we’d be able to cool off in the Northwoods.

But John, who is Fair Wisconsin’s advocacy and organizing director, and I found something during our retreat there that’s even hotter than the weather. From Stevens Point to Wausau, and from Ashland to Washburn and Bayfield, people are fired up with enthusiasm for LGBT issues.

The first leg of our tour began in Stevens Point, where on July 17, the Portage County’s Human Resources Committee took up domestic partner benefits. Just a few weeks ago, the Stevens Point Common Council passed such a measure 9–2, and the county is poised to do the same. The July meeting was the beginning of the process.

Meanwhile, Outagamie County Executive Thomas Nelson has been preparing a domestic partner benefits proposal of his own. Rolled out just this week, the measure is expected to be taken up soon by the full county board.

On our other stops in northern Wisconsin, we met with many community leaders and activists who are interested in learning about what they can do to advance LGBT equality. From organizing local Pride festivals to exploring nondiscrimination ordinances and domestic partner benefits, they’re coming up with some wonderful things “up nort” that we’ll be seeing in the months ahead.

There’s much work to be done to repeal our constitutional ban on marriage, but when communities such as Stevens Point, Janesville, Manitowoc, Racine, Kenosha, Eau Claire and beyond join Milwaukee and Madison in making their communities welcoming and inclusive, the message is clear: Wisconsin’s ready to move forward.

In the wake of our recent merger with Equality Wisconsin, Fair Wisconsin’s work to advance equality doesn’t stop with local ordinances. That’s why I’ve recently posted a job description for a new position: Southeastern Wisconsin regional program manager. In keeping with Equality Wisconsin’s tradition of maintaining an office and staff in Milwaukee, we will add this position to Fair Wisconsin to ensure that LGBT and allied activists, community stakeholders and elected leaders will be closely engaged in our work.

The regional program manager will lead several key efforts, including two of Equality Wisconsin’s original programs – Voices of Faith and the Rainbow Sanctuary Project. Aimed at engaging faith leaders and advocating for LGBT homeless youth respectively, these programs will continue Equality Wisconsin’s history of grassroots activism in our merged organization. Integrating these efforts into the current Fair Wisconsin programs will increase the combined leverage resulting from the unification of our organizations.

I’ve said it before, but I think it bears repeating: Together, we are stronger. 

As this position and the unification of our programs has developed, I’ve been extremely excited by the opportunity to create a structure and a model that will increase our organizational capacity over the longterm. Moving to a regional model means that we can build on the successes that both Equality Wisconsin and Fair Wisconsin have had in Milwaukee, while deepening our program efforts and grassroots organizing.

For more information on this position, how to apply, or the merger, feel free to visit fairwisconsin.com.

Katie Belander is executive director of Fair Wisconsin.