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Five Ways to Get Outside and Support Sustainable Business in Dane County this Summer

Posted: 2:11PM May 30th, 2017 | Comments

Sunshine and warm weather have arrived! These are my favorite ways to enjoy the beautiful outdoors in Dane County this summer, while also supporting local sustainable business.


1. Plan a bike ride! If you use the bicycle benefits program, you can stop at a participating cafe along the route. You can find a list of participating businesses in Madison here. My favorite route is the gentle and scenic Lake Loop around Lake Monona, with a stop at Lakeside Street Coffee House or Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream Co. Check out these maps for plenty more bike routes all around Dane County.

2. Go to a local Farmers’ Market. The famous Dane County Farmers’ Market is always fun, but there are many more to discover around the city. I like the East Side Farmers’ Market in Central Park because it’s right off the bike path. Also, they have Chrysalis Pops, a vendor that sells delicious popsicles for a good cause. Chrysalis is a local organization that provides work opportunities to people in our community who have mental illnesses. Find a market near you here.

3. Take a walk through the Olbrich Botanical Gardens. Olbrich is committed to sustainability, and is one of our MPower alumni. The 16 acre outdoor garden is always changing, so I like to go many times throughout the warmer months to watch the progression. The indoor Bolz Conservatory is beautiful, and a great way to learn about tropical plants (and marvel at the skill it takes to grow them in Wisconsin)! You can even take a guided garden stroll, or see a concert in the gardens. The full calendar of events can be found here.

4. Visit the animals at the Henry Vilas Zoo. No matter your age, the sweet lemurs, playful polar bears, and foreboding badgers are sure to entertain. Summer is the best time to visit the Zoo, as most animals have outdoor habitats and you’re more likely to see them out and about. Be sure to check out the alpacas - they’re adorable!

5. Attend an adult class or workshop at the Aldo Leopold Nature Center, another Sustain Dane MPower alum. Their programming ranges from lectures on conservation to chainsaw training, so everyone is sure to find something interesting and useful. Take a look at their calendar for upcoming classes.


Whatever you choose to do, make sure to make the most of this summer - it always passes sooner than you think!


By Lorenza Zebell, Sustainable Business Intern




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