Wisconsin Life # 709: Rise and Climb

November 28, 2019


Wisconsin Life host Angela Fitzgerald heads to the pristine vistas of Mirror Lake State Park where she hits the trails with Girls Who Hike Wisconsin. The local chapter of the national organization helps provide women a chance to get together and get outdoors. She talks with Mirror Lake State Park Superintendent Ryder Will to learn about the highlights of this nature oasis. Angela also meets up with Natalie Harmann, the ambassador of the Wisconsin chapter. She explains their mission of building a community around hiking.


Fitzgerald also shares a collection of all-new stories from our Wisconsin Life team, including a profile of crochet prodigy Jonah Larson. Larson has built an international following of craft enthusiasts. His story started in an Ethiopian orphanage. He came to Wisconsin and at age five discovered crochet. A smart, but always- in-trouble student, Jonah credits being able to crochet in school as a way to focus his energy. Now, he is eager to spread his message of mindful focus and encouraging creativity through his popular Instagram feed and a new book written with his mom.

 Next, we visit travel to Antigo.  There injured birds can heal without the fear of predators under the care of Marge Gibson, the founder and director of the Raptor Education Group, Inc. Gibson and her staff are dedicated to wildlife education and raising the public’s awareness of how they can care for wildlife in their everyday life. Once a bird is healed and ready to be released, it is returned back to its home environment and set free.

Then, as a comedian, humor is what gets Dina Nina Martinez noticed. Her message is what resonates with women. Originally from Texas, Dina Nina Martinez found her way to Madison via Los Angeles. Comedy became therapy for what Martinez has been through in life. As a trans person, she feels it’s important to be visible and open because that makes it better for everyone. She says she’s found camaraderie with women in the Midwest that she’s never experienced before.

 Finally Wisconsin Life travels to Medford where Gordy “Chainsaw Gordy” Lekies had a collection of vintage chainsaws. Displaying them from telephone poles near the highway, he says people like to take photos of the collection as they pass. He initially had no intention of cleaning them up and getting the chainsaws running, but he says he hopes to turn his collection into a mobile chainsaw museum.


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