Diane Dryden, July 21, 2010 Washburn County Register
SHELL LAKE – Due to the efforts of Michelle Voight, the Washburn County executive director of tourism, the film crew and host of “Discover Wisconsin,” Stephanie Klett, along with her film crew, Jim Dick the producer and Trevor Wright the camera man, visited and documented several areas in the county.
Actually the information and film we’ve gotten in Washburn County will be a two-year, continuous loop of advertising,” said Klett, who is the managing director for the Discover Wisconsin Media Network and is the host of the show.
“Washburn County will not only be included in various press releases; it will have a Web presence, Discoverwisconsin.com. I also do three-minute sound bites on 40 stations, Monday through Friday, throughout the state. The half-hour program will run three times within that two-year period beginning next March.”
During Klett’s 17-year tenure with the program, she’s filmed in all 72 counties while traveling the entire state each year. “It’s no problem for me to put on from 50,000-100,000 miles on my car and our crew works 300 days a year, filming and then editing copy so it fits into our 30-minute program.”
Klett does the interviewing and research, along with Dick, when hired by various counties for “Discover Wisconsin’s” half-hour program.
Included in the program about Washburn County is Hunt Hill, the Museum of Woodcarving, the Washburn County Historical Society, The Railroad Memories Museum, Long Lake, the Birchwood Logging Museum, the Howard Morley Homestead, Gov. Tommy Thompson Fish Hatchery, Spooner Farmers Market, the veterans cemetery, the rodeo, the Wisconsin Canoe Heritage Museum and the Monarch Habitat in Shell Lake.
The habitat was created four years ago because one woman had a vision and she worked tirelessly and jumped through lots of hoops to make her dream a reality. That woman is, of course, Mary Ellen Ryall. As was mentioned during the filming, everything that is in the habitat, which was created out of a former railroad side yard, including the native plants, the pergola, the split-rail fence enclosing the entire the site area and the benches and the trees, came through grants and donations.
“Happy Tonics is a paid member of Washburn County Tourism and we are included in the TV segment because the program includes filming of natural resources and this is something special that Washburn County and the Monarch Butterfly Habitat have to offer,” said Ryall.
“In an age of climate change, native habitat is the only way to go, and the restored remnant tall grass prairie is an open classroom to teach others about the benefits of native habitat and its plants and pollinators such as the monarch butterfly and native bees.”
The habitat is proof that if you are determined to see something accomplished, it will be and you might even become an international organization and end up on television someday.