Happy Tonics on the move

posted by Mary Ellen Ryall

March 2, I did a radio interview with Jim Dick, Managing Director, Discover Wisconsin. The topic was Earth Day and why it is important.  The broadcast is scheduled to air on radio stations across the state on March 10. As many of you may realize, Happy Tonics sponsors the Washburn County Earth Day Event in Shell Lake. This year’s event is on April 23. See event details at www.happytonics.org

 March 11, Happy Tonics and invited guests will attend the Discover Wisconsin Premiere & Gala in Spooner, WI, 6 p.m. at the Palace Theatre ; 7 p.m. Gala at Northwest Sports Complex Ballroom. The syndicated television network broadcast will air on Saturday, March 12. The Washburn County TV program includes the Monarch Butterfly Habitat, Shell Lake, Woodcarving Museum, Shell Lake and others. Michelle Voight, Executive Director of Washburn County Tourism Association (WCTA), was instrumental in getting Washburn County promoted as a Tourist and Vacation Destination. Washburn County WCTA members that include businesses and nonprofit organizations are featured in this TV program.

Stations and Times: Local access channels: WDEE TV 4, Deerfield; WSCS TV 8, Sheboygan; Channel 12, Cottage Grove; New London, Cable 6; City Channel 25, West Allis; JATV 12, Janesville; PEG Station Channel 6, Mauston; W43BR Baraboo; FSN North and FSN Wisconsin, All stations air on Saturday, 10 am; WQOW, Eau Claire, Sun. 5 p.m.; WKOW, Madison, Sat. 6:30 p.m.; WFRV Green Bay, Sat. 5 p.m.; WJMN, Marquette, Sat. 6:30 p.m., WAOW, Wausau, Sat. 6 p.m.; WXOW, La Crosse, Sun. 5 p.m.; WYOW, Eagle River, Sat., 6:30 p.m., WIFR, Rockford, IL, Sat., 6:30 p.m., KFXA, Cedar Rapids, Dubuque, IA; WDIO, Superior/Duluth, Sun. 5:30 p.m., WIRT, Hibbing, MN, Sun. 5:30 p.m.; WITI, Milwauke3, Sunday, 9 a.m.;   

 March 16 – Environmental Film Feast at Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College (LCOOCC) will feature speaker Kevin Schoessow, Agricultural Agent, Spooner Agriculture Research Station. Subject: Composting. One can’t have a soil enriched garden without composting.  A rare film, “Life in the Soil” will be shown. Food prices may continue to rise to offset rising fuel cost at the pump. One way to be sustainable is to plant a vegetable garden. Soil is just as important as seed. Many seed companies are charging more for garden seed this year.  Join us at LCOOCC on March 16, 12 Noon to 2:30 p.m. 13644 Trepania Road, Hayward, WI.

 We are pleased to announce that Pat Shields, Happy Tonics Board Member and Faculty at LCOOCC, recently received an International Faculty Award to attend the seminar on sustainability in Costa Rica and Nicaragua this summer. The National Science Foundation is a co-grantor.  Shields will be submitting the college’s 3 year grant with the Center for Traditional Medicine in Esteli, Nicaragua, on March 16th and leaves for Nicaragua on March 17th. 

 March 19 – Happy Tonics will be exhibiting at the 11th Annual New Ventures Garden Seminar, Northwest School, Hwy. 53, Minong, WI. We will promote Earth Day Event and Monarch Butterfly Habitat in Shell Lake. Cassie Thompson, young environmental advocate will assist us. She lives in Minong and is an inspiration for youth across the Nation to get involved in Volunteerism.

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Discover Wisconsin Films in Shell Lake

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.

Holiday Fundraising Please Don’t Turn the Other Cheek

Facebook has been very kind to Happy Tonics. Here is where we can post our Cause – Sanctuary for the Monarch Butterfly and why we need to raise money. We all work for free – that is the officers, board, members and volunteers. It takes funds to implement a native habitat on an old railroad bed that was full of cement and possible chemicals from earlier days.

I was told by the elder and Honorable Charles Lutz, former Mayor of Shell Lake, that during the Great Depression hobos would ride the train into Shell Lake and set up camp. He remembers the days when he saw their cooking fires and make shift camps along the lakeside near the railroad tracks. No one in Shell Lake was mean to them. The little community understood the plight of their fellow suffering human beings and left them alone.

Dotted mint

Dotted mint

I can’t even imagine how degraded the soil was when we first attempted to do something about a mowed barren strip of land. We still need to put up a display case for donors (each with donations of $100 or more) and redo the wood chip path with some recycled materials that will keep the habitat from growing right into the path.  It is too hard for us 60 something year olds to be on our hands and knees pulling weeds. We also need a tool shed for hand mower and other equipment.

This is a perfect opportunity to raise the banner and promote our cause at http://wishes.causes.com/wishes/142151

Be generous folks. We are all volunteers and it takes funding to build a 1/2 acre habitat with its split rail fence, pergola, memory benches and metal and cement sculpture art. The annual maintenance in season runs from April – October and is labor intensive. 

The TV crews were at the Monarch Butterfly Habitat this past 4th of July weekend filming the habitat. The Restored Native Remnant Tallgrass Prairie dedicated as a Monarch Butterfly Habitat is going to be featured on public television starting in March 2011 on Discover Wisconsin. 

Thank you insectamonarca friends where ever you are.

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