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3/4/2016
Like the WWII movement of the same name, Gretchen Mead’s Victory Garden Initiative fights for a cause; her battle is the poor diet of people living in poverty. She has rallied hundreds of volunteers to build 2,500 vegetable beds in low-income Milwaukee neighborhoods during seven annual blitzes. Now she wants to help other towns to do the same. We chatted with Gretchen about the roots of her... More
3/2/2016
In February, sunsets and sunrises colored winter landscapes and caught the eyes of our Instagram photographers. The five most-liked photos of the month:  1) @justinrogers captures a peaceful sunset in central Iowa near Ogden. 2) Sunrise at Hollow Rock on Lake Superior in Minnesota's North Shore region by @traunfoto. 3) Sunset near McGregor, North Dakota,... More
2/26/2016
As temps gradually warm up across the Midwest, we're starting to get a wee bit antsy about spring. Bring on the lilacs, thawed lakes and short-sleeve weather. To hold us over, we scrolled through our Instagram feed to last spring's photos and did a little dreaming. If this year's spring is half as beautiful as last year's, it's going to be worth the wait. Here are 15... More
1/27/2016
Iowa’s capital becomes the political epicenter of America every four years, thanks to the Iowa Caucuses (February 1 this year). More than 1,600 credentialed media outlets have arrived—or are slated to arrive—to cover all the action. But the buzz isn’t just surrounding politics. These articles, tweets and Instagram photos give you a taste of what it’s like... More
1/12/2016
As sunshine illuminates one of Jennifer Shea Hedberg’s ice globes, tiny threads radiate from the center like a silver sparkler and interior bubbles shimmer like mercury. But the real enchantment—especially for the Frozen generation—comes at night when candles or battery-operated lights make the globes glow. “The round dome looks like a moon,”... More
1/8/2016
Twenty-five feet of snow would seem like plenty for anybody. But as each spring approaches in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, Tasha Stielstra worries about it all disappearing too soon. For her and her family's 150 dogs at Nature's Kennel, a long winter means more runs through the forests around their home in McMillan. We chatted with Tasha about her love of dogs and the great outdoors... More
1/5/2016
If there’s one televised New Year’s event that we all notice along with the Times Square ball drop, it’s Pasadena, California’s, January 1 gala. For 127 years, the city’s extravaganza has successfully stuck to a simple mission: Show a winter-weary nation a better way. For Midwesterners, the day has special pull, thanks to the Rose Bowl’s Big 10... More
1/4/2016
Snow and holiday lights dazzled our Instagram fans in the weeks leading up to Christmas. The five most-liked photos of December: 1) A wintry scene in Sycamore, Illinois, by @bookbabym (https://www.instagram.com/p/_FsN_wmzco/).  2) "Winter wonderland" in Cushing, Minnesota, by @laceydobo (https://www.instagram.com/p/_PCwJumzbI/).  3) Rural sunrise near... More
12/18/2015
This season, about 400,000 pieces of mail addressed to the North Pole get diverted to the southern Indiana town of Santa Claus. Local volunteer elves hustle to ensure every letter gets a response on behalf of Santa himself (after all, he is quite busy this time of year). A new book, Letters to Santa Claus, showcases a collection of these letters from the past nine decades. We picked one from... More
12/1/2015
In November, our Instagram fans loved both the first snow of the season and the last touches of fall color. The five most-liked pictures of the month:  1) Winter wonderland in Lambertville, Michigan, photographed by @indiekayla (https://www.instagram.com/p/-oa1QHGzU1/). 2) Fallen leaves cover Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in northern... More