Apostle Islands Region Place-Based Workshop

May 30 - June 3, 2007
Ashland, WI

Thanks to the generosity of the Nelson Institute, CHE organized a place-based workshop in the Apostle Islands region of northern Wisconsin from May 30 to June 3, 2007.

The goals of this workshop were to explore the many facets of the region's environmental history, to meet with area residents to learn how they engage with their places, and to build community among CHE members. Participants stayed at Northland College in Ashland and visited the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, Madeline Island, the estuaries along Lake Superior, the Northern Great Lakes Visitors Center, local working forests, state natural areas, orchards, tourist sites, fisheries, and Duluth. We also had the opportunity to discuss the challenges of teaching interdisciplinary environmental issues at the college level during an evening reception with faculty of Northland College.


On Wednesday, May 30, we departed Madison and drove to Ashland. There we spent several hours at the Northern Great Lakes Visitors Center, talking about community involvement, issues of environmental tourism, and the human and ecological history of the region.

Thursday, May 31, was spent visiting Apostle Islands National Lakeshore and discussing issues relating to tourism in the town of Bayfield and its environs. We met with Superintendent Bob Krumenaker to learn about issues facing the park. After a morning at park headquarters and Little Sand Bay, CHE members enjoyed free time to explore Bayfield before hearing an afternoon panel discussion about tourism at the Bayfield Pavilion. Dinner was followed by a presentation about the public practice of environmental history by Warren Nelson and Betty Ferris of the Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua.

The trip for Friday, June 1, focused on watershed, forestry, and farming issues. We started with a kayak trip into the Fish Creek estuaries and Whittlesey Creek wildlife refuge, led by a UW-Extension outreach coordinator. We then met with other locals, including a local orchard manager and coordinators of environmental and community gardening programs on the Red Cliff Ojibwe Indian reservations.

Saturday, June 2, was devoted to an architectural and cultural odyssey through Duluth, Minnesota and its harbor area narrated by UW's Arnie Alanan.

Finally, on Sunday, June 3, we explored Madeline Island, with a tour of the historical museum, explorations of La Pointe, and a visit to Big Bay state park.