JANESVILLE MESSENGER -- Participating in a school play or musical gives students an opportunity to showcase their talents, develop valuable life skills and escape reality for a while.
This weekend and the next several weekends are full of high school productions. Here’s what that talented teens in your neighborhood have in store:
JANESVILLE MESSENGER -- The Luther Valley Historical Society hopes to breathe new life into an old church.
The historical society is renovating the former Footville United Methodist Church into a museum that will feature Footville historical artifacts, including documents, photographs, clothing, musical instruments, school furniture and church artifacts. Several of the items will come from the historical society’s Footville State Bank Restoration and Archive Museum and Footville Telephone Dial Building.
BELOIT -- Karen Soto feels like she’s making a difference by educating her peers about the dangers of drugs and alcohol. As a member of the Rock County Youth2Youth 4 Change, Soto is on the front lines of student education.
"I’m really grateful for this program because not only have I seen the progress of us helping out the community. It had me informed, which helped me stay away from drugs and alcohol," Soto, 19, of Beloit said. "This is like my second family."
WALWORTH COUNTY SUNDAY -- Mariette Nowak believes making a positive impact on the environment is as close as your backyard.
The former director of the Wehr Nature Center in Milwaukee County, and recently retired planning commission member in the town of Troy -- where she now lives -- says by planting native trees, shrubs and plants, people cultivate a biodiversity that affects not just a neighborhood, but the world.
Native plants create a healthy ecosystem for birds and bees, which, in turn, create a healthy ecosystem for humans, says Nowak, a naturalist with degrees in botany and zoology. She’s also the president of the Kettle Moraine Chapter of Wild Ones, a national native gardening organization.
People wanting to know more about native gardening that attracts birds and butterflies can turn to her book, “Birdscaping,” where they might be surprised by the variety of flora in the state, including the blooming prickly pear, a cactus that is native to Wisconsin.
ROCKTON -- Barn quilts aren’t just for barns anymore. If you don’t believe it, visit downtown Rockton.
The first barn quilt in the country was installed on an Ohio barn in 2001, and the colorful designs have swept through the Midwest ever since.
They are popular in the Stateline area, and the trend sees no sign of slowing down.
The Rockton Township Historical Society has a new twist on the trend, and since 2011 has installed barn quilts at several downtown businesses.
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