The Bus Stops Here: UW Student Busing

One of the experiences of attending the University of Wisconsin in Madison is that students have access to unlimited Metro Transit bus rides paid with segregated fees by their Associated Students of Madison governance body (ASM). Students get an unlimited ride bus pass good for both fixed route and paratransit rides throughout much of the city of Madison and parts of Middleton, Fitchburg, Verona and Shorewood Hills. That bus service can be frequent around campus, and can take students to many major employment, shopping, health and recreation centers. Students can additionally use a no-fare #80 campus shuttle, the #81 and #82 late night routes, and a no-fare #84 shuttle to/from Eagle Heights. Those additional routes are paid for by a combination of funds from student seg fees, the UW’s division of Transportation Services for faculty and staff, and the division of University Housing.

The Mad Rollin’ Dolls break down gender norms and stereotypes

Tall and lean, Spam is known for her speed. In a bright green jersey, she whips around an indoor track at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum five nights a year, pushing and weaving her way through a tightly-knit group of women on roller skates. She works tirelessly towards the chance to hold a dismembered mannequin leg, painted gold with a roller skate on its single foot, high in the air at the championship match. Spam is a member of the Mad Rollin’ Dolls, Madison’s women’s roller derby league. The dismembered leg is affectionately known as Leggy, a championship trophy with a storied history.

United Way of Dane County program teaches youth to become civic leaders

Passionate students across Dane County are able to benefit their local communities through the United Way of Dane County’s By Youth For Youth program. Provided in partnership with the City of Madison, Dane County and UW-Extension, BYFY provides a space for student-volunteers to work together and get direct experience making a positive change in the world. “The program teaches kids that they have a voice,” said Brianna Stapleton Welch, the 4-H Youth Development Educator for Dane County who oversees BYFY. “The kids are actively engaging with one another, and while they sometimes argue they learn to respect the opinions of their peers, overcome their differences and work together to help other youth in need.”

The first half of the year consists of the youth discussing the biggest issues that other youth in Dane County face according to Sam Rosenbloom, the Corporate and Community Engagement Coordinator for the United Way of Dane County. From there they narrow down the issues to a few main priority areas and conduct a request for proposal process, this leads to a  reviewal of the proposals and funding decisions.

The 10 Best Free Activities to Do in Madison This Summer

Every year, when Wisconsin’s long, frigid winter finally gives way to a comfortable summer, Madison blossoms into a city filled with different things to do. With lakes on either side of the isthmus, gardens and parks all over the county, and a thriving music and arts community, Madison offers plenty of free activities that anyone can take advantage of. Here’s our list of the top 10 free activities to take advantage of this summer in Madison. #1: Go to one of Madison’s parks

Madison is a great place to be if you’re looking to spend a day at the park. With over 200 parks to choose from, Madison has a variety of different parks all over the city, from James Madison Park in downtown Madison to Cherokee Marsh at the top of Lake Mendota.

July 2018 Backyard Heroes

Community Shares, a partner of Madison Commons, recognizes two volunteers each month. The volunteers come from Community Shares' member groups and are selected for their service to the community and to community issues. Janine Melrose and Reid Magney

Janine Melrose  and Reid Magney became a part of the Sierra Club five years ago. They wanted to use their communications backgrounds to help fight for a clean and natural environment. The Sierra Club’s mission is to explore, enjoy, and protect the wild places of the Earth, to practice and promote the responsible use of the earth's ecosystems and resources, and to educate and enlist humanity to protect and restore the quality of the natural and human environment.

Juneteenth reminds Madison black community of rich culture, unity and realities of racism today

For 70-year-old Annette Hull, this year was her 20th year celebrating Juneteenth, or the historical end of slavery, and her 10th year marching in Madison’s Juneteenth Parade – while wearing a used wedding dress. “It’s all about love,” Hull said, “God is love, and love is good. The only way we can survive in this world, you gon’ have to love somebody.”

Junteenth is a national holiday on June 19th commemorating the abolishment of slavery in Texas 165 years ago. This year marks the 29th year Madison residents are celebrating Juneteenth, and 21 years since the Juneteenth Parade was first brought to life. Hull, a South-side Madison resident, moved to Madison from Louisiana 20 years ago.

Making Madison the entrepreneurship hub of the Midwest

Hoping to encourage entrepreneurship and innovation in Madison, a group of local business leaders are bringing together systems and resources available to startups and early stage companies in the city. The result is StartingBlock, a new entrepreneurial hub designed to provide companies the resources they need to launch, grow and innovate. StartingBlock, a non-profit operating out of The Spark building in downtown Madison, is the result of five years of planning and development by local entrepreneurs, including Troy Vosseller of Gener8tor, Scott Resnick of Capital Entrepreneurs, and Chandra Miller Fienen, who handles the day-to-day leadership at StartingBlock as the Director of Operations and Programming. “One of the things that we’re trying to do as a community is really make the resources that are available more transparent, more organized,” Miller Fienen said. The founding team wanted to create in Madison “a single space that was built by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs.”

The founding team evaluated entrepreneurship hubs in other cities, including 1871 in Chicago, 1776 in Washington, D.C. and MassChallenge in Boston.

Madison’s senior coalitions merging into one to serve more effectively

Madison’s four geographically based non-profit senior coalitions are merging their operations into one agency that will serve all of Madison and Monona beginning in 2019. The coalitions provide outreach, case management, guardianship, transportation, nutrition and home chore services to help older adults maintain independence in their golden years. The coalitions have been serving the Madison area since 1973, when the East Madison/Monona Coalition of the Aging was founded, followed shortly by the West Madison Senior Coalition, South Madison Coalition of the Elderly and North/Eastside Senior Coalition. The merge into one organization is occurring because the four organizations currently experience duplication in their efforts since they offer similar services. Additionally, resources have been shrinking as financial support is not always guaranteed, which can pose challenges for serving the growing senior population of Dane County.

Imagine Madison plan outlining the city’s future growth is in final stages

The draft of the Imagine Madison Comprehensive Plan was officially released and made available for comment in mid-May. Imagine Madison is a public listening project that publishes a comprehensive plan every 10 years, outlining and re-envisioning the city’s priorities for growth with the aim of guiding Madison’s development in the future. At the current step in the planning process, key pieces of the new draft focus on transit improvements and creating more housing choices and family-supportive jobs. There is a comparison tool on the Imagine Madison website that lets readers look at two future land use maps side-by-side; one from 2006 and the May 2018 draft. According to the Imagine Madison online resources, the most important changes includes adding a fourth residential designation.

Wisconsin-Born Accelerator Highlights Homegrown Innovation

Six early-stage businesses presented at startup accelerator Gener8tor’s Madison Premiere Night last month. The evening celebrated the growing activity of technology and early-stage companies in Madison and across the United States. For the past three months, Milwaukee-born Gener8tor has invested money and support in six startup businesses from around the country. The startups, including Madison-based TCARE, spent the evening showcasing their growth and pitching their products to investors and entrepreneurs. While Silicon Valley is traditionally thought of as the epicenter of technology and startup culture, Madison has seen significant growth in the amount of investment flowing into local startups.