Big Lake Tour 2018

Along the route from Four Lakes, where our university is nestled, to the big waters of Lake Superior, Wisconsin Idea Seminar travelers—faculty and academic staff from the University of Wisconsin-Madison—were students of Wisconsin life, deepening their understanding of the state and reaffirming their commitment to public service and the Wisconsin Idea.

In May, 2018, Wisconsin Idea Seminar participants visited a dairy farm, met environmental stewards and business owners, explored the lush wetlands of Lake Superior’s southern shore with tribal members of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, sparked ideas with UW System colleagues, heard from Milwaukee-based community leaders and Latino and African American families who are partnering around the creation of dementia friendly communities in Wisconsin, and see the spaces and places where many of our UW students come from. Experts from across the state joined the journey at various points along the way to enrich the learning throughout the week.

Highlights from the 2018 tour included:

  • Ho-Chunk Cultural Landscape Walking Tour, UW-Madison campus
  • Mystic Valley Dairy outside Sauk City
  • Coloma Farms, Inc, fourth-generation potato and vegetable growers
  • UW-Marathon County
  • Abbotsford School District
  • the Kakagon Sloughs, the lush wetlands of Lake Superior’s southern shore
  • Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center
  • Houghton Falls Nature Preserve
  • Fox Lake Correctional Institution
  • Milwaukee’s United Community Center
  • Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Institute


Image of 2018 map.
The UW Cartography Lab produced this map and others for the 2018 Wisconsin Idea Seminar tour book.The 2018 journey covered 900 miles of Wisconsin with nearly twenty stops in between where Seminar participants met with farmers, environmental stewards, tribal leaders, high schools students, health practitioners, musicians, experiential educators, and many others.
Photo of kayakers on Lake Superior
As clouds prepare for a late morning rain, intrepid kayakers are undeterred and head out on placid waters of Lake Superior at Red Cliff, Wisconsin. This is the view from the lodging where the 2018 Wisconsin Idea Seminar will spend two of the four nights of the trip. (Photo by Catherine Reiland / UW-Madison)