Why write about winter in the city?

You might be wondering why a blog about winter is based in a major city, rather than in a rural area – or in someplace further north.

Well, that is a topic that I hope my reflections throughout this winter will help explain. But I thought I should add a basic explanation early on.

First, because I love watching snow, walking in snow, and playing in snow. Milwaukee gets plenty of snow, and so we can enjoy those activities pretty extensively here. One can encounter more snow in places further north, true, but one does not have to go to such places.

I do appreciate such places – and I hope residents of such places will value the snow that they have, and contribute to conversations on this blog!

I also enjoy reading about explorers in places to the far north or far south, and reading about the traditions and experiences of long-time residents of such places. (And not just Santa Claus 😉 There is a certain magic to imagining oneself in such distant place.

But those places – whether St. Paul and its snowman and New York and its Golden Snowball award or Nunavut and Antarctica and Lapland, are not my purpose for writing. I want to write about what I can experience, here, without leaving the area.

Because, secondly, I am writing this blog because I love Milwaukee. And since I enjoy my place, I want to help others – those who live here, and those who might consider coming for a visit – to appreciate it as well.

Part of what our location has to offer is a beautiful lake to look over. An impressive County Park system. State park and forest lands nearby. Places to ski downhill and cross country. Organizations like the Urban Ecology Center which rent skis, snowshoes, and other tools of winter fun. And when we’ve had enough outdoor fun for a day… there is still a lot going on in the city, downtown and elsewhere. People throughout history have found a lot of pleasure and identity in what their communities have to offer, so lets remember to enjoy what we have around home, for the holidays and after. We can get out and learn more about the places we know best, become careful observers and experts about both the culture and nature of our places.

So I want to get people aware of what they can find outside their door, down their block, in their city. And when you come in from the cold, you can have some hot cocoa, put on a sweater, warm up, and enjoy combining outdoor and indoor pleasures right in your town. Yes, we have to deal with the inconveniences of winter – so I hope we can develop the perspectives to help us enjoy what it is has to offer, right here!

About MilwaukeeSnow

Dr. Jeffrey Filipiak, Milwaukee's Ambassador of Snow, loves winter, Milwaukee, and environmental history! He has taught college courses on topics including history, writing, environmental ethics, food studies, the Great Lakes, and sustainability. You can contact him at ambassadorofsnow@gmail.com.
This entry was posted in Highlighted posts, Reflections and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Why write about winter in the city?

  1. Pingback: What Central Park taught me about Appreciating Winter in the City | MilwaukeeSnow

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