I have never been a nature person.

Living in cities my whole life, I’ve never been the type to hike, camp or generally thrive in the outdoors. However, when I came to Wisconsin throughout my life to visit family, the moments that stick with me are always moments in nature: my feet in the sand outside my family’s cabin in Door County, sledding with my cousins on a snowy hill in subarctic January, rocky bluffs on the side of the road while driving north.

NatalieAmendSo while I don’t consider myself a nature person, I’ve found that nature is a definitive part of my life in Wisconsin. You can’t escape it here—Wisconsin identity is rooted in nature. Across the state, the land plays an integral role in its communities and passions.

When the staff of Curb and I set out to make a magazine for Wisconsin, we discovered that nature is even more influential in the state than what’s on the surface. This year, Curb unearths the unexpected connections between nature and Wisconsinites.

We discovered skunks wandering into outdoor theatre performances and whole trees holding up houses. We followed snowmobiling club volunteers down their trails and wandered into the forest with the Menominee. We witnessed the fight to save a town’s lake. We shared one of our family traditions.

Nature is the centerpiece of these stories. From Lake Michigan to the Mississippi River and Milwaukee to Hayward, Wisconsin’s land inspires its residents to get active, to make art, to preserve their homes. We discovered entire communities centered on nature, whether it’s around an outdoor skiing event or an entire lake.

We influence nature, too. From mining to sustainably brewing beer, we affect nature as much as it affects us.

I invite you to uncover the unique connections built between Wisconsin and its landscapes. Come see the Wisconsin we unearthed: always in conversation with nature, even if you’re not a nature person.

Natalie Amend, Editor