EAGLE RIVER - Kids explore, play and create every day at the Northwoods Children’s Museum in Eagle River.
But that wouldn’t be possible without some dedicated volunteers.
And this crew, might surprise you.
Before dozens of children can create arts and crafts, work needs to be done.
“We start off the day with the workshop, and then we do pickup which is like a toy that is not in the right spot and we have to take it and put it back,” said volunteer Nikole Bortolotti.
These guys are just some of the Northwoods Children’s Museum’s youth volunteers.
They’re helping out one day a week, for 3 hours a day.
“The Youth volunteers do a lot of the cleaning and prepping for the different crafts. And it helps the staff members save time by doing stuff,” said program organizer Lauren Riedel.
The summer program allows youth ages 10 to 14, to help out museum staff.
In return they get volunteer hours and museum dollars.
Abel Lifeschutz is in his 5th year of volunteering. He says he does it for the kids.
“It’s really beneficial because you’re helping so many little kids and they always have fun, and it’s really nice to see all the little kids having fun here. And that’s what most people do it for,” said Lifeschutz.
And for some of the younger volunteers, they might have one extra reason for helping out.
“It’s fun. If you get here a little early, you get to play with some of the toys,” said Bortolotti.
The youth volunteer program continues through August 9th.
NORTHWOODS - Home sales fell in the state of Wisconsin, but they're on the rise in the Northwoods.
Real Estate experts say home sales are up 5% in Oneida County. Home sales for the Northwoods are up 4%. Experts say right now it's a buyers market.
“If you're a seller right now you are probably going to be seeing some low ball offers,” says Ashlei Highfill, Century 21 Sales Associate. “We just encourage people to respond to any offer that they get not to just reject it or be offended but these days we are seeing a lot of buyers coming in and offering a lot less than what sellers are asking for.”
Experts say fewer homes are being foreclosed. This allows more families to make first time home purchases.
“It’s great to see that people are obviously getting back to work so they can afford to take that opportunity to put their family in their first home it's exciting for all of us,” says Highfill. “We're always happy to see somebody get that first house for their kids we're seeing some people that are making more money now so they're buying a move up house.”
Overall home sales in Wisconsin fell 11% compared to this time last year.
MERRILL - Hospitals can sometimes scare kids and even many adults.
That's why one Northwoods hospital wants those kids to be comfortable with doctors if they ever need their help.
Merrill kindergarteners visited Ministry Good Samaritan Health Center on Wednesday.
The kids got to see an ambulance, physical therapy and x rays.
"We try to show them that you know what, the hospital isn't so scary. And we bring them through different areas that they may experience when they come in or they have a family member here. And a lot of times children, if they don't know, they're very afraid. A hospital can be very intimidating, says Jane Bentz, Director of Foundation and Community Outreach.
ACROSS THE NORTHWOODS - 4.7 might seem like just a random number, but it gives us an idea of just how cold it was this year. 4.7 degrees was the average temperature for this winter. It's the coldest winter in more than a century.
It’s common to see these sights and hear these sounds in a typical winter. But this year, we heard them a bit more. The Northwoods fought through it’s snowiest and coldest winter on record. What made it so rare was the persistent cold.
LAC DU FLAMBEAU - People from all over the Northwoods celebrated Earth Day today. Students at Lac du Flambeau school participated in a natural resources fair today.
Classes, groups and individual students submitted projects to be judged. By doing the projects they learned the importance of Earth Day.
“Polluting could harm the earth and if that harms the earth later on we won't have a better earth to do stuff on like camping, or fishing, hiking and taking walks,” says Sky Risingsun, a Lac du Flambeau student.
35 projects were judged in the science competition. Each student was given a white spruce seed to take home and plant in their own yard.
“It's a white spruce which is a native tree to this area,” says Bryan Hoover, Lac du Flambeau Energy and Air Quality Coordinator. “We've got almost 500 of them and every student is going to take one home so that they can pick a spot in their yard to plant the new tree and watch that tree grow as it matures.”
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