Getting Ready for Summer

Its midway through April and our Wisconsin springtime is proving fickle as usual. It has been a long winter and I am happy to finally see the daffodils blooming and the grass greening up. I hope that we have seen end of the snow for the season. As the saying goes- “ April showers bring May flowers” and for me, that also means the start of my Janesville neighborhood walking tours. I look forward to getting out into the community every year and seeing what has changed and what has remained the same. That is a great thing about living here in Janesville, we have a great sense of community and our historic neighborhoods really put our community spirit on display.

Janesville has grown and changed a lot over the past 180 years. It is always evolving and changing in both good times and not so good, but we are always evolving forward. Janesville’s downtown is currently undergoing a renaissance thanks to the leadership of private citizens and the city. There is new life downtown and the new Town Square and Festival Street is a great new urban park and gathering place for the community. This will be one of the highlights of my Downtown Tour in May. The ability to showcase the Rock River and show its connection to the origins of Janesville and its newly accessible shoreline is one of the reasons why I do my walking tours.

The residential neighborhoods are always great to walk through on a quiet Saturday morning. The neighborhoods of Janesville are diverse and some are real showcases of preservation in action: Courthouse Hill, Jefferson Ave and Columbus Circle. Other neighborhoods, Old Fourth Ward and Look West are just as jam packed with great architecture with a bit more of a lived in feel. Janesville is justly proud of its diverse selection of 13 historic districts, with each having their own highlights. Janesville was at the forefront establishing historic districts thirty years ago, and at one point had 25% of the listings on the National Register of Historic Places in Wisconsin. What better way is there to get out into the community and see what heritage we have than by taking a good walk around.

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Janesville is ripe for exploration, a Saturday morning spent enjoying the Farmer’s Market, taking a walking tour and enjoying a nice beverage on one of the many outdoor patios downtown would be a great way to celebrate the summer in Janesville. However you decide to enjoy summer in Janesville, I hope you consider a walking tour from Roaming Rich and Roam Around Tours. Get out and Roam, explore and enjoy summer in Wisconsin.

Richard Fletcher