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Walking Neenah

Posted on by Future Neenah

Take a stroll with us if you will. Explore Neenah on foot (or by bike) with the High School students of teacher Tara Meinke’s class  in the Arete program. We will be exploring the community with these students and seeing Neenah through their eyes in “Walking Neenah.”

 Biking Down Memory Lane

As a kid I’ve always enjoyed biking more than casual walking. That continues to this day. Just being on a bike, either going down a hill or climbing up a bridge, and feeling that rush of air go past you as you fly down that hill or bridge is refreshing. Whenever I take a ride, it’s usually when I either need to think or just get plain bored. My usual route is the best at around sunset. During the day there is a lot of hustle and bustle around the area so it’s not as calm and relaxing. Once I head east down Wilson Street, where I grew up, I plug in my headphones while taking a right. I tend to get lost in the music that blasts but this time I found myself getting lost in the beauty of the sunset. Down Harrison Street, you see the Neenah water tower to the left. The way the sun hits the water tower just gives it a warm glow. As I get closer and closer to the Cecil bridge, I take another right onto Kitzerow Lane which leads to Zemlock Avenue where my elementary school is located.

My learning began at Hoover Elementary School in 2005. This school was one of the best to learn at, with all of its passionate teachers and great principals. I recall the many times my friends, in the winter, would build snowmen, have snow fort competitions, and snowball fights. Memories of my six years at this school fly through my mind. One stands out through the mess of them all – the day I met my very best friend. From then on we have been pretty much inseparable.

As I continue my ride down Zemlock Avenue, I turn left onto Cleveland Avenue and look at the wall of trees that surround a house on the corner. I’ve always wondered if the people that lived there had planned on having those there for privacy or if they had thought it would be a good Halloween decoration. As I continue to jam out to “Ride” by Twenty One Pilots, I turn onto Reddin Street.   Thoughts about how much I like sunsets more than sunrises fill my mind. At dusk, more than just orange and yellow come out. There are a whole bunch more! Pinks, purples, oranges, blues, and reds, probably even more. As these thoughts are streaming through my mind, I reach the end of Reddin Street and take a right onto Cecil.

A rush of the 5 o’clock traffic flies down the road to the left of me as I bike. There isn’t much of a ride down this street but it’s oddly calming how so many different people in different cars are all going to different places. I reach Baldwin Street and glide into the road watching out for oncoming cars. I’ve almost reached my final destination. The street leading towards it has trees lined up the side of the road and those trees are just about to turn orange. The sun hits them which gives them that new autumn look. Just a ways down the street there is a cute little park. The park’s name is Baldwin just like the street it’s located on. This is where my route ends. The Park is empty by the time I get there, with children running across the street to get back to their houses for dinner. I hop off my bike and head over to the slough. The slough runs through Neenah and empties into Lake Winnebago. In this period of time, the slough is very calm. I take loads of pictures of the Willow trees softly touching the water. I walk around recalling a great memory at this park. I was babysitting my friend’s younger sisters. They were five and eight. The kids had begged me to go to the park. Seeing their cute puppy dog eyes I couldn’t resist. We had played at the park for a good hour, during that time they were all smiles and giggles. When we had gotten back to their house, the five year old was all tuckered out and went down for a nice nap. It was a genius way to get her to take one without pulling a few teeth, so to speak.

As I remember this, I take a few more scenery photos. I decide that my parents are probably wondering where I biked off to and might start to get worried. I head back the way I came feeling happy about all those memories, glad they happened in the place I know best. Neenah.

– Walking Neenah Article by NHS Student Anna Detampel

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