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Elvehjem Neighborhood: Best of 2015

Best of 2015

Wouldn’t it be great to re-live some of the fun events and memories we all experienced this year with a Best of 2015 list? I’m listing events and things in no particular order and you’re more than welcome to provide your feedback on things I missed or add to the descriptions I’m providing.


I’m including this on the Best of 2015 list because right now we might be living through the warmest Christmas Season in my lifetime and I think it will be one to remember! Here’s a screen cap of the weather channel page for December 23, 2015.

Screen Shot 2015-12-23 at 5.34.09 PM


Spring time is just around the corner in the neighborhood and kids can’t resist a good egg hunt, especially when the Easter Bunny is around.

easter bunny and friends

Easter Egg Hunt


This was held at Orlando Bell Park the weather was nice so many families came to enjoy the bonfire, tell Santa what they want for Christmas, and eat cookies and drink hot chocolate. We collected LOTS of food for the food pantry as well!!

Santa and helper

Holiday in the Park


This was kind of a last minute addition to our calendar of events, but people got on their bikes with their families and explored our neighborhood on August 30. This is a picture of the Madison PD on a horse in my driveway on Starker Avenue.

ride the drive

Madison PD at Audra’s house


There wasn’t a whole lot of variety with the food cart options but people liked to come early with their kids and play in the yard. Sometimes there was even live music!

eat out music

Let’s Eat Out Live Music


It was time to enjoy the neighborhood garden harvest by taste testing all the lovely dishes made with ingredients from the community garden. The event didn’t last as long as planned because we all had to watch the Packers win!


Food and tables in front of the garden


People really get into their Halloween Decorations around here. Our neighbors really love their holiday decorations. But which holiday is responsible for the most decorations? Christmas or Halloween? Too close to call?

halloween house

Halloween Contest House


What’s a Fourth of July neighborhood celebration without a parade with fire trucks. Its no kind of parade I want to go to. Its a good thing our 4th of July parade has firetrucks every year!

4th of july

Fourth of July Parade

That’s it for the Best of 2015 list. It was eventful and memorable. Honorable mention goes to the critter trouble we had this year with the foxes and the coyotes. Since that topic is thoroughly discussed on our Facebook page I thought I would skip it, and leave it to the Facebook group since the topic is on-going.

Elvehjem Neighborhood Memories & Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is the start of the holiday season and making new memories with family, friends and neighbors. It’s also time when we think about the past and the people who mean the most to us. Our neighborhood has seen almost 50 Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s holidays come and go. Hopefully you’ll take the time over the holiday season to reach out and wish a “Happy Holidays” to the people who mean the most to you.



This month’s post is a contributed ‘open letter’ from neighborhood resident Barb Arnold who moved into a house on Timothy Avenue with her husband Fred and two sons Gary and Erik in 1970. Because they loved the neighborhood so much, when it came time to move they moved all the way to Meadowlark Drive where they have been ever since. Barb and Gary became very involved in the Elvehjem Neighborhood Association, the school board and common council. Please check back on this blog in December for “vintage” pictures of Barb and Fred’s home and family. If you have stories and photos to share from the past 50 years please feel free to send them to me Audra – audra@elvehjemneighborhood.org. I’m collecting them for a special 50th Anniversary project, more information will be shared about that in 2016.

An Open Letter from Barb Arnold:

In 1970 our family of four  (Erick and Gary at that time) moved to Timothy Avenue.   Immediately, we wanted to participate in  the life of the Elvehjem community.   To join the ENA we were told we would need to secure agreement from more  than 50% of the homes on Timothy.   With the almost unanimous support of our neighbors we fulfilled that  requirement.   Soon, we were engaged  in the life of this new Elvehjem Neighborhood Association.   Settling into an active community life,  Fred became vice-president of the ENA Board.   Attending our first meeting of the LVM  PTO in 1973 when Erick started kindergarten, we volunteered for both the local  PTO and the LaFollette Area Communications Council.   In 1975 Fred was elected our district  alder, Barb soon became president of the PTO, and our third son Steve was born  during the infamous ice storm of 1976.

Having outgrown our Timothy  home, we moved to Meadowlark Drive, where we’ve lived ever since.   Fred was elected Madison Common Council  President in 1978.    Always at  the heart of our family was engagement in this incredible community.   In 1982 Barb was appointed to the  Madison school board, in 1984 and 1987 won election to the board.   She served as its president from  1986-89.   Fred served six years on  the city council and then four years on the county board.

Our three sons thrived at  LVM, Sennett, and LaFollette.   There  was at least one Arnold boy attending Elvehjem for fourteen consecutive years  (not the same son).   We were strong  advocates for school referendums to make needed, responsible building  additions.   For example, in 1977 LVM  Elementary School housed 770 children in a space meant for 500.   The Madison community invested in needed  space.   We have always been grateful  for neighborhood support for schools with tax dollars, a gesture that reaps huge  rewards.

This vibrant community  encourages engagement and family event participation.   We were honored to facilitate  collaboration between our neighborhood and various governmental bodies – city  council, school board, and county board.   Always we felt the tremendous support of our  neighbors.
In 1990 the ENA Board gave  Fred and Barb an award for “twenty years of meritorious service to the ENA and  the wider community.”   No  recognition received over the years meant more to us.

It is a joy to watch this  neighborhood thrive as we begin to see more and more kids under five again.   As Justin Martin becomes the new leader  in a long line of outstanding presidents of the ENA, please continue to support  the board and each other.

Barbara and Fred  Arnold