The restoration and interpretation of the E-Way model built by Professor Phil Lewis and his students has been restored and is on display at the Lussier Family Heritage Center. As of the beginning of 2021, the fundraising efforts for this project have been a success and the costs of the restoration work have been covered.

Fifty one years ago, Lewis (Director of the Environmental Awareness Center, Department of Landscape Architecture, University of Wisconsin-Madison) received a $9,500 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (1969) to demonstrate how a community’s existing natural and cultural resources could be identified and accentuated to elevate environmental awareness. 

The term “E-Way” was chosen as a symbol for educational, ecological, esthetic, exercise, and environmental system. The system linked 21 “nodes of diversity” like pearls on a necklace to expose users to their natural surroundings and to inspire solutions for human habitation that has minimal impacts on our life supporting system.  

The corridor was later modeled by students at the Environmental Awareness Center (EAC) by creating an 8' x 12' cardboard topographic model that was used as a communication tool for identifying these nodes of diversity. This model was formerly housed in the EAC, which used to reside in the basement of Steenbock Library on the University of Wisconsin campus. Dane County has dedicated the lower level of the Lussier Family Heritage Center to education, and this future exhibit is a step in the direction of fulfilling the center’s educational function. 

The cost of restoring and interpreting this model is around $25,000. Contributions from the Lewis family and Saiki Design have left the project with a modest fundraising goal of $12,000.  All contributions are tax-deductible, and contributors will be recognized in this effort. The Foundation for Dane County Parks is the fiscal agent for the project. Donations may be made to the Foundation by indicating “E-Way Model Restoration” as a note on a check sent to Foundation for Dane County Parks, Inc., 5201 Fen Oak Dr. Room 208, Madison, WI 53718.

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