Experiencing Interruptions?

woodland of wonder - Wisconsin's First Preserve

In the southwest corner of Ripon, you can find a woodland to heal your soul and inspire your mind. It's a special place with an unsung legacy in history of Wisconsin conservation.

In 1902, before the establishment of the National Park Service, a group of remarkable women came together to create Wisconsin's first preserve, South Woods. Hear how the community saved the woods from the saw. See what makes South Woods biologically significant. Identify the changes and challenges facing the woods and hear how the woods has impacted generations of people in Ripon.

  • Brenda Hughes
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short
  • Genres:
    Nature, History, Wisconsin, Conservation, Ripon
  • Runtime:
    17 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    February 23, 2023
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
    Black & White and Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Green Lake Bird and Nature Club
    Green Lake, Wisconsin
    United States
    March 14, 2023
    North American Premier
  • Ripon High School
    Ripon, Wisconsin
    United States
    April 21, 2023
    Earth Day Celebration
  • Lift-Off Filmmaker Sessions by Lift-Off Global Network
    United Kingdom
    May 1, 2023
    Official Selection
  • Ripon Science and Education Club
    Green Lake, Wisconsin
    United States
    May 8, 2023
  • Ripon Senior Center
    Ripon, Wisconsin
    United States
    June 23, 2023
  • Red Cedar Film Festival
    Menomonie, Wisconsin
    United States
    July 20, 2023
    Official Selection
  • The Basin Short Film Festival
    Stevens Point, Wisconsin
    United States
    October 6, 2023
    Official Selection
  • Great Lakes International Film Festival
    Erie, Pennsylvania
    United States
    September 23, 2023
    Official Selection
  • Green Bay Film Festival
    Green Bay, Wisconsin
    United States
    April 6, 2024
    Official Selection: Female Perspective
  • Women's International Film Festival Nigeria WIFFEN
    March 4, 2024
    Honorable Mention
  • Door County Short Film Festival
    Fish Creek, Wisconsin
    United States
    February 17, 2024
    Official Selection
  • Film Girl Film Festival
    Chicago, Illinois
    United States
    March 23, 2024
    Official Selection
Director Biography - Brenda Hughes

Growing up in the burbs of Chicago, Brenda had dreams of escaping to the country. This dream evolved while watching Nova and Ken Burns documentaries on PBS. While majoring in Art and Environmental Science at Carroll University, she discovered the power of her artistic voice. A career in graphic design followed as Brenda found gratification in developing persuasive marketing materials for higher education.

Realizing the informative opportunities of film, she decided to transition to video production. This change brought renewed energy to her work and has become the focus of the second half of her career. Brenda is excited to tell the stories of her adopted communities of Ripon and Green Lake, Wisconsin.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

Make the most of what you have, where you are. There are amazing, positive stories to share wherever you live. The resiliency of people, wildlife and nature inspires me and guides my path.