Summer time surprises

Quiet Forests

Early Fall Prairies

Wisconsin State Parks, Forests, Rec Area, and Trails Invite ALL Friends Groups

Friends of Wisconsin State Parks would like to invite your Friends group to join us in celebrating your accomplishments and projects over the last few years!  We are inviting you to come together with us and other local Friends groups from around the state on Saturday – November 4, 2017, at Heritage Hill State Historical Park.  We invite your group to set up a display board or laptop presentation featuring your recent projects and accomplishments at your state park system property.  This will be a wonderful opportunity to share your accomplishments with other groups and to network and socialize with other Friends members from around the state!  
We invite you to set up your display between 2:30 and 3:00 pm – lower level event area
Social time will be from 3:00 – 5:00 pm in the lower level event area
cocktail hour from 4:30- 5:30 pm in the lower level event area
FWSP Awards Banquet dinner – 5:30-6:30 pm in the upper-level event area
Keynote Speaker & Awards – 6:30- 8:30 pm

Please RSVP using the form below and return by Friday, October 20, 2017
email:  Or mail to:  FWSP   P.O. Box 2271  Madison, WI  53701-2271
Questions:  FWSP:  608-294-0810
Click to download editable form - CLick here

2017 Hero Awards Contest

Friends of Wisconsin State Parks are seeking nominations for the coveted year end HERO awards! The three award categories are:
  • Outstanding DNR Land Manager
  • Outstanding Friends Group
  • Outstanding Individual Friends Member
  • Legislator of the Year.

The HERO awards are given out to recognize individuals and Friends groups who have been instrumental in contributing time and energy at a state park, forest, or trail.  The DNR Land manager award recognizes an outstanding park, forest or trail manager who has done a great job with the DNR property that they manage. This year, for the first time, we are also recognizing a Wisconsin Legislator who has shown support for Wisconsin's parks, forests, recreational areas, and trails.

We would like to hear from YOU with a nomination in any of the categories for the 2017 HERO Awards!

The HERO awards will be presented to a representative for each of the winning categories during the annual awards banquet which will be Saturday - Nov. 4, 2017, at Heritage Hill State Historical Park.
Contest closes  Sept. 22, 2017

The Friends of Wisconsin State Parks is created to preserve, protect, promote and enhance Wisconsin’s state parks, forests, trails, and recreation areas. Friends of Wisconsin State Parks is a non-profit umbrella organization supporting over 80 friends groups around the state. FWSP provides technical support, sponsors events such as Work*Play*Earth Day and the annual Volunteer Jamboree.

Volunteer Jamboree - 2017

Point Lookout - Wyalusing State Park
Point Lookout - Wyalusing State Park
Wyalusing State Park (Locationis hosting the 2017 Volunteer Jamboree September 24-26th.

All Wisconsin State Park System volunteers are invited to attend this fun, educational and social gathering.
Join in the fun with campfires, picnics, and informative discussions while we celebrate the volunteer program.

You should have received a registration form via the parks you have been a camp-host or volunteered at.

Electrical and non-electrical campsites are available free of charge. Alternate lodging is available in the area, but the cost is not covered.

  • Sunday- Pot Luck - Please bring a dish to pass.
  • Monday - Continental breakfast, box lunch, dinner
  • Tuesday - Continental breakfast
Activities at the park - Monday Morning

  • Guided walk: Indian Mounds and Park history. (Path is crushed limestone)
  • River tour: Drive or carpool at Wyalusing State Park Boat landing.
  • Canoeing/kayaking: Inquire at Wyalusing State Park concession stand. Limited supply. (Free to volunteers)
  • Walking the trails and visiting the park lookouts on your own.
On-Your-Own Activities: Monday Afternoon
Monday afternoon will be set aside to allow you to pursue your own interests and explore all that Wyalusing State Park, and the Driftless Area. (Fee may be required)
  • Nelson Dewey State Park. Stonefield State Historic Site. (Link)
  • Effigy Mounds National Monument (Free entry fee) (Link)
  • Shihata Orchard - Free (Link)
  • Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife Refuge - Free (Link)
  • Villa Louis National Historic Monument (Link)
  • St Feriole Island Memorial Gardens - Free (Link)
  • Mississippi River Sculpture Park - Free (Link)
  • Prairie du Chien (Link)

WDNR/ FWSP Planning Session held in Amery, WI

FWSP WDNR 9-14-17
L-R    Ben Bergey, Missy Vanlanduyt.
Patty Loosen,
Bill Zager
WDNR/ FWSP Planning Session held in Amery, WI
Ben Bergey, Director of Wisconsin State Parks Bureau; Missy Vanlanduyt,  ‎Recreation Partnerships Section Chief Wisconsin State Parks; Patty Loosen, Executive Director Friends of Wisconsin State Parks; and Bill Zager, Pres. Friends of Wisconsin State Parks; held a 2018 planning session at the Farm Table Restaurant in Amery on September 14, 2017.  This was first meeting of the Wisconsin State Parks (WSP) and Friends of Wisconsin State Parks (FWSP) management teams with Missy and Patty in their new positions.
FWSP and Wisconsin State Parks bureau have had a long and vibrant working relationship.  FWSP's mission is to help Preserve, Protect, Promote and Enhance State Parks, Trails, Forest and Recreation Areas by cooperating with WSP and the Local Friends Groups.  FWSP has begun a fund raising campaign to raise funds to continue to provide grants to Local Friends groups and for new initiatives.   Some new initiatives that were discussed at the meeting were for outdoor education of visitors, new Augmented reality technology for interpretive programming, support of health and wellness programming as well as supporting improvements for Parks and Trails, along with other programs and projects.  More information about FWSP and these programs along with opportunities to volunteer or donate to this cause can be found at FWSP.ORG .
In the afternoon, we took the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful weather and the Stower  Seven Lakes State Trail starting in Amery.   The Team encourages you to also enjoy the Stower Seven Lakes Trail and all other State Park managed properties during the beautiful Wisconsin fall weather.
Submitted and Pictures by Bill Zager,
L-R    Ben Bergey, Missy Vanlanduyt. Patty Loosen, Bill Zager