Public Fundraising Kickoff Announced

screenshot-drive.google.com 2017-03-08 15-56-13Wisconsin State Parks new fund raising campaign will seek to increase the support that FWSP can provide in order to preserve, promote, protect and enhance Wisconsin’s beautiful state parks, forests, trails and recreation areas. Friends of Wisconsin State Parks have been providing project grants to local park property Friends groups for 10 years, in order to provide a better experience for state park and trail visitors around the state. FWSP has just celebrated 20 years as a nonprofit 501C3 organization and they have set out to broaden what they do and increase their impact around the state. They fund educational programs throughout the park season, provide funding for workshops, the planting of trees and flowers at parks and trails, and they would like to expand programs that bring children to state parks and trails to learn and experience nature through this fund raising campaign.
“The organization’s mission and values have defined FWSP for 2 decades, and the tax deductible donations of the public and state park visitors and supporters of this fund raising effort will help ensure that FWSP will continue to meet its challenges and commitments in order to keep state parks vibrant and to allow for park and trail users enjoyment,” says Bill Zager, president. “The FWSP fund raising campaign will sustain our commitment to outdoor education and nature program excellence, and will advance our position as a steward of funds to enhance, educate and promote the beautiful Wisconsin state park properties. This campaign is about supporting the Wisconsin state parks that we love and for the people who come to the Wisconsin state parks, the experiences that they have here and the memories that they leave with.”
The campaign will raise funds to support the following FWSP priorities:
  • Innovative education programs for visitors of all ages at state parks
  • Native Trees and Flowers planting projects at state parks/trails
  • Park/Trail recreation improvements project
  • FWSP Endowment Fund
Would you be willing to help with these efforts?
Please donate to the program of your choice or to FWSP so that they can expand their efforts at Wisconsin state park system properties.  Click here to find out more....

Trees and Flowers Grant Funding Due April 14, 2017

Hello Friends group members-

The Friends of Wisconsin State Parks are pleased to offer the TREES and FLOWERS grant funding again this year.  These grant funds are designated for planting flowers, trees and shrubs at state park, forest, trail and recreation area properties during spring 2017.  This money will be available to Friends groups to purchase plants/trees to enhance the park office entrance, the main property sign area or an area that is a high visibility area at the property.  There will be grants of $100 awarded to Friends groups – and they are encouraged to provide a match if possible, however they are not required to do so.  This has been a very popular project with Friends groups over the last several years.

FWSP would like each interested Friends group to send a grant request with a short description of how they will use these funds, along with their contact information by email to FWSP by Friday – April 14, 2017.  Please send requests to Patricia.Loosen@wisconsin.gov FWSP will review the Friends group grant requests at their spring board meeting on April 22, 2017 and grants will be awarded shortly after for spring 2017 planting.  Friends groups who receive grant funding are asked to agree to get all plantings done by June 15, 2017 and to send 1-2 photos of the plantings by the end of the summer, along with a short summary of their project to FWSP.

Please reach out to your property manager and coordinate with them on this opportunity.

Please send any questions and your request for the 2017 Trees & Flowers grant by April 14, 2017 to: Patricia.Loosen@wisconsin.gov

Thank you!

Friends of Wisconsin State Parks

FWSP Works - FWSP and WDNR Working Together - Press Release

Several Friends Groups have contacted Friends of WI State Parks (FWSP) with concerns regarding these three new WDNR agreements; Friends, Concessions, and Firewood. Due to the concerns expressed, FWSP representatives met with the Parks Management Team to discuss the aforementioned documents.

Ben Bergey, Director of Wisconsin State Parks Management, started off the conversation by stating he and his staff very much value the work of the Friends Groups, and it is his priority to maintain a great working relationship between WDNR/ FWSP/ Local Friends Groups.

These agreements are now in a universal form and will be used for all applications going forward. We can report that these are in reality based on the old forms and that all items in them are negotiable and can be changed as the Local Friends and Park Superintendant see fit. The Property Superintendant has wide discretion in implementing the agreements.

This means:

 No immediate change in wood management and sales, but over time would like to see less use of plastic packaging and use standard size bundles.

 You are not required to contribute any monies raised through your concessions to state coffers, unless your group would like to.

 Special licensure not required for canoes rentals only; however certification is required if entities are providing guided tours, per State Statute.

Work *Play* Earth Day–Get Involved

visaFriends of Wisconsin State Parks (FWSP) is the statewide umbrella group for the local Friends group chapters around the state.  Each year FWSP sponsors Earth Day events along with the WI state parks bureau.  FWSP organizes the event dates and then the state parks, forests, trails and recreation area properties decide whether they would like to participate and hold an event at their location.  Each property manager has a list of spring projects that they would like volunteers to help accomplish such as planting trees, painting picnic tables/buildings, invasive species removal, campground clean- up for the summer season etc.  Each location recruits local volunteers and Friends group members to help with the projects on the event date and there is usually some refreshments for the volunteers in appreciation.  FWSP makes the posters and sends them to the local parks to advertise their event and provides support to the property & volunteers.

In 2017,  there are 31 state park property locations who will be doing work projects with volunteers on those dates and each year hundreds of people around the state volunteer to help with the spring projects!  FWSP would love to have Friends of Copper Falls host a Work*Play*Earth Day event.

Outdoor Apps

spy-app-to-track-a-cell-phoneWe all get cabin fever once in a while. Sometimes the weather is just right to go for a hike at your favorite Wisconsin state park, trail, or forest. You could leave your web-enabled phone at home and just enjoy the walk. On the other hand, why not take your cell phone with you? Download one or more of the apps below. Make it an adventure. The Friends of Wisconsin State Parks provide this list just for fun. We do not endorse any of these apps.

App Name Description IOS Android

The Official Guide for Wisconsin State Parks and Forests

This all-inclusive app offers a new way to explore Wisconsin's State Parks and Forests. Link Link

The Official Guide for Wisconsin's Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife

Gain access to useful fishing, hunting and wildlife watching information in the palm of your hand. Link Link

Oh, Ranger! ParkFinder Mobile App

Find the parks nearest you with the activities you want to do. Our writers and editors have compiled a comprehensive database of every federal and state park in America. Link Link
National Parks by Chimani The Chimani National Parks app contains details on each of the 400+ units of the U.S. National Park Service, including national parks, monuments, seashores, historic sites, and more. Link Link

Every Body Walk!

Every Body Walk! helps you track all aspects of your walk, including distance, time, calories burned, and routes. You can watch your progress en route, save your walking history for future reference, and share your walks with friends and family via Facebook and Twitter. Link Link

All Trails - Hiking & Biking

AllTrails is your guide to the outdoors! Whether you are traveling or looking to discover new trails nearby, AllTrails makes it easy to find the best trails to hike, bike, or run.

Link Link
INaturalist iNaturalist is a place where you can record what you see in nature, meet other nature lovers, and learn about the natural world! Link Link
Clean the Creek Clean the Creek makes it easy for you tag dirty locations that allow yourself or others to then clean them. With the app you can follow others that clean up areas and easily post your finds or cleanups to Facebook. Link  
Seek ‘N Spell Seek ’n Spell uses your GPS to create a new type of game. The object is to gather virtual letters by running around an outdoor space and to win points by spelling words with the letters you collect. Play against your friends or a computer AI! Link Link
First Aid Get instant access to information on handling the most common first aid emergencies. Link Link
SunWise he UV Index provides a daily and hourly forecast of the expected intensity of ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. Some exposure to sunlight is enjoyable. However, too much sun can be dangerous. Link Link

Wisconsin Friends of State Parks announce major public fundraising and engagement effort

visaWisconsin Friends of State Parks announce the kick- off of a major public fundraising and engagement effort. The new campaign aims to increase the support that FWSP can provide in order to preserve, promote, protect and enhance Wisconsin’s beautiful state parks, forests, trails and recreation areas.   Friends of Wisconsin State Parks have been providing project grants to local park property Friends groups for 10 years, in order to provide a better experience for state park and trail visitors around the state.  FWSP has just celebrated 20 years as a nonprofit 501C3 organization and they have set out to broaden what they do and increase their impact around the state.  They fund educational programs throughout the park season, provide funding for workshops, the planting of trees and flowers at parks and trails. FWSP would like to expand programs that bring children to state parks and trails to learn and experience nature through this fund raising campaign.
"The organization’s mission and values have defined FWSP for 2 decades. The tax deductible donations of the public and state park visitors and supporters of this fund raising effort will help ensure that FWSP will continue to meet its challenges and commitments.  This effort will keep state parks vibrant and to allow for park and trail users to have an enjoyable experience," says Bill Zager, president.  "The FWSP fund raising campaign will sustain our commitment to outdoor education and nature program excellence. The campaign will advance our position as a steward of funds to educate park users as well to preserve, promote, protect and enhance the beautiful Wisconsin state park properties."
“This campaign is about the people who come to the Wisconsin state parks- the experience they have here, and the memories that they create and leave with”
The campaign will raise funds to support the following FWSP priorities:
Innovative education programs for visitors of all ages at state parks
Native Trees and Flowers planting projects at state parks/trails
Children & Youth Adventure program
Park/Trail recreation improvements project
New physical and emotional health and wellness programs for all ages
FWSP Endowment Fund

Click for Donations

From the FWSP President

The weather has been messing with Mother Nature as to when is Spring 2017 is really coming! As we get these weather teasers, we need to get ready, as 2017 looks to be a challenging and hopefully a very rewarding year. This year has started off with a flurry of activity. FWSP is in the process of hiring a full time Executive Director. As the organization is growing and gaining prominence, FWSP is representing and working with the Local Friends Groups on many levels. FWSP is interfacing with the news media, state Legislators and the local Friends groups, as the 2017-19 state budget process begins. Please keep yourself informed and participate in this process in order to help advocate for OUR great Wisconsin State Park system.
As FWSP becomes a self-sustaining organization, we are confident that, with your help, we will be able to continue the existing programs and expand into other interesting programs that support the park system and for the enjoyment of its visitors. FWSP is launching a major Fund Raising campaign in 2017. Please keep this in mind and participate where you can. FWSP is offering a variety of projects that you can donate to or support FWSP directly with a donation. FWSP is also looking for persons who are interested in becoming a member of the Board of Directors and who have special interest and experience to become a fund raising leader on the board.
Spring is also the time to consider volunteering and FWSP is sponsoring volunteer opportunities around the state at Wisconsin state park system properties for Earth Day again this year. Please consider volunteering at one of the events in April and May to help get the state park properties ready for more than 15 million visitors who will enjoy making memories as they visit in 2017.
Bill Zager
President Friends of Wisconsin State Parks

FWSP Recommends State Park Funding Strategies

imageDear Friends of Wisconsin State Parks,
Many of us have been hearing about state park funding and have questions about how it will affect our parks and trails. Local friends groups provide thousands of volunteer hours and have delivered approximately $100M dollars to help support the mission and activities of the Wisconsin state parks, forests, trails, and recreation areas.
BACKGROUND-At the request of the legislature, the DNR has proposed several funding changes that will have a fundamental effect on the future of WI state parks. Possibly, because of the success of local friends groups, the legislature has determined that the state park system can be self-funded.
Governor Walker will be introducing the 2017 biannual budget in February. No funding decisions have been made by DNR or the legislature.
FUNDING PROPOSALS-FWSP believes there is an opportunity to have a blended funding solution that ensures the future of our state park and doesn’t price out families or low income wage earners by continuing to emphasize fee increases. FWSP recommends these state park funding strategies:
  • Support adding electricity to more campsites, but not all.
  • Oppose park naming rights.
  • Support sponsorship for infrastructure improvements. Sponsor recognition needs to be modest, details to be worked out.
  • Support adding rental lodging. FWSP supports cabin or lodge type accommodations, not mass market, hotel style lodging.
  • Oppose general (overall) fee increases; consider specific increases.
  • Oppose shifting to individual admission passes from current vehicle admissions stickers for state parks. It makes enforcement difficult and discriminates against families & low income wage earners.
  • Support resumption of GPR tax revenue for parks. Wisconsin might be the only state park system in the country that truly self-funds its state parks. This is the cornerstone of park funding.
Local Friends Groups have a key role in supporting state parks. Please ask your legislator to back reasonable state park funding strategies. Find your legislator here: http://maps.legis.wisconsin.gov/
President Bill Zager
Policy Chair Michael McFadzen