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Photo contest underway for 2016 Friends of Wisconsin State Parks Calendar

pcoABAqcEThe Friends of Wisconsin State Parks are excited to announce their 2015 Photo Contest!  You may submit your entries from July 1, 2015 through Monday August 31, 2015 and we are looking for photos that capture visitors enjoying state parks, forests and trails!
The 2016 Friends of Wisconsin State Parks Calendar will be featured as part of the December 2015 issue of the Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine. People have until August 31, 2015 to enter their favorite photographs from a Wisconsin state park, forest, trail or recreation areas in a contest with winning photos to be included in the 2016 Friends of Wisconsin State Parks Calendar.
Again in 2015, in addition to being available for purchase, the calendar will be distributed to more than 86,000 subscribers of Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine in the December 2015 issue.
This is the seventh year the Friends of Wisconsin State Parks has sponsored the photography competition.
“There are lots of activities happening at Wisconsin state parks during the four seasons,” said Patty Loosen, state coordinator for FWSP. “So we’re asking for entries that include in addition to the beautiful scenery, people enjoying activities like hiking, picnicking, biking, cross country skiing, kayaking, horseback riding, and biking. We are looking for entries that represent all four seasons.”
The deadline for all submissions is Monday, August 31, 2015.
Photographs must have been shot within the past three years (since January 1, 2013).
  • Photographs must portray a specific Wisconsin State Park, Forest, or Trail and cannot include illegal activities (i.e. camping in an unauthorized area). We are looking for photos that show scenes from the parks, forests, trails and recreation areas. Wildlife photos will not score as high as scenery submissions.
  • Only Horizontal images will be accepted.
  • Light edits/enhancements only — heavy effects or manipulations will not be considered.
  • Photos must be submitted electronically. All photos must be described on the contest entry form, which must be included with your photos.
  • An entrant must hold all rights to a photograph. For a photo in which a person is recognizable, you must secure a model release from the subject and include this with the submission.
  • Photographs previously published or pending publication, or photos that violate or infringe upon another person's copyright, are not eligible.
  • You may submit more than one photograph per season and up to four(4) total entries. We do not accept more than one contestant per email address.
  • Employees of the DNR and board members of the Friends of Wisconsin State Parks and their immediate family members are not eligible to win.
  • Photos must be the highest resolution possible — a minimum of 1600px x 2000px at 300 dpi.
By entering a photo, you are verifying:
  • The image is your own;
  • The photo has not been altered beyond light editing/enhancements.
  • The photo is not subject to any third party agreements;
  • No laws were violated in obtaining the photo.
How to Enter:
Internet access is required to participate in the contest. Participants must review the full rules before entering any photos. Photos must be submitted electronically. There is no entry fee to participate. No more than four(4) photos may be entered by any one person.
A panel of Friends of Wisconsin State Parks board members and staff will review accepted entries and select the winning photos. Photo awards will be presented at the FWSP Annual Awards banquet on November 14, 2015.
Entries must be uploaded by SUNDAY, August 31, 2015, 11:59 PM.
By participating in the contest, you hereby grant FWSP unlimited, non-exclusive, irrevocable permission to publish and reproduce your image in media including but not limited to the, website, and promotional materials into perpetuity.FWSP reserves the right to exclude any photo from the contest. Link to Photo Contest Entry Form
Direct any questions about the Photo Contest to:
Patricia Loosen
Friends of Wisconsin State Parks Coordinator

Gold Seal Award Contest - 2015

Friends of Wisconsin State Parks are asking for your vote in this year’s contest categories. If you are a camper, biker, hunter, hiker, angler, or park visitor, cast your  vote for your favorite state park, forest or trail in the categories below.
The winning parks, forests and trails will be honored with a GOLD SEAL AWARD at the Friends of Wisconsin State Parks Awards Banquet on Saturday, November 14, 2015. The statewide Friends of Wisconsin State Parks organization runs the GOLD SEAL AWARD program each year to highlight Wisconsin’s parks, trails, and forests.
Gold Seal contest – July 11-September, 11, 2015.
Best trail to view wildflowers
Best place to find winter wildlife tracks
Best place for a workout
Best accessible picnic area
Best place to camp with the family
Best trail to ride/hike in the fall
Best place to view exhibits
Best place to find fungi
Best dog beach
Best place to see migratory birds
Click here to make nomination.

Focus on Friends - Friends of Harrington Beach State Park

by Rhondella Morgan
The Friends of Harrington Beach State Park was founded in 1988 to support this beautiful park, both financially and through volunteer services. The Friends are dedicated to supporting and promoting the interpretive and educational activities of Harrington Beach State Park and its visitor services.  Located in Belgium, Wisconsin Harrington Beach has over 1 mile of Lake Michigan shoreline.
Our Friends Group has been active in the park through the sponsoring of environmental speakers, family events such as our Candlelight Hikes, the removal of invasive species along with park improvements.  Some of our improvements include an addition to the Puckett's Pond picnic shelter, a garage for wood storage, the Welcome Center and on July 8 we will be dedicating the new Accessible Cabin in our campground. We get the word out about our group through our website along with our Facebook page.  Additionally, we volunteer at the concession stand and share our mission with park visitors.  We have a membership of about 40 individual/families who volunteer according to their ability/talents.  These can be as simple as baking a pan of cookies for the hikes, cleaning trails, serving at hikes  and special events to clearing invasive species and actual construction.

Ronnie Morgan
Friends of Harrington Beach State Park

Focus on Friends - Friends of Buckhorn State Park*

The Friends of Buckhorn State Park is a volunteer organization created to promote and support the goals and mission of the park. The group raises money by selling firewood in the park and offering canoe/kayak rentals. The Friends work on numerous park projects and events throughout the year, including the annual photography contest, candlelight hikes and summer naturalist programs.
“Our beautiful park has several very nice hiking trails, a wildlife viewing tower, some very nice walk-in campsites, several campsites all along the waterfront, group camps, a beautiful handicap accessible cabin that has a wheelchair that is used for on the beach, a wonderful beach for swimming, excellent fishing and fishing pier. Our park also offers to the public rentals of canoe's and kayak's, Geo-caches, fishing poles with tackle boxes, and in the winter we do offer snowshoes and cross country ski's on some of the trails and even a few campsites available in the winter for camping. Our park just recently expanded on our other beach area and boat launch and shower house. Coming soon will be more campsites with electricity hook-ups, and movie nights. Make sure to watch for our upcoming summer programs as well.” Gail Novotny wrote.
A unique artwork contest is held in the spring by the Friends. The Gift Shop Artwork Contest is open to all students between the ages of 13-18 years old. All art work must be about Buckhorn State Park, activities, nature, or educational programs.  (Click on image to enlarge)
The Friends of Buckhorn State Park are also very active in Work Play Earth Day. The Friends and guests ready the camp sites and beach area. They also are involved with several painting projects around the park.

*Sources: Wisconsin DNR http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/parks/name/buckhorn/
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/buckhornfriends

Focus on Friends–Friends of Crex, Inc**

Mushroom BoothThe Friends of Crex was established in 1984, as a support group for the wildlife education program conducted at Crex Meadows. This private, non-profit corporation provides volunteer and financial assistance needed to expand the wildlife education program. It is composed of individuals from many different backgrounds interested in increasing public understanding, appreciation, support, and enjoyment of wildlife.
With more than six hundred active members, the Friends of Crex is one of the largest friends groups associated with the Department of Natural Resources. Each year, Friends of Crex members provide hundreds of hours of volunteer assistance and thousands of dollars of financial support. Their financial support has allowed the Crex staff to purchase equipment, supplies, and displays, and fund a Program Assistant/Naturalist position at the Visitor Center.
Crex Meadows Wildlife Area (Map: http://dnr.wi.gov/maps/WM/NOR/7340crexmeadows.pdf) is a 30,000 acre property of wetlands, brush prairies, and forests scattered across a gently rolling landscape. It is located in western Burnett County. Crex Meadows is open year round, with something to do and see during every season. Crex receives more than 100,000 visitors each year. Most of the visitors come to view wildlife. The popularity of Crex is attributed to its large size, spectacular vistas, and great diversity of plants and wildlife. A system of well maintained roads, observation areas and a rest area provide excellent access and wildlife viewing opportunities.
Volunteer projects include; litter pick-up, staffing the Visitor Center during spring and fall weekends, assisting with wildlife surveys, duck and goose banding, recording goose neck collars, preparing newsletter mailings, and helping with the annual Spring Bird Festival, the Fall Wildlife Festival, and the Friends of Crex Annual Meeting.
The wildlife education program has grown substantially due to the ‘Friends’ efforts. Working together with the Crex staff, The Friends of Crex were able toBus Tour Birding substantially increase visitor services and education programs. The crowning achievement came with the completion of the Crex Meadows Wildlife Education Center in April 2002.
Having accomplished the initial goals, the ‘friends’ are now prepared to enter the next stage of our evolution. Two major goals for the immediate future are:
  1. to insure that the Wildlife Education Center is adequately staffed and fully operational
  2. to offer donors the opportunity to fund wildlife management activities, including land acquisition, at Crex Meadows and the other properties.
The Crex Meadows Fall Wildlife Festival is held each fall in early October.  This event attracts several hundred people each year and coincides with the peak migration of eagles, geese, ducks, and sandhill cranes.  It is designed to acquaint the general public with the wildlife and wildlife management activities of the area. 9Additional Information: http://www.crexmeadows.org/events.htm)

*Source: Web site: http://www.crexmeadows.org/
Wisconsin DNR: http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/lands/WildlifeAreas/crex.html