Friends and Work Play Earth Day - Big Foot Beach

Friends and Work Play Earth Day - Lapham Peak

Work Play Earth Day - Flashback to 2012

Work*Play*Earth Day events to be held around the state in 2017

Work*Play*Earth Day events to be held around the state in 2017

Contact(s): Patty Loosen, DNR Parks Program Friends Coordinator, 608-264-8994; Paul Holtan, Communications, 608-235-2126
MADISON – People will again have additional opportunities to celebrate Earth Day while helping out and enjoying a Wisconsin state park, forest, trail, recreation area or wildlife property during the ninth annual Work*Play*Earth Day events that will be held around the state.
This year there are 31 properties holding events, up from 28 in 2016. Volunteer events are sponsored by the Friends of Wisconsin State Parks and Department of Natural Resources properties. This year events will be held April 21, 22, 29 and May 6.
“We’ve seen continued growth in both number of events and the numbers of participants at our Work*Play*Earth*Day events,” said Patty Loosen, friends coordinator for the state parks program. “Last year we had 825 volunteers participate donating more than 2,640 hours.”
In addition to tree planting, other activities taking place around the state include installing benches, removing invasive plants, painting picnic tables and other structures, raking and cleaning up leaves and picking up litter. Refreshments are often provided by the property’s friends group.
Volunteers clean up the boat launch picnic area at Mirror Lake State Park.
Photo Credit: DNR
Hours vary by event, but most begin either at 9 or 10 a.m. and run through noon or early afternoon. For details search the Department of Natural Resources website for “Work Play Earth Day.”
“When the work is done, volunteers join staff in hiking or biking park trails, visiting nature centers or interpretive displays, or enjoying any of the recreational opportunities available at the different properties,” Loosen said.
Friday – April 21
Mirror Lake State Park – Baraboo, 608-254-2333
Saturday – April 22
Big Foot Beach State Park – Lake Geneva, 262-248-2528
Buckhorn State Park – Necedah, 608-565-2789
Governor Nelson State Park – Waunakee, 608-831-3005
Hank Aaron State Traill – Milwaukee, 414-263-8559
Heritage Hill State Historical Park – Green Bay, 920-448-5150
High Cliff State Park – Sherwood, 920-989-1106
Kohler-Andrae State Park – Sheboygan, 920-451-4080
Kettle Moraine State Forest – Lapham Peak Unit – Delafield, 262-646-3025
Kettle Moraine State Forest-Northern Unit– Campbellsport, 262-626-2116
Kettle Moraine State Forest – Pike Lake Unit – Hartford, 262-670-3400
Kettle Moraine State Forest- Southern Unit– Eagle, 262-594-6200
Lakeshore State Park – Milwaukee, 414-274-4280
MacKenzie Center – Poynette, 608-635-8105
Newport State Park – Ellison Bay, 920-854-2500
Perrot State Park – Trempealeau, 608-534-6409
Point Beach State Forest, Two Rivers, 920-794-7480 –
Potawatomi State Park – Sturgeon Bay, 920-746-2890
Saturday – April 29
Harrington Beach State Park – Belgium, 262-285-3015
Mead/McMillan State Wildlife Area – Milladore, 715-457-6771
Merrick State Park – Fountain City, 608-687-4936
Peninsula State Park – Fish Creek, 920-868-3258
Richard Bong State Recreation Area – Kansasville, 262-878-5600
Stower Seven Lakes State Trail – Amery, 715-485-9294
Whitefish Dunes State Park -Sturgeon Bay, 920-823-2400
Saturday – May 6
Devil’s Lake State Park – Baraboo, 608-356-8301
Hartman Creek State Park – Waupaca, 715-258-2372
Havenwoods State Forest – Milwaukee, 414-527-0232
Rib Mountain State Park – Wausau, 715-842-2522
Roche-A-Cri State Park – Friendship, 608-339-6881
Rock Island State Park, – Washington Island, 920-847-2235

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.

Membership Helps Preserve, Protect, and Enhance…

Wisconsin’s state parks, forests, trails, and recreational areas!

images_thumbOur organization is made up of volunteers and people like you who have a love of our state parks, forests, trails, and recreational trails and a desire to support their recreational, environmental and economic value.  As a member of our organization, you will be promoting the mission of the Friends of Wisconsin State Parks to preserve and protect our parks’ natural resources and to provide recreational opportunities for all.
FWSP is the official umbrella organization of the Friends groups for state parks, trails, forests, and recreation areas in Wisconsin.
Your membership and sponsorship will help Friends of Wisconsin State Parks to support over 80 local Friends Groups. FWSP and the local groups work on projects and events at the state parks, forests, trails, and recreation areas around the state that enhance the property and provide enjoyment for the many visitors each year. You can contribute to the continuing success by being a member of FWSP and by sponsoring this work to protect our natural resources and preserve Wisconsin's unique natural treasures for future generations.

NEW!Now you can support specific events and activities of Friends of Wisconsin State Parks. In addition to your membership, you can choose other ways to show your support.
  • Purchase your Wisconsin Park State Vehicle Admission Sticker through FWSP. (Link)
  • Contribute to the FWSP Endowment Fund so that this work continues for future generations.
  • Support the Naturalist Program in the parks to provide education to children. (Link)
  • Fund an Earth Day project at one of the Wisconsin state parks, forests, trails, or recreation areas.(Link)
 Your membership will help to preserve, protect and enhance Wisconsin's state parks, forests, trails, and recreation areas!(Click here to view and print Individual Membership brochure (PDF). 

Public Fundraising Kickoff Announced 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 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:

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.