Experience Erin Hills Golf Course.

Look at that view!

What a wonderful experience for all!

FWSP Volunteers Needed for US Open!

To all supporters of Friends of Wisconsin State Parks and to all golf enthusiasts-

For the first time ever, the US Open Golf Tournament will be held in Wisconsin during the week of June 12-18, 2017 at Erin Hills Golf Course in Erin, Wisconsin.
The Friends of Wisconsin State Parks have a unique opportunity to offer a volunteer opportunity for folks to work at the event in the vendor area - and each volunteer will receive a free pass for the day to see the tournament and a free meal from Ruth’s Chris Steak House.
FWSP has opened the volunteer slots for the event for you and your family & friends to sign up! This is a great opportunity to help Friends of Wisconsin State Parks as well as have a lot of fun and see some great golf while receiving some great benefits listed below!!
We received the Volunteer shift time slots from Ruth Chris Steakhouse for the US Open and it consists of 7 hour shift slots. There will be a break within the shift. There will be more information provided that will include the Volunteer waiver forms & a Volunteer information packet and those will be provided very soon.
Please read the basic information we have below, go ahead and sign up and we will send out waivers and information when we receive it from the event officials. Security checks will be same as Airport security, see details below.
There will be free parking at specific shuttle lots in the area and free shuttles to the Golf Course. You must allow extra time for the shuttle rides on both ends of your day. You be working in the food vendor booth under the direction of Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse management.
Please have everyone signup As Soon as Possible for best selection of slots. US OPEN Volunteer sign up: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/5080f4eaca928aafb6-usopen 


  • Volunteers are responsible to report to a yet to be designated park and rides to Erin Hills (the road to Erin Hills will be closed to private traffic) 
  • and for their own lodging if they stay overnight. The motels and campgrounds are all full, so other arrangements will need to be made. 
  • Volunteer will commit to 1: 7 hour shift and in return. 
  • Volunteers will get a US Open shirt with Ruth Chris and FWSP logos on it. a free meal from Ruth Chris, Free parking and a Gallery Pass to watch the Tourney,
  • A GREAT opportunity to make a big showing for FWSP! 
FWSP, for coordinating, gets $7/volunteer hour so if you don't show up FWSP loses the $7/ hour and it is added workload on the remaining volunteers. This a chance of a lifetime for us as volunteers and FWSP gets exposure to MANY potential donors!
Crowd size is expected to be 40,000 a day!! The jobs will be cashiers , food prep, servers and cooks for the steaks.

  • Uniform: Ruth’s Chris and the USGA require you wear the designated uniform which includes the Ruth’s Chris polo, the black Ruth’s Chris baseball hat, choice of black, white or khaki bottoms- pants, capris, or shorts at least to the knee. 
  • NO DENIM is allowed at the event.
  •  Closed toed shoes are required during all shifts. There cannot be any open-toed shoes in the concession tents. 
  • Health codes require all hair longer than shoulder length be tied back. 
The Health Inspectors will be checking each tent to make sure we are following all of the state guidelines.
If it is chilly, volunteers may wear a sweater or a jacket.

Security and Prohibited Items
( Basically like an airport security check) Spectators and other championship attendees will not be allowed on the shuttle buses or through an Admission Gate with any of the items listed below. Please be sure to read the following list of prohibited items carefully:
  • No Weapons (regardless of permit, including but not limited to firearms or knives) 
  • No Explosives and/or Fireworks of any kind 
  • No Tablets and/or Computers (cellular mobile devices smaller than 7" are permitted) 
  • No Noise-Producing Devices (including portable speakers) 
  • No Cameras (other than Monday through Wednesday for personal photographic use) Note: Use of cameras and mobile device camera features must follow the camera/photography policy *
  • No Video and/or Audio Recording at any time with any device 
  • No Backpacks, Briefcases and/or Bags larger than 6" W x 6" H x 6" D in their natural state Note: Transparent/clear plastic hand and shoulder bags no larger than 12"W x 12"H x 6"D are permitted. *
  • No Signs, Posters and/or Banners usopen.com 
  • No Food and/or Beverages except for medical or infant needs 
  • No Containers and/or Coolers except for medical or infant needs Note: Transparent/clear plastic water bottles (size 24 ounce or smaller) are permitted when empty. 
  • No Pets (other than service animals assisting disabled individuals) 
  • No Lawn Chairs and/or Oversized Chairs with Arms (compact chairs without arms are permitted with no case) 
  • No Ladders and/or Step Stools or other similar items 
  • No Bicycles allowed inside admission areas or on the championship grounds 
  • No Metal-Spiked Golf Shoes 
  • No Containers, Coolers, Aerosol Cans and/or Spray Bottles except for medical or infant needs Note: Personal care items (3-ounce size or less) and transparent/clear plastic water bottles (size 24 ounce or less when empty) are permitted 
No other items deemed unlawful, dangerous or disruptive by the USGA and/or Championship Security Personnel, in their sole discretion.
Each volunteer working is entitled to a meal for each shift worked. Ice cream and alcohol are not available to volunteers. Your Ruth’s Chris Managers will let you know when you are able to take a break. It is important that the breaks be scheduled when large galleries are not coming through the area of your tent. When returning from any breaks- including meal, bathroom, or just coming into the tent- we require that you wash your hands before doing anything else.
NO SMOKING - There will be no smoking in or around concession tents as it is a fire hazard. If you need help finding a place to smoke, please ask you concession tent manager.
Here is some more information about Ruth’s Chris Steak House restaurants and Ruth Fertel, the founder: 
History of Ruth’s Chris Steak House: Fifty years ago in New Orleans—one of America’s most culturally rich cities—Ruth Fertel, a single working mother looking to provide a better life for her two sons, browsed the “Classifieds” section of the Times-Picayune. She spotted an ad reading “Steak House for Sale.” Driven by an inherent entrepreneurial spirit, she mortgaged her home to purchase Chris’ Steak House on the corner of North Broad St. and Ursulines in New Orleans.
 Even though she had no restaurant experience, her intelligence and drive to succeed enabled her to become a successful business owner and eventually to lead the company to become the largest upscale steak house in the world. Ruth worked and lived by the mantra, "Do what you love, love what you do."
She had the reputation of being a driven, hard-working person who never met a challenge not worth overcoming. Ruth was successful because of her strong work ethic and keen ability to understand her guests.
Ruth had a certain way of doing things. How to run a restaurant. How to treat people. How to handcraft the perfect cocktail and how to maintain the best wine list in town. Of course, Ruth was a stickler for sourcing only the top 2% of the country’s beef and serving the best steak on a 500° sizzling plate (that’s so it would stay warm through the very last bite).
She also insisted on making things fresh in-house daily, from fresh-squeezed juices for handcrafted cocktails to her own famous sides and desserts. Often, people would ask Ruth why her food was so good, and she’d simply say, “Just follow the recipe.” We invite you to experience how Ruth’s timeless recipe is alive and well to this day.
Why is it called Ruth’s Chris? Our founder, Ruth Fertel, purchased a restaurant called Chris Steak House in May of 1965 in New Orleans. Ruth had never planned to expand, but after a fierce kitchen fire decimated the property she was forced to relocate in order to stay in business. Within ten days Ruth had the restaurant up and running. But the Chris Steak House name was not allowed to move with it. With little time and a mischievous smile, Ruth added her own name to the sign, making it “Ruth’s Chris Steak House.” Now with her own name in lights the tongue-twisting name was born. Later Ruth admitted the name was strange, but she managed to work around it.

FWSP Announce 2017 Incentive Grants

fowThe Friends of Wisconsin State Parks announced the 2017 Incentive Grant awards. Grants are awarded for up to 50% of project, position, or activity costs.  The other 50% of project costs is provided by the project sponsor (Friends group).  Up to 50% of the sponsor’s share of project costs may be non-cash donations such as materials, equipment use, services or labor.  Grants awards will be announced in early Spring.
Grants are awarded to qualified Friends groups for naturalists and eligible interpretive programs, including but not limited to interpretive equipment, LTE Naturalists, nature education for children, exhibits, interpretive signage and other interpretive needs.
FWSP Incentive grants totaling $23,936 and a match from Friends groups of $23,936+  for a total of $47,872+ in 2017 Naturalist projects and programs at parks, forests, trails, and recreation areas.
The Incentive Grant winners for 2017 are:
  • Whitefish Dunes State Park
  • Gov. Dodge State Park
  • Navarino Nature Center
  • Wyalusing Stat Park
  • Potawatomi State Park
  • Devil’s Lake State Park
  • Willow River State Park
  • Blue Mound State Park
  • Bong Naturalist Association
  • Pattison & Amnicon State Park
  • Council Grounds State Park
  • Merrick State Park – TURTLES
  • Point Beach State Forest
  • Yellowstone Lake State Park
  • Lapham Peak State Forest
  • Mead/McMillan SWA
  • Perrot State Park
  • Copper Falls State Park
  • Buckhorn State Park
  • Kohler -Andrae State Park
  • Rib Mountain State Park
  • Hartman Creek State Park
  • Peninsula State Park
  • Pike Lake State Forest
  • Harrington Beach State Park
  • MacKenzie Center
  • Roche-A-Cri State Park
  • High Cliff State Park

FWSP Announces 2017, Trees & Flowers Grant Awards

k-cabin-tree-plant-1The Friends of Wisconsin State Parks is pleased to announce the 2017  TREES and FLOWERS grant award winners.  Funds were  designated for planting flowers, trees and shrubs at state park, forest, trail and recreation area properties during the spring.  $100 was awarded to each of the Friends groups below – and they were 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. This year the total grant awards was $2500.

2017 Trees & Flowers grant awards
Friends of:

  • Sandhill SWA
  • Peninsula Stae Park
  • Mead/McMillan
  • Red Cedar State Trail
  • Lake Wissota State Park
  • Council Grounds State Park
  • Yellowstone Lake State Park
  • Lapham Peak State Forest
  • High Cliff State Park
  • Rib Mountain State Park
  • Wyalusing State Park
  • Kohler -Andrae State Park
  • Bong Naturalist Association
  • Point Beach State Forest
  • Buckhorn State Park
  • Havenwoods State Forest
  • Big Foot Beach State Park
  • Perrot State Park
  • Potawatomi State Park
  • Copper Falls State Park
  • Mirror Lake State Park
  • Harrington Beach State Park
  • Blue Mound State Park
  • Stower 7 Lakes State Trail
  • Pike Lake State Forest

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).