Summer time surprises

Quiet Forests

Early Fall Prairies

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

Friends of Wisconsin State Parks hire Executive Director

Patty Loosen - Executive Director FWSP
Friends of Wisconsin State Parks (FWSP) are proud to announce the hiring of Patricia Loosen as our first full-time Executive Director. FWSP has been organized as a 501©3 for over 20 years to help Protect, Preserve, Promote and Enhance Wisconsin’s State Parks, Trails, Forests, and Recreation Areas. Patty has been with FWSP/WDNR for over 5 years and has been the mastermind behind our FWSP On-Line Store as well as developing and promoting other FWSP programs. Under Patty’s direction and guidance from the FWSP Board of Directors, FWSP is becoming a stronger support group for the Local Friends Groups as well as growing as a funding source for Friends programs and projects at State Park System Properties. FWSP is embarking on a major fund raising campaign to fund current projects, special projects such as natural playgrounds in the parks and an endowment for sustainable funding. For more information, go to FWSP. ORG

Or contact Patricia Loosen