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The path less traveled.

Focus on Friends–Navarino Wildlife Area

Clipboard02The 15,000 acres of land tucked into the southern corner of Shawno county and the northeast section of Waupaca County is home for the volunteer Friends of the Navarino Wildlife area.  The organization was established in April of 1986, by a group of residents who have formed the backbone of the Navario Wildlife Area. Together they oversee the education of people of all ages in the importance of conserving natural resources and wildlife habitat, promote renewable energy, and promote wellness opportunities.
In 1999, an educational facility was built. It is used for programs which include summer camps, 4-H and scout groups, early childhoodClipboard01 and health care. Since 2008 the center broke ground on a “Green” building which uses renewable energy to further the groups mission statement.
Volunteer opportunities include:
  • Assistant naturalist
  • Office support
  • Bird surveys
  • Flower garden care
  • Fundraising
  • General maintenance
  • Trail maintenance
  • Welcome host
A recent project included an accessible 360 foot long boardwalk with a 20 foot observation platform over Glenn’s Pond.  The walkway is eight feet wide. The boardwalk and observation platform will be used for students to participate in a pond study program.
Facebook: https://goo.gl/qyi9v6

Focus on Friends–The Newport Wilderness Society

Clipboard01Located in Door County, Wi, In Newport State Park, The Newport Wilderness Society:
  • provide qualified guides for interpretive nature hikes about natural history of trees, ferns, wildflowers, birds, butterflies and about human history of this area.
  • pull garlic mustard and phragmites.
  • manage blue bird trails and monitor monarch butterfly migration.
  • write and publish informational pamphlets and brochures, offer presentations on the meaning of wilderness, light candles and serve refreshments for the February candlelight ski.
  • put on Newport Wilderness Day in September,.
Over the past 5 years, members raised funds to pay for construction and outfitting of the Hotz Wilderness Room, a part of the new Public Entrance Visitor Station [PEVS].
The “Society” was founded in 1985 as a non-profit 501©(3) organization.
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Newport-Wilderness-Society/106202842750245?sk=timeline

Focus on Friends–Friends of Peninsula State Park

Spooktacular Hike - Game TableThe Friends of Peninsula State Park(501 c (3)) are dedicated to supporting the interpretive, historical, educational and visitor service programs of Peninsula State Park located in Fish Creek, Wisconsin. The ‘Friends were founded in 2007.
The volunteers assist Peninsula State Park staff by :
  • Helping to eradicate invasive species such as garlic mustard and European honeysuckle within the Park.
  • Providing volunteers to assist in the Nature Center throughout the summer and fall.
  • Providing volunteers to help with programs put on by Park staff, such as the Candlelight Ski, Talking Tombstones and Spooktacular
  • Providing volunteers to assist in the Door County Half-Marathon and the Door County 50-mile Run.

  • The hard working volunteers frequently donate 1500-over 2000 hours per year. They worked tirelessly to promote and host Campfire Stories and Snacksthe Annual Golf Classic’ event., annual Candlelight ski/hike event in February, and the Talking Tombstones and Spooktacular(Photo – right).
    It is not unusual for over 1000 visitors to attend the Spooktacular Hike at Peninsula State Park where visitors were treated to costumed characters along a mile-long candlelit trail, campfire stories, cookies, marshmallows, and cider, crafts, a fire safety play at American Folklore Theatre, and meet-and-greets with Smokey Bear and Sparky the fire dog. Thank you to everyone who supported this event to raise funds for nature education in the park!
    Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/peninsulafriends

    Focus on Friends–Friends of New Glarus Woods State Park

    Clipboard01Located in the driftless area of Northern Green County, WI, The Friends of New Glarus Woods State Park promote the use and improvement of the park by:
    • Providing volunteer support for maintaining trails, planting prairies and other stewardship activities.
    • Assisting the park with educational and community activities
    • Providing financial assistance for park projects and programs
    One of the favorite events for park visitors is called Spirits of the Night.  The event is held annually in September.  Costumed “Friends” hide along a designated trail  at night which is lit by lanterns.  Park visitors walk along the trails and spot the “Spirits” . As each animal is spotted, it mysteriously talks and tells their story as it relates to the environment.  A huge bonfire is centrally located and all return for hot cider and food provided by the “Friends”.
    The children, and adults as well, enjoy the playground. This was a big project for the “Friends”.

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NewGlarusWoodsStatePark

    Focus on Friends - Friends of the Mead/McMillan Association

    The Friends of the Mead/McMillan Association come from many different backgrounds interested in increasing public understanding, appreciation, support, and enjoyment of wildlife. Formed in 1996, the goals of the “Friends”  continue to seek funding for educational support, improving access and use of the handicap facilities on the property, creating citizen support for the management activities on the property, expanding and promoting the walking trail system, promoting the Mead as birding area, purchasing needed operational and habitat maintenance equipment, providing updated maps of the property, and creating a trail system with viewing areas.
    With almost 40,000 acres dedicated to wildlife, Mead and McMillan are resources that touch the lives of every citizen in Wood, Portage and Marathon Counties. The Friends are a partner in the day to day operation and we have much to be proud of.
    The ‘Friends’ were instrumental in raising funds for the Stanton W. Mead Education and Visitor Center, a model in green design in the state of Wisconsin. They have also provided funding and volunteers to build the Ephemeral Trail and Boardwalk, along with the observation decks overlooking the Educational Wildlife Scrape & Sedge Meadow.
    The Friends of the Mead/McMillan Association, Inc. Board of Directors meets every other month, typically on the first Tuesday at 6 pm at the Visitor Center.  The meeting is open to the public and Friends members.
    The Friends of Mead & McMillan Wildlife Areas Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/FriendsofMeadMcMillanWildlifeAreas/info?tab=page_info