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The 2014 GOLD SEAL Award Contest

The 2014 GOLD SEAL Award contest is sponsored by the Friends of Wisconsin State Parks, and they 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 in October 2014.

The statewide Friends of Wisconsin State Parks organization runs the GOLD SEAL Award program each year to highlight Wisconsin's parks, trails, and forests.
The Contest runs from July 21, 2014 through September 2, 2014.

This year, the Friends of Wisconsin State Parks have named the following categories:
  1. Best place to hike with children
  2. Best concessions at a park
  3. Best self-guided nature trail
  4. Best place to see fireflies while camping
  5. Best view from a park/trail bench
  6. Best family friendly bike trail
  7. Best place to see a variety of birds
  8. Best wedding venue
  9. Best place to kayak/canoe
  10. Best place for quiet recreating
    *If a property has won an award in the category in the past, it will not be considered eligible to win again.
    Click here to go to Gold Seal 2014 Nomination form

    FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Patty Loosen – Friends of Wisconsin State Parks coordinator patricia.loosen@wisconsin.gov (608) 264-8994

    2014 Photo Contest

    "Film the Fun"
    fwspPhotoContest2013   Google DriveThe Friends of Wisconsin State Parks (FWSP) invites all interested individuals to enter their favorite State Park, Forest, or Trail photos in our sixth annual photography competition. Winners will be featured in the 2015 Friends of Wisconsin State Parks Calendar, released in October 2014.
    There are a lot of activities happening at Wisconsin state parks during the four seasons. We ask that your entries include beautiful scenery or activities like geocaching, art in the park, hiking, candlelight skis, kayaking, horseback riding, out with pets, and mountain biking.
    The deadline for all submissions is Sunday, August 31, 2014.

    Who May Enter:
    Submissions are accepted from amateur photographers ages 14 and over. Professional photographers who earn more than half of their income taking pictures are not eligible. The Friends of Wisconsin State Parks board members will determine winners' eligibility.
    Employees of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and board members of the Friends of Wisconsin State Parks and their immediate family members are not eligible to win.

    Photographs must have been shot within the past three years (since January 1, 2012).
    • 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.
    • 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 member.

    FWSP will review each photograph received and will accept only those entries that meet the official requirements outlined in these rules. A panel of FWSP board members and staff will review accepted entries and select the winning photos. Selected photos are not official winners until high resolution, watermark-free versions are provided to FWSP. If such a version cannot be provided, an alternate winner will be selected. The decisions of FWSP and the contest judges are final.
    Winners will be notified in September 2014 and invited to the Friends of Wisconsin State Parks Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet in October 2014.
    Winning photos will appear in the 2015 FWSP calendar, tentatively set to release October, 2014.
    Entries must be uploaded by SUNDAY, August 31, 2014, 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 Entry Form)
     Direct any questions about the Photo Contest to:

    Patricia Loosen
    Friends of Wisconsin State Parks Coordinator

    Lakeshore State Park*

    lakeshoreLakeshore State Park is located right in the heart of the beautiful Milwaukee lakefront. This is such a great place to come for a relaxing day alongside Lake Michigan. Come for a picnic or just a relaxing stroll. On a hot day, there is a beach for a refreshing swim. There is a fishing pier for the anglers. Boaters will find a dock welcoming boats for an overnight stay. The park is right next to the Summerfest grounds and walking distance from Discovery World. A trip down to Milwaukee's lakefront is not complete without some time spent in Lakeshore State Park.
    ***** Jonathon Ringdahl visited all of Wisconsin’s 64 State Parks, State Forests, and recreational areas in 2012. This is another in a series of articles he is writing for the Friends of Wisconsin State Parks. Opinions expressed in this blog are the author’s

    New Wisconsin state park, forest, trail events and nature programs calendar available

    imagesWeekly News article published: July 8, 2014 by the Central Office

    MADISON - People now have an easier and more convenient way to find activities, events and nature programs at Wisconsin state parks, forests, trails and recreation areas with a new mobile friendly events calendar on the Department of Natural Resources website.
    The new calendar has several user-friendly features including being able to search for events by date, property, or type of activity. The calendar shows event location information including contacts and maps and has links directly from event locations to park campsite reservation system. It also has an "add to your calendar" function that allows people to add event reminders to their personal electronic calendars.
    The new calendar also includes a RSS feed so that a new Wisconsin State Parks and Forests mobile app that will be available later this summer can pull in event information directly from the DNR website.
    The new calendar can be found by searching the DNR website dnr.wi.gov for keyword "Get Outdoors."
    The updated statewide calendar can also be accessed through fwsp.org. Click on Events.

    Trails closed at Governor Dodge State Park as crews clear storm damage

    downloadNews Release Published: July 10, 2014 by the South Central Region

    Contact(s): Paul Zajackowski, DNR regional park supervisor, 608-275-3276 Governor Dodge State Park 608-935-2315 Bob Manwell, DNR communications, 608-275-3317
    DODGEVILLE, Wis. - Five hiking, biking and horse trails in the southern areas of Governor Dodge State Park have been closed as crews continue clean-up work stemming from storms and tornados that passed through areas of Iowa County the night of June 29.
    Closed until approximately September 12 with distances are the following:
    � Pine Cliff hiking trail, 4.5 miles
    � Lake View hiking trail, 1.25 miles
    � Mill Creek off-road bike trail, 3.3 miles
    � Military Ridge access hiking and biking rail, 1 mile
    � Outer Horse Trail Loop from the intersection of Old Orchard Pass to the intersection of Goldmine Trail, ten miles
    "Our crews initially focused their efforts on clearing debris from the heavy use day-use areas, campgrounds and roads in order to keep those areas open for the July 4 weekend," said Paul Zajackowski, DNR regional park supervisor. "Visitor safety is always our top priority and as crews pushed more deeply into the park we found additional damage making these trails unsafe and impassible for hiking, biking or horseback riding.
    "We will reopen trails as soon as possible and we appreciate everyone's patience as we complete this work. We'll have up-to-date trail information available at the park office for folks planning to visit Governor Dodge. If your future plans include one of these trails, please call ahead for a condition report."