Work *Play* Earth Day! - A Success.

The fourth annual Work *Play* Earth Day 2012 was  a success throughout Wisconsin. “We had more than 650 volunteers who donated more than 2000 hours cleaning up and maintaining parks and trails, planted more than 700 trees, did invasives work and built benches and picnic tables” says Patty Loosen, Friends group coordinator for Friends of the Wisconsin State Parks. “This year we had 18 parks,forests, trails and wildlife areas participating - double the number from last year!”.  We'd like to thank all of the volunteers who donated their time and energy to these projects as well as our sponsors - Cabela's, REI - Brookfield, Wild Birds Unlimited - Delafield and other local area businesses.
Following is a sampling of events throughout Wisconsin during the last several weekends.

Planting trees.High Cliff State Park
High Cliff State Park
Over 100 volunteers turned out to assist with park cleanup. The day, began at 9 AM and didn't end until 1PM. During that time, volunteers cleaned litter and picked up branches and walked the trails picking up debris. In addition, the group planted 550 trees. Additional photos can be viewed here.

Greenbush Mountain Biking & Snowshoe Trails
Installing bike washing station.
Jerry Leiterman, Forest Superintendent, and 38 volunteers picked up litter from the winter in the state forest and general cleanup. In addition, seven volunteers installed a bike wash station at the Greenbush Bike Trail system. The wash station will help combat the spread of invasive species. Additional photos can be viewed here.

Lapham Peak State Park
Board members construct benches
A cold, windy, rainy, drizzly, day did not deter a stalwart group of over 100 volunteers from working at Lapham Peak State Park, in Delafield, WI, on Saturday, April 28, 2012.. Young and young at heart took part in Wisconsin's Work Play Earth Day. After a flag ceremony, the area scouts, their leaders and parents, local volunteers, Friends group members and Friends of Wisconsin State Park Board members met at the newly renovated Hausmann Nature center to coordinate activities. Trails were cleaned of litter and downed branches were piled. Garlic mustard was also removed in area of the park. The Friends of Wisconsin State Parks board members constructed park benches and installed them along the trails. Additional photos can be viewed here.

George W. Mead Wildlife Area

Twenty able-bodied volunteers worked hard cleaning up litter and heavy tires from the wild life area. Additional photos can be viewed here.

Big Foot Beach
The volunteers from Big Foot Beach planted 250 trees in the campground area. In addition, they picked up litter.  They had a very successful day getting the park ready for the summer season. Additional photos can be viewed here.

Buckhorn/Roche-A-Cri State Parks 
Roche-A-Cri & Buckhorn 
The rain stopped just in time Saturday morning for the 33 volunteers, 2 camp hosts and 5 staff members to start cleaning up the park at  the work and play day.  Picnic areas and campsites were raked and cleaned up, garlic mustard pulled, brush and small oaks removed in the prairie, and a group split firewood and filled the wood sheds.  The Friends of Roche-A-Cri cooked burgers and brats for the volunteers and then it was back to work for another 2 hours.  It was a great turnout for a first time of holding a work day! Additional photos can be viewed here.

Kettle Moraine State Forest - Pike Lake Unit
Clearing prairie
10 volunteers and 3 DNR staff including 4 students from the Hartford High School Environmental Club, cut and cleared invasive honeysuckle from a several acre area of the park that has never been cleared.  Ranger Drew Storch then mowed the area which will now be maintained as a prairie area. Additional photos can be viewed here.