Friends of Wisconsin State Parks–2013 HERO Awards

During the Friends of Wisconsin State parks Annual Awards Banquet held in October, 2013, at the Horicon Marsh Education Center, several Friends members received awards. This is the secondin a series of articles focusing on the winners.

Outstanding Friends Group

Friends of Blue Mound State Park

Tine Friends of Blue Mound State Park have worked tirelessly to do fund raising promote an active, healthy lifestyle and use the natural features of Blue Mound Slate Park for their many events. They are an outstanding group of dedicated volunteers who, over the last 10 years have organized and carried out many bike events Such as the Horribly Hilly 100 and many trail runs at the park - each requiring many volunteers to make these events a success. The Friends group has raised money through their hard work to build (:1 family accessible enclosed shelter at the park which is close to the pool area and will be used year round. The new shelter is a wonderful addition to the park and quite an accomplishment for the Friends of Blue Mound State Park. The shelter opened in January 2013 and the first event held using the shelter was the 2013 Candlelight ski and almost 1,000 visitors turned out for the event and has been used and enjoyed since by many visitors this year. The friends next goal is to make the grounds around the shelter as beautiful as the shelter itself and then to help the park with other dreams and plans that the park and the Friends both have for the future.

Outstanding DNR Land Manager

Paul Sandgren - Superintendent for Kettle Moraine State Forest - Southern Unit

"I have known Paul since 1988 ; he has always been a Hero".
''As President of the Friends of Lapham Peak since 1998, I have had many opportunities to interact with Paul - I admire and respect his skills and knowledge and he is a very hard worker and effective leader'' we've known Paul for over 20 years and live adjacent to Lapham Peak. He's done a wonderful job in leading his team and working with the resources that the State provides.''
''He is greatly admired in our community. He is an outstanding representative of the DNR and as an individual''
This is just a sampling of comments that were heard to describe Paul Sandgren by people who have known and worked with him over the years of his dedicated career with the Wisconsin State Park System and at Kettle Moraine State Forest - Southern unit and Lapham Peak. People go on to describe the many projects and events that he has helped with - he spear -headed the effort in 1989 to start the Lapham Peak Friends group which supports a property which has gone on to be a very Successful all season destination for area residents and visitors. Through his efforts the Evergreen Warming Shelter wins built, the pump house for the Snow making project was constructed, a restroom was added at Homestead Hollow, premier cross country ski trails are maintained and groomed, the wonderful renovation of the Houseman Nature Center was completed, guidance was provided to construct the only lighted Ski trail in the area construction of an accessible trail and countless hours spent in managing the property and resources under his leadership.
"You always know Paul by his contagious laugh and friendly smile. People know he will listen to their questions and follow through with an answer. His leadership has resulted in significant growth and use of Kettle Moraine State Forest - Lapham Peak and southern Unit!"