June Silent Alarm – recreational organizations that make it happen *

Volunteers Jeff Welsch and Linda Adams work on a Recreational Trails Program rehabilitation project at the Greenbush Ski Trails in the Kettle Moraine State Forest.

BY MIKE MCFADZEN
Do you ever wonder how your favorite trail gets maintained? You know, who cuts the brush, grooms the ski trail or takes down fallen trees? Who does those educational programs that introduce kids to natural resources? State DNRs are increasingly relying on friends groups to make it happen.

Wisconsin

The Friends of Wisconsin State Parks (FWSP) is one of several statewide organizations that represent parks and trails. These local friends groups provide thousands of volunteer hours and deliver millions of dollars to support the mission and activities of state lands. FWSP is a lean organization driven by volunteers with only one employee, Executive Director, Patty Loosen.

“The Friends of Wisconsin State Parks have been working for 22 years to preserve, protect and promote the beautiful Wisconsin state park system properties, and to support the 70-plus local friends’ chapters through grants, workshops, and resources,” Loosen told Silent Sports. “I am always amazed by the dedication, volunteer time and hard work that all of the friends members deliver. The annual volunteer hours they provide total more than 30 full-time equivalent positions. Now that’s a lot!”

The loss of tax revenue for Wisconsin state parks has opened the door to more citizen involvement. FWSP recognizes that parks and trails have a long-term heritage of connecting youth and families to Wisconsin’s natural resources.

“State parks and trails are the conduit to our state’s great natural resources,” Loosen remarked.

You can support Wisconsin parks by becoming an FWSP member, donation, or buying your park sticker, or other items through their online store (fwsponlineshopping.blogspot.com/2015/11/store-2.html).
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