2018 Hero Awards Contest

screenshot-photo.oempromo.com-2018.08.08-11-37-27Friends of Wisconsin State Parks are seeking nominations for the coveted year-end HERO awards! The three award categories are:
  • Outstanding DNR Land Manager
  • Outstanding Friends Group
  • Outstanding Individual Friends Member
  • Legislator of the Year
The HERO awards are given out to recognize individuals and Friends groups who have been instrumental in contributing time and energy at a state park, forest, or trail. The DNR Land manager award recognizes an outstanding park, forest or trail manager who has done a great job with the DNR property that they manage. Again this year, we are also recognizing a Wisconsin Legislator who has shown support for Wisconsin's parks, forests, recreational areas, and trails.

We would like to hear from YOU with a nomination in any of the categories for the 2018 HERO Awards! Voting closes Friday – Sept. 7, 2018.

The 2018 HERO Awards will be presented for each category at the FWSP Workshops & Reception on Saturday - Nov. 10, 2018, at Monona Terrace in Madison.
The Friends of Wisconsin State Parks is created to preserve, protect, promote and enhance Wisconsin’s state parks, forests, trails, and recreation areas. Friends of Wisconsin State Parks is a non-profit umbrella organization supporting over 80 friends groups around the state. FWSP provides technical support, sponsors events such as Work*Play*Earth Day and the annual Volunteer Jamboree.

Photo Contest for Friends of Wisconsin State Parks Calendar 2019

Friends of Wisconsin State Parks Photo 2018 Photo Contest

The Friends of Wisconsin State Parks (FWSP) invites all interested individuals to enter their favorite state park, forest, trail or recreation area photo in our annual photography competition. Winners will be featured in the 2019 Friends of Wisconsin State Parks Calendar, released in the Fall of 2018.
There are so many opportunities to enjoy the Wisconsin state parks during all four seasons. We are looking for photo entries that include beautiful scenery along with people recreating and enjoying activities like hiking, picnicking, cross-country skiing, kayaking/canoeing, horseback riding, biking and exploring. (View Contest Rules)
This is the ninth year the Friends of Wisconsin State Parks has sponsored the photography competition.
  • 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.
  • Employees of the DNR and board members of the Friends of Wisconsin State Parks and their immediate family members are not eligible to win.
  • 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 person.
A panel of Friends of Wisconsin State Parks board members and staff will review accepted entries and select the winning photos. Photo awards will be presented at the FWSP Annual Awards banquet to be announced later
Entries must be uploaded by Friday August 31, 2018, midnight
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 in perpetuity.perpetuity reserves the right to exclude any photo from the contest.

Please click here to enter your photo(s)

Patricia Loosen
Executive Director Friends of Wisconsin State Parks

2018 Gold Seal Award Contest

Friends of Wisconsin State Parks
Gold Seal Awards

Ends  Friday, September 7, 2018

The Friends of Wisconsin State Parks 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, trail, or recreation area in the categories below.
The winning parks, forests, trails, or recreational areas will be honored with a Gold Seal Award at the Friends of Wisconsin State Parks Awards Banquet on Saturday, November 10, 2018. The statewide Friends of Wisconsin State Parks organization runs the Gold Seal Award program each year to highlight Wisconsin’s parks, trails, and forests.
Contest ends Friday, September 7, 2018.

Click here to make nomination(s)

The 2018 categories are:
  • Best state park system property for eagle watching
  • Best state park system property for single – track mountain biking
  • Best state park waterfall
  • Best state park system property for stand- up paddle boarding
  • Best state park system property for school trips & presentations
  • Best state park system beach
  • Best dog-friendly state park system property
  • Best rock formations at a state park system property
  • Best state park system group camping area
  • Best rails-to-trails trail in the state park system
Patty Loosen
Friends of Wisconsin State Parks Coordinator
608) 294-0810


Exciting times are coming for the Friends of Governor  Dodge State Park with the official announcement of plans to construct a new, 21-site equestrian campground. The park's 5,000 forested acres, located in SW Wisconsin's unique driftless region, include 25 miles of well-maintained horse trails that are some of the finest in the state. Sadly,  after a day of enjoying the park's beautiful trails, trail riders currently return to an aging and less than welcoming  11-site horse campground, which was intended to be  "temporary" but has lingered for almost 35 years.
Now, thanks to the diligence and persistence of the  Friends of Governor Dodge Equestrian Committee, this is about to change! Working closely with the Wisconsin  DNR and incorporating information collected from many potential users around the state in 2017, the committee has secured the concept design and cost information developed by Ayres and Associates, Madison, for a beautiful new equestrian campground. Designated the Trails End  Campground in the park's 1984 master plan, the new facility will be located in a peaceful and scenic valley on the park's north side. it will provide generously spaced campsites and shared spaces that take full advantage of the site's natural topography while causing minimal site disruption.  The increased number of sites will allow hundreds more horseback riding park users to experience the natural beauty of Governor Dodge State Park each year.
The project's fundraising goal of $750,000 will cover construction costs of $650,000 as well as fund an endowment to ensure that future maintenance needs can always be met. This goal is already one step closer to reality thanks to a  major gift of $69,000 awarded by the Wisconsin Horse Council  Equine Foundation on behalf of the estate of lris Cooley, a  trail rider and supporter of Wisconsin horse trails. The Friends officially kicked off the campground fund drive and accepted this wonderful gift at their annual fundraiser, a poker ride/  hike that was held on June 3, 2018.
Raising the needed funds by our targeted construction date of 2020 will require lots of hard work and creativity. We are  excited to take on the challenge and confident that 2020 will  find us “Building the Dream-With Your Help."
Submitted by jean Warrior  Friends of Governor Dodge State Park  Equestrian Committee

Advocacy for State Parks Pays Off!

State Parks took a big hit in the 2015-16 state budget when general purpose revenue (GPR) support for State Parks operations was cut. That raised the ire of park and trails supporters who rallied to work towards a more sustainable funding model. FWSP Board members, as well as some Friends Group leaders, were very busy during and after the budget session. Over 80 legislators were contacted on park funding issues, driving home the importance of affordable state lands recreation.
FWSP is happy to announce several victories for Park funding. During the budget process, the Joint Finance Committee (FC) voted to restore $2M from the Parks Segregated Fund. It's hard to believe that Parks cannot spend their own monies unless it's approved by the legislative. In April the JFC approved another $2.2M for Parks. These monies will go towards needed parks infrastructure, electricity for campsites, bathroom facilities, signage upgrades, fire rings and other projects.
Another victory for Parks supporters was the passage of The Parks Revitalization Act. The bill was that was sponsored by Senator Robert Cowles (R-Green Bay) and Representative Ron Tusler (R-Harrison) utilizes $4.5 Min unspent Knowles-Nelson Stewardship to fund water infrastructure projects. These parks include Devil's Lake, High Cliff, Kohler-Andrae, Peninsula and Willow River State Parks. The projects were identified by the DNR as critical for health and safety including drinking water and septic facilities.
WI Parks have many friends in the legislature including Natural Chairman Robb Cowls (R-Green Bay), Luther Olson (R-Madison), Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green) and 2017 FWSP Legislator of the Year Rep Ron Tusler (R-Harrison). FWSP gives credit to these and other legislators who work on behalf of State Parks. Ask your legislator to support these and other FWSP initiatives. Credit also goes to the many individuals who made phone calls and met with legislators and the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters (WLCV). Having partners like WLCV widen the circle of influence that State Parks have. Min
Please contribute to the important work of FWSP to support the beautiful Wisconsin state park system by making a donation.

Mailing address:
FWSP P.O. Box 2271 Madison, WI 53701-2271
Phone: 608-294-0810
Source: Between Friends Newsletter Summer 2018

From the FWSP Vice President

Summer is here and OutWiGo to enjoy Wisconsin Parks, Forests, Trails and Rec Areas. Go online at wiparks.net to find a listing of events and parks or pick up a Visitor Activity Guide at any DNR or park office which lists 76 areas with highlights of what they have to offer and a map with their locations. Try some of the places you have never been and discover the abundance of all Wisconsin has to offer.
Volunteer. Consider volunteering at any property. There are approximately 80 Friends groups in the state which provide many extras in our parks. You will meet a great group of hard-working people who may need a hand with a music/theater event, cleaning a trail, painting a shed or picnic table or assisting with a summer hike, a fall event or a winter ski hike. Offering to help for 2-4 hours is all that is needed to enhance our parks or if time is an issue make a monetary donation.
During the summer months, many parks have campground hosts who spend endless hours welcoming you, providing information, selling ice or wood, and cleaning up. Stop by and visit these people for great insights about the park and to thank them for their service. Also, remember the saying - Leave a campsite or picnic area cleaner than you found it.
Thank you to the many volunteers who helped during WPED (Work, Play, Earth Day). More than 30 areas had volunteers help clean the parks, campsites, trails, rec areas and waterways.
FWSP has just awarded $25,000 in Incentive Grants to 34 Friends groups which will match this amount and provide naturalists and programs. Another son primus $1900 was awarded for Tree and Flower Grants for planting trees and native plants. Again this will be matched by the local group. All of the money for these grants has come thru donations and fundraising. You may help by donating at fwsp.org.
Participate in FWSP contests. There is the Photo Contest and the Gold Seal Award Contest with deadlines of August 31 and September 7 respectively. Information about these contests and how to enter is at fwsp.org.
FWSP will be hosting their annual event at Monona Terrace in Madison on Saturday, November 10. Please mark your calendar and plan to attend. All are welcome. There will be workshops in the afternoon with refreshments and program to follow. Please watch for more information.
Have Fun, Be Safe, take a picture and create memories that will last a lifetime!
Jan Primus Vice President Friends of Wisconsin State Parks
Source: FWSP Summer 2018 Between Friends Newsletter