Attention COVID-19 Update

Effective May 1, most Wisconsin State Park properties will be open to the public. Admission fees will be required and there will be various property conditions in place including new hours of operation. Properties may be limiting admission based on capacity.Please make sure to seek out current property information on the WI-DNR website before visiting. For the most up-to-date information on property access, facility closures, campground closures, event cancellations and more, please see: COVID-19 Information Webpage.

Photo Contest

/ June 01, 2020
Friends of Wisconsin State Parks Photo 2020 Photo Contest

Download the flyer here. Post it!

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 2021 Friends of Wisconsin State Parks Calendar, released in the Fall of 2020.
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.

(Go to photo contest rules and entry)

Friends of Wisconsin State Parks Photo 2020 Photo Contest

Download the flyer here. Post it!

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 2021 Friends of Wisconsin State Parks Calendar, released in the Fall of 2020.
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.

(Go to photo contest rules and entry)

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Friends of Wisconsin State Parks 2020Gold Seal Awards

Download Flyer here. Post it!

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. 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 Monday, August 31, 2020

The 2020 categories are:
  • Best state park system property for fishing
  • Best state park system trail along a creek or waterfall
  •  Best state park system property to see spring wildflowers
  • Best state park system property to take a selfie
  • Best state park system property to see fall foliage
  • Best state park system property to snowshoe
  • Best state park system property for bird watching
  • Best state park system property for sledding
  • Best paved state trail for bike riding
  • Best state park system property for hunting

    Click here to vote

    Information:
    Patty Loosen
    Executive Director - Friends of Wisconsin State Parks
    patricia.loosen@fwsp.org
    608) 294-0810

    Gold Seal Awards 2020

    by on June 01, 2020
    Friends of Wisconsin State Parks  2020 Gold Seal Awards Download Flyer here. Post it! The Friends of Wisconsin State Parks are askin...

    2020 Gift Packages:
    Gifts that keep on giving – Give the Gift of Recreation!”



    Welcome to The Friends of Wisconsin State Parks online store for 2020
    Ordering online makes shopping very easy. Orders are processed and shipped within 1-2 business days via USPS.
    The 2020 state park vehicle admission stickers and trail passes make great gifts. They are gifts that can be used every day, all year long, all around the state at our beautiful Wisconsin state parks, forests, trails, and recreation areas.
    The Friends of Wisconsin State Parks online store uses PayPal. You can shop with or without a PayPal account. It's easy:

    Click to enter the FWSP online store
    The very first virtual Wi Go event was held on May 24, 2020, at 6:30 PM Central time. 
    The Wi Go Camping event was organized and sponsored by the Friends of Wisconsin State Parks. The non-profit organization promotes, protects, and preserves Wisconsin’s natural areas, parks, forests, and trails. 
    Our campers set up makeshift or real tents in homes and backyards. Twinkly lights mimicked Fireflies, and homemade s’mores cooked over the kitchen stove, or backyard fire pits as our campers enjoyed virtual visits from park naturalists, sang songs, and made crafts like Super Duper Outdoor Lookers with Sue Johansen-Mayoleth!
    Our campers "watched the planets" with astronomer Jeff Setzer, "ate dandelions" with Beth Goeppinger, learned about frogs with Tom Lenz, discovered how night time animals use their senses with Jackie Scharfenberg, and discovered the truth about turtles with Andy Braun. 
    “The Friends of Wisconsin State Parks hopes this just gives people ideas for when they can finally break out and visit state parks personally.” Jonathan Ringdahl, Emcee. 
    Beth Goeppinger, one of the organizers, a Wisconsin Master Naturalist and one of the presenters added, "The first Wisconsin Wi Go Camping was a wonderful experience. We hope to add more WI Go experiences in the future."
    Jan Primus, the Friends of Wisconsin State Parks Financial Director and event planner said," We hope all of our campers today, and in the future enjoy the Live replay of the Wi-Go Camping program."
    This message is being sent on behalf of the Bureau of Park and Recreation Management to all Friends groups of the Wisconsin State Park System

    The Friends of Wisconsin State Parks are pleased to offer 2020 Trees and Flowers grant funding this year. These grant funds are designated to be used to plant trees, flowers and shrubs at Wisconsin state parks, forests, trails and recreation areas during the spring of 2020. This grant funding will be available to local Friends groups for the purchase of plants/trees to enhance high visibility areas of the state park system property in areas such as the entrance to the property, the office area or other high visibility visitor areas. There will be a limited number of grants available to Friends groups in the amount of $100 – and matching Friends groups funding is encouraged if possible. Please work with your property manager to plan what would be planted, the location of the planting and who would be doing the planting, so that it will be in compliance with all state orders and in accordance with some state park system properties that are currently closed.

    All plantings funded by this grant must be completed by June 15, 2020.

    FWSP would like all interested Friends groups to send a $100 grant request by email consisting of:
    • - Name of Friends Group, contact person for the project and contact information
    • - A short description of the 2020 planting project including the location, plants that will be planted and who will be doing the planting.
    Please send your request by email to Patricia.Loosen@FWSP.org by Friday – May 8, 2020

    FWSP will review the Friends group grant requests that are received and will fund as many of them as possible, allowing priority for Friends groups who have not received funding in the previous year.

    Friends groups who receive funding are required to complete all planting by June 15, 2020, and to provide a short summary and 1-2 photos of the project by Aug. 1, 2020.

    Please discuss this grant opportunity with your Friends members and your property manager and apply for the funding, if you would like to be considered for the 2020 Trees and Flowers grant funding.

    **Applications by email must be received by Friday – May 8, 2020!
    Thank you for all that you do to support our beautiful Wisconsin State Parks, Forests, Trails and Recreation Areas!

    Friends of Wisconsin State Parks



    Thank you!





    Friends of Wisconsin State Parks

    608-294-0810


    2020 Trees and Flower Grant

    by on April 15, 2020
    The Friends of Wisconsin State Parks are pleased to offer 2020 Trees and Flowers grant funding this year. These grant funds are designate...
    The Friends of Wisconsin State Parks works closely with The Natural Resources Foundation. Specifically, we introduce our Friends Groups to grant opportunities offered by The Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin. 
    The Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin funds projects that have a significant and positive impact on Wisconsin’s lands, waters, and wildlife, and that connect people to Wisconsin’s natural wonders.
    The Natural Resources Foundation have invested nearly $7 million in public and private conservation efforts—from funding statewide wildlife monitoring programs to creating butterfly gardens at local schools, and from building trails at state parks to helping recover the federally endangered whooping crane.
    Please click the following link for information:

    Grants Available

    by on February 14, 2020
    The Friends of Wisconsin State Parks works closely with The Natural Resources Foundation. Specifically, we introduce our Friends Groups t...

    FWSP depends on the generosity of donors for the funds required to carry out its mission of preserving,  protecting, promoting and enhancing Wisconsin State  Parks, Trails, Forests and  Recreation Areas.
     ln collaboration with over  80 local Friend's chapters,  we seek to enrich the park experience for the millions of people who visit each year and to ensure that millions more will be able to enjoy Wisconsin's natural treasures in the future.
    Each year, FWSP sponsors Work*Play*Earth  Day events across the park system that draw hundreds of volunteers who remove invasive species, clean up campgrounds, plant trees,  build benches and help with other essential projects.
    We also educate lawmakers and citizens on issues that impact their parks. And each year, we support local  Friends groups by providing funds for education-related activities such as hiring park naturalists, developing interpretive exhibits, hosting wildlife demonstrations and outdoor skill training sessions, and improving key infrastructure in our parks.
    We are continually seeking to grow our capacity to positively impact  Wisconsin parks. if you or your business would be interested in partnering with  FWSP, please contact us.   

    The Friends of Wisconsin State Parks is pleased to offer the following options to make a contribution:


    Option 1:
    Mail cash or check directly to Friends of Wisconsin State Parks
    The Friends of Wisconsin State Parks kindly requests that donations are sent to the following address. Send to:
    Friends of Wisconsin State Parks
    P.O. Box 2271
    Madison, WI 53701

    Option2:
    Print a Form,  complete it, and mail along with check.
    Click on this (Link) to download and print a PDF.


    Option 3:
    I would like to make a donation for projects that will enhance the Wisconsin state park and trail experience for visitors and campers to enjoy,  like, campground fire rings, playgrounds, and building improvements)
    A one-time donation using Your Credit Card via Paypal

    Donation Amounts

    Option 4: Automatic Monthly Donation for one year.

    Monthly



    Friends of Wisconsin State Parks(FWSP) fundraising campaign will seek to increase the support that FWSP can provide in order to preserve, promote, protect and enhance Wisconsin’s beautiful state parks, forests, trails, and recreation areas.
    Friends of Wisconsin State Parks have been providing project grants to local park property Friends groups for 10 years, in order to provide a better experience for state park and trail visitors around the state.
    FWSP is a nonprofit 501(C)(3) organization and we have set out to broaden what we do and increase our impact around the state.
    The Friends of Wisconsin State Parks fund educational programs throughout the park season, provide funding for workshops, the planting of trees and flowers at parks and trails, and projects that will enhance the Wisconsin state park and trail experience for visitors and campers to enjoy: campground fire rings, playgrounds, and building improvements.  FWSP is looking forward to expanding programs that bring children to state parks and trails to learn and experience nature.
    The organization’s mission and values have defined FWSP for two decades, and the tax-deductible donations of the public and state park visitors and supporters of this fundraising effort will help ensure that FWSP will continue to meet its challenges and commitments in order to keep state parks vibrant and to allow for park and trail users enjoyment. The FWSP fundraising campaign will sustain our commitment to outdoor education and nature program excellence and will advance our position as a steward of funds to enhance, educate and promote the beautiful Wisconsin state park properties. This campaign is about supporting the Wisconsin state parks that we love and for the people who come to the Wisconsin state parks, the experiences that they have here and the memories that they leave with.

    FWSP Fundraising Campaign

    by on September 07, 2019
    FWSP depends on the generosity of donors for the funds required to carry out its mission of preserving,  protecting, promoting and enhanc...

    The Friends of Wisconsin State Parks mission is:
    Preserving, Promoting, Protecting, and Enhancing Wisconsin state parks, forests, trails, and recreation areas. (Click to view video)

    Friends of Wisconsin State Parks supports the work of 87 local Friends chapters around the state and the work that they do at the park, forest, trail or recreation area that they are associated with. In addition, FWSP carries out its mission through these examples:

    Preserve
    FWSP sponsors the annual Work*Play*Earth Day projects around the state in April each year — volunteers and Friends members complete projects and clean up at state parks, forests, trails, and recreation areas.

    Protect
    FWSP advocates on state park system issues in an effort to protect Wisconsin’s beautiful state park, forest, trail, and recreation area properties. FWSP also hosts Friends Summit meetings around the state so that local Friends chapters are informed and supported in their local area.

    Promote
    FWSP funds projects and issues grants to local Friends chapters for educational programs and interpretive projects around the state at parks, forests, trails and recreation areas for visitors to enjoy. FWSP hosts an annual Photo contest to promote recreation at state park system properties.

    Enhance
    FWSP funds Tree and Flower projects at park offices and high visibility areas for the enjoyment of park visitors around the state. Friends chapters also use grant funding for projects that enhance parks, forests, and trails.

    About FWSP

    by on August 26, 2019
    The Friends of Wisconsin State Parks mission is: Preserving,  Promoting,  Protecting,  and Enhancing  Wisconsin state  parks, forests, t...
    Since its inception in 1996, the Friends of Wisconsin State Parks has worked with state park, forest, trail and recreation area Friends Groups to improve state lands experience for the millions of people who visit each year and to ensure that millions more will be able to enjoy Wisconsin’s natural beauty in the future.
    Click the map to enlarge. (Courtesy of WI DNR)
    Believing that each generation is responsible for leaving behind a better legacy of conservation, the Friends of Wisconsin State Parks was 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, an annual Volunteer Jamboree, photography contest, and Gold Seal and HERO awards. It also provides grant opportunities for the state parks.
    • Every year friends groups provide thousands of volunteer hours to help support the mission and activities of more than 70 Wisconsin state parks, forests, trails, and recreation areas. Friends members: serve as campground hosts, visitor center hosts, naturalists and nature center hosts, adopt a trail volunteers, and assist with other special projects at the property; 
    • raise money to purchase playground equipment, interpretive displays, signs, shelters, kiosks, educational materials, and more; 
    • organize annual park cleanups and regular trail work days;
    • plan and help with special events including Candlelight nights, Community campfires, festivals/concerts, educational programs, and other special events; 
    • provide and assist with concessions; and assist with the construction of trails, shelters and accessible cabins, birdhouses, and more.
  • Read our Strategic Plan



  • The Friends of FWSP

    by on August 25, 2019
    Since its inception in 1996, the Friends of Wisconsin State Parks has worked with state park, forest, trail and recreation area Friends Gr...

    The Friends of Wisconsin State Parks are working on behalf of Friends Groups and state land users. Key priorities and action items are listed below. Please share with your Friends Group, legislators and other decision-makers. Find your legislator here https://legis.wisconsin.gov/. Consider contacting members of the powerful Joint Finance Committee. Read More about our positions.

    Legislative Issues

    by on August 25, 2019
    The Friends of Wisconsin State Parks are working on behalf of Friends Groups and state land users. Key priorities and action items ar...

    For over 20 years, Friends of Wisconsin State Parks (FWSP) has been dedicated to preserving, protecting, promoting and enhancing Wisconsin's state parks, forests, trails and recreation areas
    Working in collaboration with the Department of Natural Resources and local Friends groups, FWSP has coordinated thousands of hours of volunteer efforts, raised funds for vital state park programs and causes, and provided a public voice for our state's outdoor treasures in the legislative process.
    Each year more than 17 million people visit Wisconsin state parks. State financial support for parks has diminished and FWSP continues to work with local Friends groups to fill in the gaps, provide outdoor education and improve the state park experience for the millions of people who visit each year.
    It is imperative to FWSP and the Wisconsin DNR that each organization continues to work in collaboration with the other in the service of their mutual constituencies. Both organizations are rooted in deep and trusting relationships with park users and Wisconsin citizens, positioning themselves to serve and mobilize individuals around the issues of protecting, preserving, promoting and enhancing state parks.
    To be effective, both organizations must share and combine resources, skills, and experiences that will enable them to engage with, and adapt to, the changing political and societal landscapes around them. FWSP Strategic Plan....

    FWSP and WDNR Work Together

    by on August 25, 2019
    For over 20 years, Friends of Wisconsin State Parks (FWSP) has been dedicated to preserving, protecting, promoting and enhancing Wisc...

    Friends of Wisconsin State Parks
    Patricia Loosen

    Executive Director FWSP

    P.O. Box 2271
    Madison, WI 53701-2271
    Patricia.Loosen@fwsp.org
    608-294-0810