Board of Directors

  Jonathan Ringdahl
Jonathan Ringdahl developed a deep passion for state parks as a kid with trips to Perrot State Park and Wyalusing State Park. Jonathan got involved with the Friends of Wisconsin State Parks after completing his 2012 goal of visiting every Wisconsin state park, forest, and recreation area in one year. At the time, the system contained 65 properties. There are 73 properties now. He joined the board in 2015. He serves on the outreach committee and assists in fundraising.
Jonathan works with kids with autism and is a certified kayak instructor in La Crosse. He is also a photographer who has won several state park photography contests including back-to-back years in the FWSP calendar before joining the board. Jonathan also likes to backpack, kayak camp, and geocache in the parks. He is also a Wisconsin master naturalist. You can frequently find him roaming or camping in the parks. You can follow his adventures at Wisconsin State Park Adventures on Facebook and @livingthedreamadventures on Instagram. 



Jon Beadell
Jon has enjoyed the out-of-doors all of his life. As a kid, Jon grew up playing in Peninsula and Newport State Parks. Later, as a biologist working on human and wildlife disease epidemiology, he conducted extensive fieldwork in natural areas across the globe, while simultaneously indulging a severe bird-watching habit. Jon is currently an analyst and portfolio manager at A. D. Beadell Investment Counsel in Mequon. He looks forward to helping FWSP achieve greater financial sustainability and working to ensure that Wisconsin’s natural treasures remain protected and accessible in perpetuity.



 

Waldo Peterson

Waldo Peterson
Growing up on the far Southside of Chicago, the only thing better than Christmas was climbing into the back seat of my Grandpa’s 1928 LaSalle and driving 6 to 7 hours at 50mph to go to our summer cottage on Mirror Lake near Wisconsin Dells.
After graduating from the University of Illinois I was commissioned a 2nd Lt in the US Army and spent the next 22 years on active duty, and as a reserve Officer flying helicopters, retiring as a Lt Colonel. To earn a living I found my calling and spent 50 years as a life insurance agent, moving to Madison in 1964 to open my own Agency.
In 1966 Mirror Lake State Park opened for business and every so often I would volunteer to help out. In 1996 only 10-15 of our State Parks had a local Friends group. Sue Black, the State Park Bureau Chief thought every state park would benefit by having a Friends group and charged each State Park Superintendent to organize one. I was the President of the Mirror Lake Association at the time, and Jerry Trumm the Park Superintendent at Mirror Lake asked if I would help him to organize one. That we did and it was the beginning of my love affair with Wisconsin’s beautiful State Parks and Trails. One thing lead to another and soon Sue had me on the Governor’s State Park Centennial Commission and in 1998, I received the Dept. of Natural Resources Special Appreciation Award. Now I was hooked, and in 2002 I was elected to the board of the Friends of Wisconsin State Parks.
Serving on the Friends of Wisconsin State Parks Board has enabled me to visit so many of our wonderful parks and more importantly to meet the people behind them that make the Parks so special. It is easy to take our Parks for granted, but we cannot. Infrastructure needs constant upgrading or replacement, personnel issues need to be continually addressed. If we are to fulfill our mission of Preserving, Protecting, and Promoting the Parks and Trails, we must continue to advocate for the Parks with our Legislators, our Governor, and the DNR.
So here we are 25 years later, I am now the Chairmen of the Mirror Lake Management District, the longest-serving member on the FWSP board and still enthused for what the future holds for FWSP, our Lakes, and our State Parks, Forests, Trails, and Recreational areas. (Video)


Will Miller

Will is happiest when he is outside, and preferably in the woods on a bicycle. The state parks of Wisconsin are the perfect setting to enjoy some of Will’s favorite activities, some of which include hiking the start of the Ice Age Trail at Potawatomi, mountain biking the Full Monty at the Southern Kettles, winter fat biking the Greenbush trails in the Northern Kettles, and walking the dunes at Kohler-Andrae and then falling asleep to the sound of both a mature forest and the lake.

The state parks were always an accessible place for Will, but it was not until living out of state, traveling around the country, and visiting numerous national parks and forests that Will realized just how special the state parks of Wisconsin are. Now, the previously mentioned activities are amplified when Will gets to enjoy them with his

wife, son, and dog Jack.

Will joined the FWSP Board to help promote and enhance the resources he has been able to enjoy and to ensure they are available to many others and future generations