Educator Transferred from Peninsula; Superintendent Discusses Proposed Projects

Friends of Peninsula State Park announced that, after 18 months, Krista Lutzke, Natural Resource Educator, is moving on to a new role in Green Bay with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) wildlife division. 

Eric Hyde, Peninsula superintendent and natural resources property supervisor for the DNR’s Northern Door unit, said Lutzke, a wildlife biologist, came in to fill an opening that existed for more than one year. He said he will seek approval from the DNR to fill the full-time position. 

Hyde said in addition to helping at Peninsula, Lutzke provided training throughout central Wisconsin for part-time natural resource educators. At the time of her move to Green Bay, she had been helping with invasive-species management to improve and restore habitat in the park.

Battling Invasives and Improving the Park

Hyde said the park is seeking grants for invasive-species control in some of the land along park roads nearest to Fish Creek. That includes Nelson’s Point, where, in recent years, honeysuckle and buckthorn took hold where there has been a crash in the ash tree population due to emerald ash borers.

During this year’s New Year’s Day First-Day hike, Hyde noted that the invasive plants are less of a factor in state natural areas within the park than in some other portions. Invasive species must be kept in check by a natural heritage conservation crew within White Cedar Forest State Natural Area – protected and located between the nature center and early-20th-century ski jump/toboggan run – and in the Beech-Maple Forest State Natural Area located north of the golf course.

Hyde said momentum on maintenance and improvement projects will continue in the park this year. The State Building Commission in fall 2023 approved a $2.9 million project to renovate bathroom and flush-toilet facilities in the Welcker’s and North Nicolet campgrounds. Those projects are scheduled for fall, with completion targeted by early 2025. In addition, the park has many 60- to 70-year-old waterlines that need replacement, Hyde said. Other proposed projects, as reported in the Feb. 2-9 Peninsula Pulse, include expanding historical interpretation and adding amenities at Eagle Bluff Lighthouse; and adding parking and reconfiguring roads around Eagle Tower, Eagle Terrace and Eagle Panorama.