2017 Sustainability Issue – April 21-28, 2017

In this issue

  • Users Concerned by Loss of Programming, Maintenance at State Parks

    As Wisconsin’s state parks system transitions to life without state tax support, park enthusiasts are increasingly concerned about diminishing services, educational programming, and safety, even as user fees rise. Users, volunteers, partners, and former Department of Natural Resources (DNR) staff said the effects from years of funding cuts, staff shortages, and maintenance neglect have accelerated […]

  • Our Five State Parks

    We devoted our 11th Sustainability Issue to our five state parks. While we tackle big questions of funding, master planning, the future of the parks and their history, we also profiled each one, providing their basic facts and the story of how they each came to be. Click on each poster, illustrated by Ryan Miller, […]

  • Love of Running Led to Formation of Potawatomi Park Friends Group

    Throughout the first half of the 1990s, Bill Scholten looked forward to taking part in the October Run Wild! at Potawatomi State Park. He had taken part in five wild runs, but when he did not receive an application for the 1995 run, Scholten stopped by the park office just after Labor Day and learned […]

  • Can Self-sustaining Funding Model Work for Wisconsin State Parks?

    In 2015, Governor Scott Walker eliminated state support for the state parks operating budget, mandating that they become self-sustaining. The move eliminated $4.7 million (28 percent) of the system’s $16.7 million budget for items such as staff, programming, maintenance and education. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is considering a host of proposals to […]

  • Ahnapee State Trail – Kewaunee

    Founded: 1970 Length: 48 miles| Uses: Hiking, running, cycling, snowmobiling Friends group: Friends of the Ahnapee State Trail Ahnapee State Trail History We are quick to praise Door County’s five state parks as the crown jewels of the county, but we often forget about the Ahnapee State Trail. The county-operated trail runs 48 miles between […]

  • Nolen Saw State Parks as Way to Refresh, Renew Tired People

    For an Easterner, John Nolen left a very big mark on Wisconsin. In addition to being the official landscape architect of the City of Madison, where a major thoroughfare is named for him, Nolen was asked to help the State of Wisconsin define, justify and designate a state park system. Nolen began his landscape architect […]

  • Support of Friends Groups Is Vital to Wisconsin’s State Parks

      Every year, thousands of volunteers across the state donate countless hours of their time for the benefit of Wisconsin state parks, forests, trails and recreation areas. In many cases, these individuals are supporting the work of a local Friends organization – a group of volunteers that supports the mission and activities of a particular […]

  • Wisconsin State Parks and Recreation Areas

      Wisconsin’s State Parks and Recreation Areas Amnicon Falls State Park, Douglas County, 825 acres, established 1961. Aztalan State Park, Jefferson County, 172 acres, established 1947. Belmont Mound State Park, Lafayette County, established 1961. Big Bay State Park, on Madeline Island, Ashland County, 2,418 acres, established 1963. Big Foot Beach State Park, Walworth County, 272 […]

  • Master Planning Backlog Stalls Improvements at State Parks

    Door County’s state parks have not gotten a bureaucratic facelift in a long time. Master plans outline the long-term goals for state-owned land, from state parks to one-acre boat launches. But the most recent completed master plan in Door County was completed 30 years ago at Potawatomi State Park. The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) […]

  • Much of State Parks Built by 1930s Federal Work Program

    Almost 75 years after the enormous labor of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) finished, their efforts still provide the base of some of Wisconsin’s most cherished attractions. Peninsula State Park was just 23 years old in 1933, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt created the CCC as one of the first New Deal programs. As the […]

  • 2017 Earth Week Events in Door County

    From April 19 – 30, The Nature Conservancy, The Ridges Sanctuary, Climate Change Coalition of Door County, Gibraltar and Sevastopol Schools, and more are working to mitigate climate change throughout Door County. They’ll be planting trees, hosting lectures, playing music and educating in celebration of Earth Day. In addition to work with students and regular […]

  • 2017 Sustainability Issue: How Sustainable Are Our State Parks?

    In no region of Wisconsin is the state parks system as important to its people and economy as it is to Door County. With five state parks, including one often referred to as the prize of the system – Peninsula – Door County has more state parks than any other county in Wisconsin. They draw […]