Where to do the DNR Challenge: Do It Nearby!
The Wisconsin DNR has issued a challenge that encourages visitors to explore parks. If you’re like me, you probably don’t need to be encouraged, of course. However, if you consider it a scavenger hunt with activities instead of objects, it can turn into a game, and I like scavenger hunts. And although you can do it anywhere in the state, if you wish, there’s also no need to go far from home. A wealth of opportunities await you right here in Southeast Wisconsin. You can even turn it into an opportunity to discover some new DNR properties that are nearby! I offer you a photo essay of DNR parks, wildlife refuges and natural areas you can find in our six-county vicinity. And while the better known parks require an entry fee or annual sticker, many of these are free!
Such as the Hank Aaron State Trail, pictured above, and Lakeshore State Park, pictured below. Click on the links in the captions to go to our Find-a-Park map for the locations of each.
The Friends of Wisconsin State Parks and Wisconsin Friends Explore challenge visitors to explore Wisconsin state park properties in new and/or fun ways, increase healthy habits, and connect with family and friends. All challenges must take place on a Wisconsin State Park System property—which includes State Parks, Forests, Trails, Recreation Areas, etc. The challenge is open from now until the Fall equinox on September 22, 2021.
Prizes are being offered, too. For complete rules and to register, go to Wisconsin Friends Explore Challenge.
Here’s the list of challenges:
- Hike 50 miles on WSPS properties
- Hike every trail on one WSPS property
- Camp six nights total on a WSPS property
- Camp overnight while backpacking at least once
- Fish at three different WSPS properties
- Paddle five different bodies of water on WSPS properties
- Visit and photograph five different waterfalls on WSPS properties
- Build and photograph sand sculptures on five different WSPS beaches
- Bike 50 miles on state trails or WSPS properties
- Take a selfie from the top of 10 scenic overlooks
- Take 10 photos of historic buildings, which includes lighthouses, located on WSPS properties
- Photograph examples or evidence of indigenous peoples on 10 WSPS properties
- Visit a WSPS property in each of the six districts
- Visit the same WSPS property once a month March through September
- Join a Friend’s group
- Clean up litter for 2-3 hours at two or more WSPS properties
- Pick garlic-mustard for 2-3 hours at a WSPS property
- Identify and list 25 plants seen on WSPS properties; take photos of at least three
- Identify and list 25 different birds seen on WSPS properties; take photos of at least three
- Identify and list 25 insects seen on WSPS properties; take photos of at least three
- Find 15 geocaches on WSPS properties
For more information go to Wisconsin Friends Explore Challenge.
Eddee Daniel is the project director of A Wealth of Nature.