April 30, 2019 | Topics: Events
By Bryan Jackler
Photography by Eddee Daniel
Coming to a beautiful state park near you this May, the “Wisconsin Loves Parks” event will be a day of fun for all who are passionate about the welfare of Wisconsin’s natural lands. The family-friendly extravaganza will be held in a number of state parks and forests across Wisconsin, and will feature enjoyable activities for all ages and experience levels. Each park will have a different set of outdoorsy activities to participate in, and one can do as much or as little as they would like. From hiking, trail runs and pulling of invasive species for our more active participants to relaxing picnicking and birdwatching for those looking for a low-key time, “Wisconsin Loves Parks” is the perfect event for the nature-loving Wisconsinite. “Wisconsin Loves Parks” will be found all around the state and encapsulate the variety of natural landscapes Wisconsin has to offer, from the soaring rock walls of High Cliff to the waterfalls of Governor Dodge to the sand dunes of Kohler-Andrae to the urban refuge of Havenwoods in Milwaukee.
For the last eight years, these parks, as well as the rest of the state parks and forests around Wisconsin, have been hampered by a lack of state funding. Since the parks had to primarily rely on entrance fees in order to maintain their areas, enjoying Wisconsin’s natural wonders has become more difficult and expensive for our citizens. With a new budget being set by the state government this July, there is an opportunity to rectify this issue and create positive change. By restoring state funding back to $5 million annually from general purpose revenue, the state parks and forests would be able to operate much more effectively. The funding would contribute to improvements in park maintenance and accessibility, preservation of habitats and wildlife, and much more. By funding the parks, public health of citizens can be improved, biodiversity can have the chance to rebound, and tourism revenue can increase.
By attending “Wisconsin Loves Parks”, you can add your voice to a growing number of Wisconsinites looking to better their home state through calling on state government officials to restore funding to the state parks and forests. Regardless if you are young or old, male or female, we all benefit from having a strong parks system. “Wisconsin Loves Parks” will be a fun day for the whole family, and will contribute to a better future for all who enjoy spending time in the outdoors.
For more information about the Havenwoods event and to sign up (optional), go to the “Wisconsin Loves Havenwoods State Forest” Facebook page.
Note from Preserve Our Parks
Preserve Our Parks / A Wealth of Nature not only supports this effort but also will participate in “Wisconsin Loves Parks” at Havenwoods State Forest. We hope you’ll join Project Director Eddee Daniel for a hike and celebrate the beauty of our urban wilderness. Feel free to contact Eddee at firstname.lastname@example.org for a time and location.
Whether or not you are able to participate on May 11, we urge you to join in the call for increased park funding by contacting Governor Evers and your state legislators. Please ask them to restore state parks funding to $5 million annually.
If you don’t know your state legislators, you can find them at “Find my Elected Officials” on the State of Wisconsin website.
To sign a petition to restore general funding to the parks, click here!
The photographs that accompany this post are all from Havenwoods State Forest.
Bryan Jackler is an Organizing Fellow for the John Muir Chapter of the Sierra Club.
Eddee Daniel is a board member of Preserve Our Parks and A Wealth of Nature Project Director.