2008 Best of Wisconsin State Parks Awards Announced

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Big Manitou Falls at Pattison State Park - WDNR PhotoMADISON — Every year, visitors to Wisconsin State Parks and Trails are asked to vote for their favorite park or trail in 10 categories. The votes have been tabulated and the 2008 Gold Seal and Hero Awards have been announced.

The awards will be presented at the Friends of Wisconsin State Parks (FWSP) annual meeting and banquet ceremony on Friday, Nov. 7, 2008, at the House on the Rock Resort in Spring Green.

The winners of the 2008 Gold Seal Awards are:

  • Best Water Feature: TIE: Amnicon Falls State Park and Pattison State Park
  • Best Mountain Bike Trails: Blue Mound State Park
  • Best Interpretive Display: Heritage Hill State Historical Park
  • Best Prairie Restoration: Mirror Lake State Park
  • Best View of a Sunset: TIE: Big Foot Beach State Park and Heritage Hill State Historical Park
  • Best Swimming Beach: TIE: Kohler-Andrae State Park and Whitefish Dunes State Park
  • Best Fishing Area: TIE: Governor Dodge State Park and Mirror Lake State Park
  • Best Area for Pet Lovers: TIE: Governor Dodge State Park and Mirror Lake State Park and Whitefish Dunes State Park
  • Best Group Campsite: Governor Dodge State Park
  • Best Birding Trail: Wyalusing State Park

The Gold Seal results were acquired throughout the 2008 summer season using an online survey that was available on the Friends of Wisconsin State Parks Web site at [www.fwsp.org] (exit DNR). The Web site provides current news and information about the Friends groups at most State Parks, along with monthly events and ways to get involved at these sites.

Nominations were also taken for the Hero Awards during the 2008 summer season and the final winners were chosen by the Board of Directors for FWSP.

The winners of the 2008 Hero Awards are:

  • Outstanding DNR Land Manager: Paul Zajackowski, Superintendent of Mirror Lake State Park
  • Successful Friends Group of the Year: Kettle Moraine Natural History Association
  • Friends Hero of the Year: Bryan Casper, Friends of Kohler-Andrae State Park

“These individuals and groups demonstrate terrific leadership and dedication to the State Park system,” says Dan Schuller, director of the Wisconsin State Parks Program. “Their energy and commitment inspires others to get involved and improve Wisconsin’s State Parks and Trails.”

The awards event is free, but contributions are welcome. All FWSP members, Friends group members, State Park and Trail visitors, and Park System staff are invited. People interested in attending are asked to register in advance by contacting Luthien Niland at (608) 264-8994 or luthien [dot] niland [at] wisconsin [dot] gov. More information can be found at [www.fwsp.org/calendar] (exit DNR).

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Luthien Niland at (608) 264-8994