About Us

The Friends of Wisconsin State Parks mission is: preserving, promoting, protecting, and enhancing Wisconsin state parks, forests, trails and recreation areas.
Friends of Wisconsin State Parks supports the work of 85 local Friends chapters around the state and the work that they do at the park, forest, trail or recreation area that they are associated with.
When Friends of Wisconsin State Parks, Inc.  was formed in 1996, the Friends of Wisconsin State Parks
was the first statewide non-profit support umbrella organization in the United States established for facilitating the formation, growth, and development of local Friends groups to assist state parks.
Over the course of over three decades a dedicated and accomplished group of professional Board members, staff, volunteers, and citizens have assisted FWSP, in meeting its mission.
FWSP has been a leader in providing startup and programming grants to local organizations, establishing annual statewide park volunteer activities, giving funds to important state park causes and spoken its voice to important state law and policy issues.
Today, FWSP looks to embark upon a new chapter representative of the changing environment in which FWSP has historically existed. Over the recent past, the environment has become one where organizations like the DNR have less staff and resources, and non-profits, corporations, and volunteers are looked to as important partners in protecting and preserving state lands. FWSP believes that FWSP can play a key instrumental and integral role in the local state park Friends groups and properties resulting in higher levels of competencies by providing partnerships, technical expertise, funding, and
strengthened advocacy for state lands and local Friends groups.

Our Goals

  • Friends of Wisconsin State Parks embellish and enhance a more robust and effective partnership, understanding, and enhanced level of cooperative engagement between the FWSP and DNR.
  • Deepen relationships amongst local Friends groups in order to increase knowledge, effectiveness, and capacity of local Friends groups in order to enhance collective actions affecting the preservation, protection, promotion, and enhancement of Wisconsin’s state parks, forests, trails, and recreation areas.
  • Strengthen the finances of FWSP through the development of sustainable sources of funding so as to enhance FWSP’s capacity to meet its mission and, ultimately, to achieve financial autonomy.
  • Strengthen the internal Board and administrative capabilities of FWSP as an organization in order to be in a continuous financial and personnel position to perform and lead in an ever-changing world on matters affecting FWSP’s mission and organization.
  • FWSP needs to work effectively to advocate for the preservation and protection of state parks and related DNR public lands. There is an interest by FWSP in ensuring that different sectors understand, act in the interests of, and share in the benefits of a healthy state park system.
  • FWSP provides the education, knowledge, and resources to strengthen the economic and organizational sustainability of individual Friends Groups.

Help us celebrate and preserve Wisconsin's natural legacy for today and future generations.