You Can Help!
You are probably aware that the State of Wisconsin has recently stopped providing any tax dollars to state parks. Staffing has been reduced and there are now only three full time employees to manage Perrot Park, Merrick Park, the Great River State Trail and the Buffalo State Trail. The Friends support of the park is now even more important.
Please make a donation or become a Friend of Perrot State Park. A membership form is here.
Friends Accomplished a Lot This Year
It has been a busy and unusual year for Friends due to Covid 19. Although the campground was late to open, when it did open lots of campers came. Weekday occupation rates were about double normal. Eighty face cords of firewood, mostly from dead hazard trees in the campground, were cut, split, and dried by Friends for sale to campers. All the “homemade” firewood was sold by Labor Day, and firewood we purchased from a vendor has been the only option since. Because there was no cost but labor for the firewood, sale of firewood was a financial positive. However, Covid 19 prevented the renting of canoes and kayaks, which is the other main source of revenue for Friends.
Several grants were awarded for specific projects to help stretch our funding.
-The Friends, with a 50% matching grant from the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Grant Program, paid for installation of a new insulated roof on the nature center. Each year, $250,000 from the Stewardship program is set aside for grants to Friends groups and nonprofit conservation organizations (NCOs) to improve facilities, build new recreation projects and restore habitat on state properties. The program recognizes the important role Friends groups play in meeting the development and restoration needs of state properties. The Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Grant Program expires soon and will be reviewed during the next budget cycle.
---Friends of Wisconsin State Parks awarded funds for purchase of interpretive program supplies including hands-on projects for kids.
---We had an opportunity to match state funds in order to replace fire rings and create wayfinding signs for park entrances. (We are in a queue for new signs so watch for them!)
---Several work outings helped maintain trails and remove invasive species.
---The most important accomplishment is paying for the salary of the park naturalist.
There are still many downed trees in the Park from storms and the loss of ash trees. Strong and hardy Friends volunteers continue to turn many of those trees into firewood for campers, allowing 100% of those firewood sales to be profit for Friends! If you are interested in helping us with this, please call the Park Office at (608) 534-6409.