2016 Gold Seal Awards contest underway

Visitors can vote for their favorite state park property in 10 different categories

MADISON – Which Wisconsin state park is the best to visit in every season of the year? Which offers the best backpacking campsites? Those are among the categories for the 2016 Friends of Wisconsin State Parks Gold Seal Awards contest categories.

“If you are a camper, biker, hiker, angler, or park visitor, cast your vote for your favorite state park, forest, or trail in one of our new categories,” said Patty Loosen, state park friends coordinator for the Department of Natural Resources.

The winning parks, forests and trails will be honored with a Gold Seal Award at the 20th annual Friends of Wisconsin State Parks Awards Banquet on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016 in Stevens Point. The statewide Friends of Wisconsin State Parks organization runs the Gold Seal Award program each year to highlight Wisconsin’s parks, trails, and forests.

This year, the Friends of Wisconsin State Parks have named the following categories:

  • Best park/trail to visit in all four seasons.
  • Best backpack campsite.
  • Best park/trail for adventure sports.
  • Best remote state park.
  • Best trail with interpretive signage.
  • Best “First Day Hike.”
  • Best park/trail with an overlook of the property.
  • Best park/trail for kids to complete the Explorer Program books.
  • Best display of maple trees in the fall.
  • Best park to offer naturalist programs for campers and visitors.

People can cast their entries and find out more by visiting the Friends of Wisconsin State Parks website friendswiparks.blogspot.com (exit DNR) and clicking on the tab for “Gold Seal Awards.”

The Friends of Wisconsin State Parks work to promote, protect, preserve, restore, and enhance the State Park System in order to protect state parks and their resources for future generations.

Still time to enter Friends of Wisconsin State Parks Calendar photo contest

This photo by Paul Schulst taken along the Glacial Drumlin State Trail was selected for the July 2016 calendar page.
This photo by Paul Schulst taken along the Glacial Drumlin State Trail was selected for the July 2016 calendar page.
Photo Credit: Paul Schulst

People have until August 31, 2016 to enter their favorite photographs from a Wisconsin state park, forest, trail or recreation areas in a contest with winning photos to be included in the 2017 Friends of Wisconsin State Parks Calendar. Photos are needed from all four seasons in state parks, forests, trails and recreation areas.

Again in 2017, in addition to being available for purchase, the calendar will be distributed to more than 86,000 subscribers of Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine in the December 2016 issue. Check the magazine website for the 2016 calendar [PDF].

Submissions are only accepted from amateur photographers ages 14 and over. Professional photographers who earn more than half of their income taking pictures are not eligible. Employees of the DNR and board members of the Friends of Wisconsin State Parks and their immediate family members are not eligible to win. Photographs must have been shot within the past three years (since Jan. 1, 2014) and no more than four photos may be entered.

More information and details on entering and contest rules are available on the Friends of Wisconsin State Parks website friendswiparks.blogspot.com (exit DNR) by clicking on the tab for “photo contest.”