If you’re an introvert or simply want a bit meditative time, you can volunteer at Devil’s Lake State Park on your own time as well. Just contact the Nature Center and the naturalist will set you up!
The bridge out on the Steinke Basin trail has bothered me for some time. It looks like total crap! Not only has the paint literally been peeling away from the wood, but repairs made about 2 years ago were still not stained. I mean.., come on! It’s embarrassing to our community, our state and our park system! So, I asked the naturalist if she could put some paint and a brush aside for me that I could grab at the nature center when I had some free time.
Finally on Sunday after spending the morning at home doing yard work, I carved out a couple of hours to start putting some care into that bridge. I’d actually forgotten about the peeling paint, so I could only get the top rails and the repairs painted. The next time I have a couple of hours free I’ll head back out again and start scraping down the rest and prep it for painting as well.
Now here’s something to think about. While I was out working, 3 hikers came up to me and said, ” Wow, it’s great to see someone actually doing some maintenance!” Visitors are noticing the decline and are not liking what they are seeing. We can’t however put it all on the park staff. The problem is a complicated mix of will and politics, but the local maintanance staff are overwhelmed keeping the day areas, bathrooms and campgrounds clean. There’s not enough money and not enough staff to do much more at this 3 million +, annual visitor park. The hiking trails have been left to erode and degrade. It’s going to be up to volunteers if we want our trails to be pleasant, safe and attractive places to hike, bike and explore.
If you care about the park, but you prefer working alone or can’t make a set “volunteer” day or event, just contact the Devil’s Lake State Park nature center and offer to help out on your own time. The naturalist can help make it easy for you to get out and put in an hour or a day whenever you can. Together, we can give our park the care it needs and deserves.
Contact Sue Johansen, Park Naturalist
(608) 356-8301 Ext. 140
***Obligatory Disclaimer: This website is NOT associated with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. The views expressed in this blog are mine and do not represent the views of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.