Today while driving I noticed the beautiful colors of the leaves changing. Besides the Autumn colors, we have the cooler temperatures to enjoy the hiking trails and even some picnics in the park before the winter snows begin. Before I can take my hike, it is time I share what is happening at Harrington Beach.
Accessible Cabin: Construction started about a month ago and it is starting to take shape. There should be big changes starting the week of September 28 when Matt Manczek Construction helps us get the outside shell up. The Friends of Harrington Beach State Park goal is to have it framed in and ready for interior work before the snow flies. If you are interested in helping with this project, please email us at . Financial contributions can be made by mail at Friends of Harrington Beach State Park, 531 County Hwy D, Belgium, WI 53004 or via the donation link at http://friendsofharrington.org/
Halloween Hike: This year’s Halloween Hike will be Saturday, October 18 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. As in the past, there will be a Costume contest along with pumpkin carving competition. The Friends of Harrington Beach will have pumpkins and carving tools available for you to use and they are FREE! If you have your own set of tools you prefer, be sure to bring them with you. The Friends even clean up the mess! In the Welcome Center we will have Chili and Hot Dogs for sale. Of course there will be free hot chocolate, hot apple cider, hot coffee, bars and cookies to eat.
Volunteer Opportunities: Opportunities abound at Harrington Beach State Park and with such a variety to choose from, there should be one just for you. Here is a list of just a few for your review. Check it out and email us at to learn more.
Save the Dates: January 3, 2015 and February 7, 2015 will be the date for our Candlelight Ski/Hikes. January 24, 2015 is the date for the Staff/Volunteer party.
The Friends of Harrington Beach State Park board of directors meet the 4th Thursday of the month. Our next scheduled meeting is Thursday, October 23, 2014 at 7:00 in the Adolph and Marie Ansay Welcome Center. The meeting is open to the public. I hope you can join us!
With the end of Labor Day Weekend, Harrington Beach State Park summer programming is winding down. Our popular After Summer Hike takes place on Saturday, September 20 at 6pm starting with roasting hotdogs at the Ansay Welcome Center and taking a 1.5 mile tikki torch lit hike around the Quarry. Desserts will be available as well as beverages. There is no charge for this event but donations to the Friends are gratefully accepted. A vehicle admission fee is required for park entrance.
We want to share a picture from the recent Monarch Butterfly capture/tag/release event held on August 30 at Puckett’s Pond. Ranger Robin Miller had an informative talk with about 19 visitors and campers then they captured, tagged, swabbed for parasite and released the butterflies back into the meadow. With volunteers like Bob and Karen Helminiak, going through the process was a breeze. Bob is shown in the picture below with some visitors to the event. We thank all our volunteers, staff and park visitors for making this season’s programming events successful. Please visit us again!
So much is happening with the Friends of Harrington Beach State Park, we decided to return to a full edition of The Quarry this summer. Please click on the link to find out about ALL of the Friends activities.
The last couple of weeks while reading Facebook posts I have noticed one common theme, will this winter ever end? Today I can honestly respond, yes! I have great hope in this because I see the suns rays reflecting off the house, the melting snow piles at corners that aren now low enough to see over and…I hear the birds singing! At this moment I can’t think of a more beautiful sound. Of course it also means the Candlelight Ski/Hikes are done for the season so now what are we going to do? Read on to find out what is in the works…
Annual Meeting: This years meeting will be April 24, 2014. Dinner will be at 6:30 p.m with the business meeting starting at 7:00 p.m. This years dinner will be a build your own baked potato bar. The board has planned some great toppings to make the perfect potato! We will be electing board members and discussing plans for the future. There will also be members sharing upcoming volunteer opportunities. We look forward to seeing you at the meeting.
Annual Pancake Breakfast: This event will be held June 8, 2014 from 8 a.m. to noon. Last year we decided to switch from charging for the breakfast and instead accept donations. We have decided to do it by donation again this year. All funds raised at this event will be used for the construction of the accessible cabin. This is also a great volunteer opportunity. If you would like to be on the planning committee or help at the event, please contact me at . This is Open House Sunday so no State Parker sticker is required to enter the park. It is also free fishing weekend. Be sure to watch for upcoming newsletters to see what other plans we have for this day!
Adolph and Marie Ansay Welcome Center: Do you know someone who added some sparkle to a finger on Valentines Day? How about a graduating senior? The Welcome Center may be just what you need for a family gathering, engagement party, wedding shower or graduation party. It is available for rent on a daily basis. Call the park office at 262-285-3015 to check its available dates and/or to reserve the building.
Cabin Update: Patience is a virtue but mine is wearing thin. We are waiting to hear back on our third and final grant and expect a response any day. The cabin architectural plans are being reviewed by the DNR and we are working on final paperwork. I look forward to the day we can post the sign saying “Excuse our dust but construct we must”. We are continuing to collect donations to help fund this project. At this time we are a little short of our financial goal. To make a tax deductible gift, you can mail checks to Harrington Beach State Park, 531 County Highway D, Belgium, WI 53004. Be sure to write cabin on the memo line. You can also make an online donation at www.friendsofharrington.org. The donation button is under the thermometer.
Summer Events: Ranger Robin Miller is going to repeat the Monarch Butterfly capture, tag and release program and adding a geocaching training and exploration program. We are also working on a schedule of events for the summer months. Watch for updates on Facebook, www.friendsofharrington.org and the Park DNR website at http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/parks/name/harrington.
Our next board meeting will be held at 7:00 p.m. on March 27, 2014. We hope to see you there!