I was sitting at our January Board meeting unable to talk (literally, laryngitis), thinking about the amazing board members. It was a night spent in listening mode and just looking around the table seeing so many people interested in our park. In addition, I was so excited to see visitors there. That is something I really love, especially when the visitors share in the discussion and provide great ideas. What are they? You will have to read on to learn more so….
Annual Staff/Volunteer pary: This even was held January 18. The Board provided the guests with several soups, fresh breads, chips and amazing desserts. Entertainment this year included games. Thank you to all who put effort into making this event so much fun for all of the guests. If you would like to join in the fun next year, all you need to do is volunteer. Easy? You bet it is as we have so many great opportunities. Watch our website and Facebook page for future volunteer opportunities.
Candlelight Ski/Hike: Our next Candlelight Ski/Hike will be February 1, 2014 from 6 to 9 p.m. In January we changed the food offering at a ski hike and it went over so well, we are repeating it for this hike. Some of the Board Members will be making their favorite soup to share. There is quite a variety to choose from. The great part about this event? All of the food, coffee, hot chocolate and apple cider is free. As usual, donations are appreciated. A State Park Sticker will be required for all vehicles entering the park. All funds raised at this event are used to provide program opportunities in the park.
Adolph and Marie Ansay Welcome Center: The Welcome Center may be just what you need for a family gathering or 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: It is hard to imagine starting construction of the accessible cabin as we sit through another extremely cold period but, it is time to get into serious planning. We are waiting to hear back on our third and final grant. We are expecting a response in early March. The cabin architectural plans are being reviewed by the DNR this month and a meeting is scheduled next week to discuss any recommended changes. 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.
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. 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 to instead taking donations. 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!
Summer Events: The board approved Ranger Robin Miller’s budget for this year's summer interpretive programming. She's bringing back the Monarch Butterfly capture, tag and release program and adding a geocaching training and exploration program. One of last nights meeting guest was Tony Young, the Ozaukee County DNR Game Warden. He has some program ideas of his own he would like to offer at Harrington Beach State Park. Watch for future updates on Facebook, www.friendsofharrington.org and the Park DNR website at http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/parks/name/harrington.
Park Management: Some of you may remember Ranger Carolyn Morgen who worked at Harrington Beach State Park a few years ago. A week ago she started as Superintendent of Kohler Andrae State Park. This job also includes oversight of Harrington Beach State Park. I am excited to see her back and look forward to the future of this great park under her management.
Our next board meeting will be held at 7:00 p.m. on February 27, 2014. We hope to see you there!