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Contact: DNR Office of Communications
Shelly Torkelson, Natural Resources Foundation Communications Director or 602-481-4109

Natural Resources Foundation Of Wisconsin And Wisconsin DNR Team Up To Increase Pollinator Habitat In State Parks

pollinator-friendly wildflowers at havenwoods state forest New pollinator habitat will be created at seven state parks thanks to funding from the Wisconsin Pollinator Protection Fund of the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin. Photo credit: Caitlin Williamson

MADISON, Wis. – In honor of Pollinator Week June 19-25, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin (NRF) are proud to announce that seven state park properties will receive a pollinator upgrade in 2023.

Aztalan State Park, Brunet Island State Park, Chippewa Moraine State Recreation Area, Hank Aaron State Trail, Harrington Beach State Park, Pattison State Park and Peninsula State Park will receive funding from the NRF to enhance pollinator habitat.

The DNR is leading a “Pollinators in the Parks” initiative to increase pollinator habitat at state park properties across Wisconsin. New pollinator habitat will be created at these state parks thanks to funding from the Wisconsin Pollinator Protection Fund of the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin.

“Our native pollinators are incredibly important to maintaining Wisconsin’s native ecosystems. State parks are proud to play a role in helping these important beings survive,” said Steve Schmelzer, DNR Parks and Recreation Management Bureau Director. “Plus, the beautiful gardens that create habitat for pollinators enhance the intrinsic beauty of our state park properties.”

Ten other state parks have been funded over the last few years (Blue Mound, Governor Dodge, Hartman Creek, High Cliff, Lake Wissota, Nelson Dewey, Roche-A-Cri, Willow River, Wyalusing and Yellowstone Lake), as well as several State Natural Areas and state forests.

Why is there such a buzz around pollinators? Pollinators are vital for both Wisconsin’s unique biodiversity and for our agricultural crops and backyard gardens. But the DNR and conservation nonprofits can’t do it alone. In Wisconsin, 82% of land is privately owned, so the general public can play an important role too.

“The great thing about pollinators is that everyone can do something to help them, from individuals to schools to businesses to farmers,” said Caitlin Williamson, director of conservation programs for the Natural Resources Foundation. “Our small actions, combined together, can make a big difference.”

There are lots of ways you can celebrate Pollinator Week now and throughout June:

"I have hope that if we all work on this together, we’ll all see more butterflies and other pollinators in our park properties and home yards in the future,” said Williamson. "Pollinator Week is a great time to get started."

About the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin

The Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin protects our state’s lands, waters and wildlife by providing strategic funding, leading partnerships and connecting all people to nature. NRF invests over $1 million each year into conservation and environmental education and leads several diversity, equity and inclusion efforts for Wisconsin’s conservation community. NRF also helps people explore the outdoors by coordinating 250+ expert-led Field Trips each year to Wisconsin’s most special places and hosts The Great Wisconsin Birdathon, the state’s largest fundraiser for bird conservation. Learn more and get involved at