The Friends of Donald Park
P.O. Box 235, Mt. Horeb, WI 53572
- Heritage Interpretive Trails
- Tuesday Morning Group
- History – Cabin Restoration
- Environmental Education – Children
- Grant Writing
- Horse Trails
For over two years The Friends of Donald Park have been working to develop an interpretive plan for the park. At this point, the Friends are working with Dane County Parks to implement the plan. The plan envisions three “Heritage Interpretive Trails” throughout the park, the Woodburn Heritage Trail, The Foye Heritage Trail, and the Hitchcock Heritage Trail.
The panels for the trails are being designed and should be ready to be installed by the Summer of 2013. Friends volunteers will install the panels; create and install marker posts; develop a brochure for the trails; and provide text for the website to follow up on key points in the trails brochure. We have begun moving forward with these tasks.
We need volunteers to help us move ahead with the interpretive plan! If you enjoy writing we could use your help in drafting the trail brochures and in developing text for the website portion. You might also be interested in joining the Tuesday Morning Work Group who will be setting the posts and markers up for the Heritage Trails. This is an exciting plan for Donald Park — I hope you will join us!
Every Tuesday morning year round (weather permitting) there is a group of volunteers that work at Donald Park. We meet at Donald Park at approximately 8:30 a.m. and work till about noon. Sometime during the previous weekend the group coordinator will send out an email to give the volunteers an idea of what we might be working on. There is no commitment to be there every Tuesday, as we make our final decision on what to do when we see who shows up. Many of our jobs are seasonal so the work we do keeps changing. On a typical Tuesday we meet a little before 8:30 a.m., we organize and go to work. At about 10:30 we take a coffee break for about a 1/2 hour and always eat (low-cal) treats. The following are just some of the tasks we perform during a normal year: remove invasive plants from prairies, keep trails clear of fallen branches and trees, mow hiking trails plus other areas, cut down unwanted trees and brush as we open-up new areas, burn brush piles on a timely basis, transport firewood to designed spots, help Dane County Parks when they want to do a prairie burn, we sometimes help with seed collection and seed planting, twice during the winter we go into Madison and help DCP with prairie seed cleaning and weighing, we spend time maintaining our tools and equipment, etc. At times we help with special projects – like working on the cabin restoration or setting posts for the Heritage Interpretive Trails. We have an outstanding and dedicated group of Tuesday volunteers, no one is asked to do anything they don’t feel comfortable doing, and we always have a good time.
Matt Marty heads a group of volunteers who have been meeting on Tuesdays working to restore a cabin site in Donald Park. In 2008 they started a project which involved the history of the park. A farm house burned down in the spring of 1893 and the foundation of that house was rediscovered and folks thought it would be interesting to find out what was left behind after the fire. They got a grant from the Mt. Horeb Community Foundation to do a dig and they found many interesting artifacts. They have continued with the dig and have a goal of rebuilding the foundation and someday will put a log cabin on it, just as it was in 1893. Many people have participated over the years and there is still a need for more volunteers. This summer (2012) we need people to help excavate the burn layer and then prepare for the foundation reconstruction. The excavations began again this spring with our archeologist Bob Birmingham leading the dig. We will need help with landscaping and constructing a temporary roof cover for the foundation walls. If you would like to be involved please email Matt Marty at firstname.lastname@example.org. email@example.com
Mary is one of The Friends of Donald Park education liaisons and the lead for the school field trips. She has worked with Mt. Horeb’s third grade teachers to present a spring and fall field trip to Donald Park for the students.
Over the last 12 years the friends group has developed a program that includes seed collection in late October and a 4-parat program in late may which includes: poetry writing in a natural setting, pond/stream study, study of the bluebird project in the prairies and a woodland hike. We have volunteers from the FODP, the Mound Vue Garden Club, Wayne Pauly, Naturalist with Dane Co. Parks and other the local area naturalists to direct groups of students while sharing their love of nature.
This group of volunteers has also worked with the Ecology Club at the high school, home-schooled student groups, and other groups (4-H, groups fulfilling community service requirements, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts) who want to learn more about Donald Park’s natural environment.
We always need more volunteers to help with these programs. We welcome anyone with an interest in nature and in sharing that interest with children.
We need volunteers to help us explain our needs to granting agencies. We also need help researching grant opportunities. Writing need to be clear, succinct, and include detailed, fact-filled information about Donald Park and The Friends group. Lot’s of previous examples available to draw from. firstname.lastname@example.org
Help us tell the story of Donald Park and The Friends group activities! The kinds of stories we do for the public range from aspects of park history to descriptions of specific activities and events. We like to include lots of information, in a style that’s appealing and easily read. May include doing short interviews and/or attending events.
The Donald Park Newsletter is published 2 to 3 times a year in addition to the annual report, which is published in early March. We are always interested in people willing to share their ideas and talents in helping us with the newsletter. If you enjoy writing or photography or have desktop publishing skills you would like to share, please let us know. We would welcome you to our team. We would also enjoy hearing from you if you have ideas for a new column that could be added to each newsletter. email@example.com
The horse trail group works on clearing new horse trails, maintain existing horse trails inside and outside the park, help set up new steps at the equestrian entrance, set up the ACTHA obstacle course. It’s a fun group – join and you will get a sense of accomplishment, meet other horse owners and plenty of outdoor exercise.
Most of the work happens in the spring and the fall but we do have projects that come up in the summer too – several Saturdays during the season. Come join in the fun and then come back out and have a good ride!
Contact person – Roger Parr firstname.lastname@example.org