Park Update – September 2022

Thank you to all who came out and made Wilderness Inquiry’s Canoemobile a success. Hosting this event would not have been possible without the support and outreach efforts of the Friends of Lakeshore State Park as well as the presence of the Bureau of Land Management, US Forestry Service, and Riveredge Nature Center. Canoemobile is a unique occasion to provide park patrons of all ages and backgrounds with the opportunity to learn about canoeing and water safety. We hope to make this a returning event.

Summer will soon come to an end but there is still plenty to do and see at Lakeshore. Recently, staff has seen the woodchuck that lives in Rock Prairie, as well as a rare sighting of a fox roaming the riprap behind Fox Prairie. Walk the park early in the morning and you too may catch a glimpse of the famous Lakeshore foxes!

Notable events this month include Girl Scouts Love State Parks weekend (September 10-11th), Food Trucks and Kayaks (September 11th), and cultural walks with our interpretive educators celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15th) and Indigenous Peoples Day (September 23rd). A full list of Lakeshore events can be found below.

Upcoming Events

Saturday, September 3rd—9:30-10:30 a.m. Bird Hike
Saturday, September 3rd —4:00-5:30 p.m. Prairie Hike
Saturday, September 10th-11th Girl Scouts Love State Parks Weekend (see below for details)
Saturday, September 10—7:00-9:00 p.m. Beach “Bonfire”
Sunday, September 11th —10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.  Food Truck and Kayaking
Thursday, September 15th —6:00-7:30 p.m. Hispanic Heritage Month Hike (Bilingual)
Wednesday, September 21st—6:00-7:00 p.m. Dragonfly Hike
Wednesday, September 21st—7:00-9:00 p.m. Beach “Bonfire”
Thursday, September 22nd —6:00-7:00 p.m. Late-Blooming Flowers Hike (Bilingual)
Friday, September 23rd—6:00-7:30 p.m. Indigenous People Hike
Saturday, September 24 – 1 p.m.-2:30 p.m. Medicinal and Edible Plants Hike (Bilingual)

If you have any questions about upcoming events, please contact Elaine Zautke (Lakeshore State Park Manager). / 414-274-4281

Park Update – June 2022

Summer is fast approaching, and our marina opened back up for the season on May 15th. Overnight reservations for the Park’s 20 boat slips are accepted up to 11 months in advance . The marina season will be getting cut short this year, as they will be getting fully re-decked beginning in early August. We’ve also made an adjustment based on analysis of previous years’ use to our hourly use slips. This year, Slip 6 only will be made available for hourly, on a first-come/first-served basis each day except for Summerfest, Germanfest and Air/Water Show weekends when the marina is fully reserved.

Special Group Volunteer Project: Last year, we were able to work with a group of volunteers to complete a new coat of paint to half of the harbor railings down by the Milwaukee Pierhead Lighthouse. We are looking for a group to assist us again this year in finishing up the remaining railings. If you have a group that may be interested, reach out to Angela with any questions and to schedule a date to come out!

Thank you to all of the volunteers that have assisted us so far this season, with litter cleanups, invasive species removal, and prairie plantings! Truly, we could not complete our major projects without all of your help, and it is greatly appreciated!

Note that the main ‘island’ portion of the park will be closed due to firework discharges on the following dates this month associated with events at Henry Maier Festival Park: 6/4, 6/9, 6/11 and 6/23. From approximately 8:30 pm to 11:30 pm, the park will be closed to visitors between the pedestrian bridge and the back of Summerfest’s BMO stage to ensure visitor and staff safety until discharge and safety inspections are complete.

And lastly, I’m trying to keep this short because we have a large number of public events coming up in June! Our educator staff members are keeping themselves busy and offering a wide variety of events for everyone to enjoy, so check out the upcoming events and come learn something new! For more information on each event, visit the Friends Facebook page or search for ‘Lakeshore State Park’ on the DNR’s Event page.

Angela Vickio
Superintendent – Milwaukee State Parks Work Unit

Upcoming Events
All events meet at the Park’s north entrance, just west of Discovery World, unless otherwise noted.

  • Saturday, June 4 – 9:30-10:30 Bird Hike
  • Saturday, June 11 – 1 to 2:30 Apps for Plant and Animal Identification
  • Monday, June 13: 9:30 to 11 a.m. – National Weed Your Garden Day Volunteer Park Weeding
  • Tuesday, June 14 – 6 to 7:30 Flag Day Veteran’s Hike
  • Wednesday, June 15 – 6-7pm Rainbow Scavenger Hunt
  • Wednesday, June 15 – 7-9pm Beach ‘Bonfire’ (Meets at Pebble Beach)
  • Thursday, June 16 – 6 to 7:30  Wild Edible Plants / Plantas silvestres comestibles (bilingual)
  • Friday, June 17 – 6-7:30 Pollinator Hike
  • Saturday, June 18 – 1 p.m. to 2:30 Fossil Hike / Caminata de fósiles (bilingual)
  • Sunday, June19 – 1 to 2:30 Father’s Day Fishing Clinic / Aprender a pescar con Papá para el Día del padre (bilingual) (Meets at South Entrance)
  • Tuesday, June 21 – 7 – 8:30 pm Summer Solstice Sunset Hike / Caminata al puesto del sol para el Solsticio de Verano (bilingual)
  • Sunday, June 26 – 1-2pm Prairie Phenology Hike
  • Sunday, June 26 – 7 – 8:30 pm Sunset Hike / Caminata al puesto del sol (bilingual)
  • Tuesday, June 28 – 6 to 7:30 – History of Lakeshore State Park Hike / Caminata histórica del parque estatal Lakeshore (bilingual)

Park Property Supervisor Update – May 2022

Thank you to all the volunteers that came out for the Milwaukee Riverkeeper Spring Cleanup at Lakeshore State Park! Your work helped prevent dozens of bags worth of litter and debris from making its way into our precious resource of Lake Michigan, and it was one of the nicest weather days we’ve had for the event in years!

As we move to warmer weather, park staff and volunteers are working to make sure our prairies are ready for spring. You may see some of the prairies mowed back, in an effort to encourage mulch formation after they’ve served their purpose of food and habitat for winter wildlife. This practice also allows us to identify and remove invasive plants that seek to establish and take over prior to our native warm weather grasses and forbs emerging.

Thanks to contributions to the Friends of Lakeshore State Park, we are continuing efforts to restore our second largest prairie to native grasses and forbs. Our order of 4,548 prairie plants are set to be delivered the week of May 23rd. We are in need of all the help we can get (many hands make light work) for volunteer shifts 9-11:30am and 1-3:30pm daily on May 25th, 26th and 27th. To sign up for a shift (or a few), visit and follow the instructions for becoming a volunteer in our State Park System!

Migratory waterfowl are making their way back for summer, with recent sightings of a couple northern shovelers, American black ducks, and blue winged teal. American avocets are also on their way through, so keep your eyes open along the shoreline and quiet water basin at the park!


Avocets at the Park

We’ve got a number of events coming up in May, including our first beach ‘bonfire’ of the season, hope to see you there! All events meet at the north entrance unless otherwise noted.

Saturday May 7th, 9-10:30am Lakeshore History Hike
Sunday May 8th, 1-2pm Walk with Mom
Saturday May 14th, 9:30-10:30am Bird Hike
Wednesday May 18th, 6-7pm Bubble Walk
Wednesday May 18th, 7-9pm Beach ‘Bonfire’ (meet at pebble beach)
Saturday May 21st, 10-11:30am Kids Fishing Clinic (meet at south entrance near BMO Harris stage)
Saturday May 28th, 10-11 am Prairie Phenology Hike

Angela Vickio

Park Property Supervisor Update – April 2022

As we move into mid/late April, watch for prairie smoke starting to emerge and bloom in the northernmost prairies.

Prairie smoke has wonderful pink flowers, that once pollinated will produce a fuzzy seed head that resembles the look and feel of the hair on the 1980’s Troll dolls. They are some of our earliest risers at Lakeshore, and only bloom for a short period of time. The first tree swallows are also starting to make their way back to the nesting boxes for the spring, as some of our winter birds migrate out.

Interested in volunteering? The Wisconsin State Park System recently launched a new way to communicate volunteer opportunities throughout the state. To stay in the loop on upcoming invasive species removal dates, prairie planting days in late May, long-term opportunities, and special volunteer projects, please visit  MyImpactPage – Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources ( to sign up for Lakeshore State Park!  Additional dates for public volunteer events will be added as staff returns for the season.

Do you have a large group looking to help?

We are in need of a group of ~20 volunteers later this summer (once the weather is a bit warmer) to help us finish painting the Harbor railing at our south entrance. If your group may have interest, please contact Angela Vickio to discuss possible dates.

While we are typically ready to re-open our fishing pier for the season, the pier sustained some storm damage this winter, causing some of the pilings that hold it in place to fail. The Department is currently exploring options for a longer-term solution for this issue, and we will provide an update when we are able to re-open it to use. We will still continue to lead fishing clinics starting in May again this year, just at an alternate location on the property.

Speaking of events, we’ve got our first ones for the season coming up in April! We’ll have many more as the weather warms but mark your calendars for the following early season hikes. All hikes listed below will start at the north entrance, just west of Discovery World.

Upcoming Events

Angela Vickio

Park Property Supervisor Update – March 2022

Red Wing Blackbird

It’s been a while since the red-winged blackbirds migrated south for winter, but the return of one to the park this week suggests spring is just around the corner! Red-winged blackbirds are some of the ‘early nesters’ in the park, often making their homes in emerging cattails, and bunches of prairie grass when the cattails are slow to sprout for the season. We are anxiously awaiting warmer weather and the return of hikes, bonfires, and prairie plants blooming!

red wing blackbird

Speaking of hikes and programs, we have another exciting hiring update! The DNR is currently recruiting for a full-time Natural Resources Educator that will be stationed out of Havenwoods State Forest, and work with our Milwaukee Work Unit (including Lakeshore). This position will act as the lead in facilitating field trip and public interpretive offerings at Havenwoods, as well as provide coordinated outreach and marketing to the community. The deadline to apply is 11:59pm on Sunday, March 6th. For more information and to apply, visit

Interested in Volunteering? The Wisconsin State Park System has implemented a new way to sign up for volunteer interests, and be notified when opportunities align with your general interests. Please visit Volunteer Opportunities | Wisconsin State Park System | Wisconsin DNR to learn more about types of volunteer opportunities and sign up for specific properties! Opportunities at Lakeshore State Park, Hank Aaron State Trail, and Havenwoods State Forest will be updated as we move into the spring, but you can sign up to show your interest at any time. The Volunteer Impact System will be used to communicate spring/summer planting days, litter cleanups, invasive species removal and more! If you’re an individual interested in helping out long-term, some of those activities are currently posted.

See Something, Say Something! Please report any suspicious behavior or potential violations you observe to the 24/7 DNR Violation Tip Line. Reporting can be done anonymously, and can be done through call/text to 1-800-847-9367 or online at Report a Violation | Wisconsin DNR.

Angela Vickio

Naturalist Notes May 2018

Naturalist Notes

March 2018

While some winter birds still enjoy our waters until they migrate to cooler regions, others are just beginning their return. Still in the waters are the Goldeneyes, Lesser Scaups, and Red-breasted Mergansers.

We have sighted the first Tree Swallows of the season. Their wings and tails are dark grey and forked, while their upper bodies are an iridescent blue and underparts are white.   Over the summer, the population will reach to about 100 Tree Swallows. As adults, these birds eat about 2000 insects a day!

The Red-Wing Blackbirds are back too & can be seen, and heard, staking out their territories, especially by the raingardens.