We’re looking for help…

Apply for our Digital Communication Internship

Position Summary

Friends of Lakeshore State Park (FLSP) is seeking a Digital Communication Intern to create engaging content for the organization’s social media profiles and web presence. The intern will work closely with President David Wenstrup and park staff. The unpaid position starts January 23, 2023 and ends in May. Part time hours of 20 hours or less a week are expected for the duration of the position. Work may be performed remotely. The intern will also have access to FLSP offices in the Third Ward Association Office. Some work during evenings and weekends are expected for coverage of programming and events.

This internship is available for students at a local university seeking credits as part of course requirements in Marketing, Communication, Environmental Studies, Non-Profit Management, or other applicable degrees. Ideal candidates are passionate about environmental stewardship and community engagement. The internship provides the opportunity to network and learn from parks managers, board members, and community partners.

How to Apply:

Send a cover letter, resume, and writing sample to dcwenstrup@outlook.com by January 9, 2023.

Essential Functions

  • Assist in creating dynamic content for various social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
  • Engage the community around fundraising, events, and programming for the park.
  • Interact with the public through direct messages, mentions, and comments on multiple social media channels.
  • Design graphics for social media and distribution using Canva Pro or preferred software.
  • Responsible for maintaining website content, including park events calendar.
  • Assist with audio and video production for social media content.
  • Capture original content of the park and the people who use it.
  • Grow engagement, build relationships, and increase presence in the community.
  • Other related duties may be required and assigned.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience producing creative, engaging content for social media and websites through copywriting, photography, videography, and editing.
  • Knowledge of trends on social media platforms including, but not limited to, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram/Stories.
  • Familiarity with Canva Pro or other similar graphic design software.
  • Knowledge of analytics and metrics for progress reporting.
  • Experience scheduling social media posts for maximum engagement and reach.
  • Strong communication, graphic design, and organizational skills.
  • Ability to work non-traditional hours that could include nights and weekends.
  • Self-starter who can think critically, follow direction, and work remotely with minimal supervision.
  • Photography experience and photo editing a plus.

Who Are We?

Friends of Lakeshore State Park (FLSP) is a non-profit dedicated to supporting Lakeshore State Park and its partners. FLSP partners with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the community to support Lakeshore State Park as Milwaukee’s premier urban lakefront destination for environmental and freshwater education, conservation, recreation, and outdoor enjoyment. The Friends raise funds for and participate in educational programming, events, infrastructure, and marketing and build memberships and strategic alliances to succeed in these efforts.

Park Update

November brings colder temperatures and changes for Lakeshore Park. Just a few short weeks ago we saw Prairie Clover and Astor in full bloom, but now the prairie plants have already begun dropping seeds. Plants will undergo what is called cold stratification, a process of that allows natives to survive cold Wisconsin Winters. Though you may not see bright colors, the beauty if Lakeshore is ever present. Morning dew and frost show a different side of the park, so take a walk and take in the changes.

Final approval and funding have been reached for the marina decking project, as well as approval for the supplemental funding needed for the fishing pier repairs. You are likely to see much work being done in the park this November. Look forward to seeing these improvements up close in the spring!

November Events:
Friday, November 11th: 3 pm to 4 pm Veteran’s Day Hike
Sunday, November 13th: 11am to 12pm “Rock your Mocs” Hike
Friday, November 25th: #OptOutside Hike (time TBA)

For questions about upcoming events, please contact the Park Manager: Elaine Zautke (Lakeshore Park Manager) Elaine.Zautke@wisconsin.gov / 414-274-4281

(Great Blue Heronphoto by Elaine Zautke) 

Tips for fishing at Lakeshore State Park from a father-son team

Dave Kallie grew up fishing in and around Milwaukee, sometimes on a boat and sometimes from shore, on Lake Michigan and in the rivers. These days, you’ll often see him casting with his 15-year-old son, Drew, who started out using a Snoopy rod and reel at age 3 or 4 and got hooked. Lakeshore State Park is a regular stop for both of them.

“Me personally, I love the fight when you hook one! It’s amazing. No other freshwater fish can fight that hard.”


“What they did with that park is awesome. The fishing opportunities always were there, and the park made it much more accessible.”


We asked Dave and Drew, who live in Brookfield, to share some of their tips and observations about fishing at Lakeshore State Park.  

  • There’s a wonderful variety of fish to catch: Chinook (King) and Coho salmon; steelhead (rainbow), brown and lake trout; carp; rock, largemouth and smallmouth bass; northern Pike; yellow perch; bluegills; sunfish; and more.
  • Don’t miss the fall salmon run, when these fish are spawning. “Me personally, I love the fight,” said Drew — and a fight is what he gets from the salmon from about September to October. Some can be 20 or 30 pounds. “When you hook one, it’s amazing. No other freshwater fish can fight that hard.”
  • Starting around November and into spring is a good time for brown and steelhead (rainbow) trout, which feed on salmon eggs.
  • Ice-fishing season at Lakeshore State Park can vary — if interested, monitor conditions.
  • Summer is the time for largemouth bass, northern pike, carp and even some walleye. 

To monitor fishing conditions, try LakeLink.com, which has a thread specifically about Lakeshore State Park, and group pages on Facebook such as the Racine/Kenosha Lake Michigan Fishing Report  Whether catch-and-release or for dinner, and whenever you choose to go, the Kallies predict you’ll enjoy the experience.

Find more details about fishing at Lakeshore State Park here

“It’s a way to slow life down. It allows me to clear my head. It’s a form of therapy for me whether I catch fish or not.”

Dave Kallie

10 Great Reasons to Walk at Lakeshore State Park

There’s still plenty of good walking weather left, and with over 2.2 miles of paved trails, Lakeshore State Park (LSP) is a terrific place to get your steps in! Here are 10 reasons why you’ll want to choose this beautiful urban landscape for enjoyment and exercise.

  1. It’s free. No fees. No need to buy fancy equipment. Plenty of free parking. Just lace up your walking shoes, put on some sunscreen and grab a water bottle. That’s a pretty great deal.
  2. It’s convenient. LSP is the state’s only urban park, which means it’s conveniently located to people who work, live and visit the downtown area. Do you work nearby? Stop by during lunch break or before you start your shift. Do you live nearby? There’s probably an easily accessible trail that will connect you to LSP (check out #7 and #8 below). It’s also compact enough that you can fit a quick walk in after a business meeting, before a trip to the Milwaukee Art Museum, or any of the many nearby sites and activities.
  3. It’s got plenty of variety. Paved and unpaved, prairie and shoreline, Lake Michigan and the city skyline, Pier Wisconsin and the Summerfest grounds — there is a wealth of different walking experiences at LSP. You can choose different routes and loops on each visit.
  4. It’s great for people with limited mobility. Whether you’re recovering from an injury or you have other mobility limitations, LSP’s smooth, paved paths are just right for you. The entire park is designed to be accessible to people who use wheelchairs or walkers.
  5. It’s great for families and kids. Those well-paved paths we mentioned? They’re great for strollers, too! And while you’re walking, your kids will love exploring the prairie trails, chasing butterflies and watching vessels come and go from Port Milwaukee.
  6. You can take guided hikes. Watch our calendar for guided hikes that will help you learn about plant life and wildlife while you walk. Guides will help you explore everything from dragonflies to flowers, birds to medicinal plants. Many are bilingual, too.
  7. It’s part of the Hank Aaron State Trail. Want something a little more challenging? LSP is part of a 14-mile trail stretching west from the lake to the Milwaukee/Waukesha county line. As you walk, you’ll pass the Harley-Davidson Museum, Miller Park, the Urban Ecology Center, the Historic Soldiers Home and more, plus a variety of urban and natural settings.
  8. It connects with the Oak Leaf Trail. Add even more challenge and variety by including the Milwaukee County’s Oak Leaf Trail on your walk, which stretches north. It’s a multi-use system with over 135 miles, nearly a quarter of them hugging the shoreline.
  9. It’s good for your body. Physical activity has been called “the closest thing we have to a wonder drug,” and walking is one of the easiest, most affordable and most accessible ways to move for all ages. Aside from burning calories, walking has been shown to ease joint pain, boost immune function, improve circulation, help maintain bone mass, tone your muscles … and the list goes on.
  10. It’s good for your mental health. Walking, especially in nature, is often touted as a way to relieve stress along with a wide variety of other benefits. Your mind will appreciate a chance to step away from laptops, phones and tablets to enjoy nature. Many use walks as a meditative, therapeutic self-care routine. And it’s a terrific way to meet up with friends and family for a little together time.

Fascinating & Fun Ship Watching

Cold weather or warm, morning or night — there’s one activity that’s constant year-round at Lakeshore State Park, and that’s ship-watching.

Because LSP is so close to Port Milwaukee, it offers a terrific vantage point for viewing vessels that come and go. Bring your folding chair and perhaps a set of binoculars, and you can spot a variety of freighters, barges and cruise ships making a stop to unload cargo, pick up cargo, or do both. And in the case of cruise ships, they’ll be bringing visitors, too.

Port Milwaukee is a true 24/7, 365-day port. We have vessel activity potentially every day throughout the year.

Adam Tindall Schlicht

The ship-watching activity is increasing — last year, 400 vessels visited Port Milwaukee, up from 349 in 2020. “Port Milwaukee is a true 24/7, 365-day port. We have vessel activity potentially every day throughout the year,” said Port Milwaukee director Adam Tindall Schlicht.

Schlicht explained that there are four main types of vessels visiting Port Milwaukee:

  • Tugs or tug-and-barge combinations, which help large vessels operate safely or carry cargo to or from the port. Many of these are built to operate on the Great Lakes or may be traveling from or to the Mississippi River.

  • A “laker,” which is a U.S. or Canadian vessel specifically designed for the Great Lakes. These are some of the largest vessels on the Great Lakes. Along with barges, they’re also the most common at the port.

  • A “saltie,” an international ocean-going vessel that enters the Great Lakes through the St. Lawrence Seaway. They typically visit April through January.

  • International cruise ships, the newest type of vessel at Port Milwaukee. This year alone Milwaukee is expecting 33 cruise ships carrying well over 10,000 passengers, Schlicht said.

Import/export cargo includes salt, fertilizer, steel, cement, grain, limestone, liquid methane and lumber, to name a few. “Our economic role cannot be understated,” Schlicht said. “The vessel activity and the cargo that we handle year-round generate over $100 million in economic impact each year.”

Want to know more about the vessels you’re spotting?

Here are three resources Schlicht recommends:

  • Port Milwaukee’s real-time vessel tracker, portmilwaukee.com/vesseltracker. This updates in real time the information about vessels coming and going. (The Port Milwaukee website, portmilwaukee.com, has information about the port, as well.)

  • Board Nerd, boatnerd.com, a website that monitors vessel activity across the Great Lakes, along with information about their history and fun facts.

  • Wisconsin Marine Historical Society, wmhs.org. “If you’re looking for more of that historical context – what is that ship, what is her service, what is she traditionally carrying? — Wisconsin Marine Historical Society is a fabulous resource.”

Cruise ship passes under the Hoan bridge
Viking Octanis passing under the Hoan Bridge photo by David Wenstrup

If you’re looking for more of that historical context – what is that ship, what is her service, what is she traditionally carrying? Wisconsin Marine Historical Society is a fabulous resource.

Wisconsin Marine Historical Society

Have you viewed Lakeshore State Park from the water?

There’s lots to love about summer at Lakeshore State Park, but one of our favorites: It’s the season for paddle boats!

“For my money it’s the best view in the city,” said Timothy Ritter, owner of Lakeshore Paddle Sport Rentals. Tim and wife Val operate their business mid-May through mid-September, depending on the weather. “The water is so clean, and the breezes, and going by Summerfest … it’s just a really unique spot.”

Lakeshore Paddle Sport Rentals gives visitors a chance to experience the park from a different vantage point by paddling around the Maritime Water Basin and the Quiet Water Basin between Lakeshore State Park and the Summerfest grounds. Rent a paddleboat or hydrobike and you’ll have a non-polluting way to get around while getting exercise, too.

It’s a great activity for families, friends, or anyone who enjoys being on the water.

For my money it’s the best view in the city. The water is so clean, and the breezes, and going by Summerfest … it’s just a really unique spot.

Timothy Ritter

A few tips to keep in mind when renting from Lakeshore Paddle Sport Rentals: 

  •  If you’re a 2022 Park Pal or Prairie Patron, you’ll have a separate email* from us today that you can use to get discounted paddle boat and hydrobike rentals.  Don’t lose that email – it’s good all summer!  That same email also will give you information on claiming a discount at Milwaukee Kayak Company this summer.
  • Bring water or soft drinks to enjoy while you paddle. Each rental is for an hour, so you’ll appreciate having refreshments.
  • It’s a good idea to bring a hat and sunglasses. The paddle boats have canopies for shade, but on a sunny day there’s plenty of glare off the water.
  • A life vest is included with your rental.
  • Bring your (small) pet!

 About that last piece of advice: Ritter said he has seen all kinds of pets join their humans on the water. “We’ve had dogs, cats, snakes, turtles,” Ritter said. “It’s such a fun thing to do.”

But to Ritter, the people are what make his job rewarding. “We have nothing but nice people and families as customers, it’s a joy.” Many are out-of-towners who ask his advice about things to do. “And they just gush, people just gush about Milwaukee and the downtown. It gets me right in the heart.”

*If you are a 2022 Prairie Pal or Prairie Patron and did not get the discount email, send a message to admin@friendslsp.org with your full name and approximate date of contribution and we’ll get the discount email out to you right away.