T.B. Scott Library increases state park access
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and T.B. Scott Free Library are working together as part of the “Check Out Wisconsin State Parks At Your Library” program.
Beginning Monday, May 8, 2023, T.B. Scott Free Library card holders can check out a limited number of day passes for free admission for one vehicle at any state park, forest, or recreation area where admission is required. Passes may only be placed on Wisconsin State registered vehicles. The program ends December 31, 2023.
“The DNR is continually looking for innovative opportunities to bring more people to state parks and forests, and to ensure everyone in Wisconsin has access to our incredible natural resources,” said Steve Schmelzer, Director of the DNR Bureau of Parks and Recreation. “By partnering with Wisconsin’s library system, we can reach households who may not be as familiar with the wide array of opportunities Wisconsin’s state parks and forests have to offer.”
The program, Check Out Wisconsin’s State Parks At Your Library, is a collaborative effort between the DNR, Wisconsin Library Association’s Wisconsin Association of Public Libraries, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, and the C.D. Besadny Conservation Fund from the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin.
“Our library provides a number of resources beyond books through our Library of Things for everyone of all ages and backgrounds, so adding access to our state park system for our patrons is a natural fit. We are excited to participate, and we hope to see this program flourish in our community. Anyone with questions about the program should stop by the library,” said Library Director Laurie Ollhoff.
Along with the day pass, the cardholder will checkout with their library card a binder of informational resources including state park system materials, a Wisconsin Explorer Activity Sheet, stickers, accessibility information, and more. The goal of the program is to expand access to the Wisconsin state park system to new park visitors. T.B. Scott Free Library paid for and received 40 passes, each with a one-time use. Only two passes will be available for check out each week, on a first come, first served basis. The Wisconsin State Park daily passes are not eligible to be put on hold. If the library experiences an increased demand for the passes, the library will consider purchasing additional park passes and seek financial support for subsequent purchases, as the funding for the passes comes from the library’s programming general fund budget, which is limited.
The DNR plans to continue the program in 2024, based on participant feedback and funding. Each pass includes a welcome letter with a survey link so the DNR can gather information about who used the passes and how they enjoyed their park experience. Participants who complete the survey after using the pass will be eligible to win one of ten 2024 annual state park and forest vehicle admission stickers paid for by the Friends of Wisconsin State Parks.
Stop in at the T.B. Scott Free Library to learn how to get a library card. It’s absolutely free.