MacKenzie Fall Festival, Oct 13, 2018– Help Needed

Our Fall Festival on October 13 is less than two weeks away.  We’re very excited about the event and thankful for all of the support we’ve already received, but there are still a few areas where we could use a bit more help.  We have volunteer openings (shifts are 9:30 – 12:30, 12:30 – 3:30 or both) in Fire Building, Pond Study, Gunny Sack Races, 50/50 Raffle Ticket Sales (12:30 – 3:30, must be a member of Friends of MacKenzie), and Crossing Guard (12:30 – 3:30).  We could also use donations of straw bales, small pumpkins, and baked goods.  If you are able to help with any of these or have any questions, please email or call 608-635-8105.  We would also appreciate it if you share the FB post about the event (our FB is Friends of the MacKenzie Education Center).  Thanks!

Fall Festival Volunteers needed

We still have some volunteer positions open for the MacKenzie Center Fall Festival on October 13th from 10 am-3 pm. Please email us back at to secure your volunteer spot. You can chose to work one shift of either 9:30am-12:30pm or 12:30pm-3:30pm or you can work the whole day. People who work the whole day will receive a free lunch!! When emailing us back please include which position and shift you would like, your phone number, and if you are also available for our rain date of October 14th.
Here are the different positions we have open:
  • Archery (must be 18 years or older; we have the 12:30 pm – 3:30 pm shift open)
  • Wood Cookie Necklaces (we have the 12:30pm-3:30pm shift open)
  • Fire Building
  • Pond Study
  • Fishing/Casting (we have the 9:30am-12:30pm shift open)
  • Crossing Guard (we have the 12:30pm-3:30pm shift open)
  • Gunny Sack Races
  • Wood-cutting
  • Pumpkin Painting (we have the 12:30pm-3:30pm shift open)
  • Face-Painting
  • 50/50 Raffle (must be a Friends of MacKenzie Member; we have the 12:30pm-3:30pm shift open)
  • Front Gate Greeter (must be a Friends of MacKenzie Member; we have the 12:30pm-3:30pm shift open)

MacKenzie Center Natural Resources Education Summer Internship

The MacKenzie Center is looking for a hardworking, energetic, and flexible intern to assist with environmental education and outdoor skills programs for schools and groups visiting the Center. Training will be provided for all areas of responsibility. In addition to leading environmental education and outdoor skills programs, the intern will actively participate in special events and projects, and help to develop new programs as part of the MacKenzie Center team.

The MacKenzie Center, just 25 miles north of Madison, is a diverse environmental education and outdoor skills center with a remarkable conservation history.  With interpretive trails, exhibits, museums and programming available for school and youth groups, MacKenzie is a wonderful place to visit and learn about the natural world.

Description of the internship and application instructions:

Application deadline is April 15, 2018

Please share with your networks. This position may be of particular interest to college students in the following areas:  natural resources management, conservation, environmental education, interpretation, wildlife education, wildlife ecology, animal care, park management, recreation, camp and recreation, youth programming, camp management, and more.

The MacKenzie Center is located 25 miles north of Madison in Poynette, WI.  Learn more about our programs by searching “MacKenzie”

Quilt to be Raffled at Maple Fest, April 7, 2018

This beautiful quilt will be raffled at the MacKenzie Maple Fest on April 7, 2018.  It was created by Carol Buckmaster and she calls it “Sounds of the Owl”.  The quilt is twin sized (69″ X 83″) and features owls on a woodland fabric.  Here’s what she had to say about the quilt:  “My inspiration for this quilt was actually the fabric.  I saw this and knew that I needed to do a quilt for MacKenzie.  I live in a semi-rural area and quite often I hear the owls – I have not seen them.  Earlier last fall we had a owl in the neighborhood and it kept hooting all night – actually kept me awake.  Mother nature is the best designer of all and this fabric and the accompanying coordinating fabric just spoke ‘Sounds of the Owl’.”

Raffle tickets will be on sale at the Friends of MacKenzie Maple Fest on April 7.  In addition, members of the Friends and volunteers will have tickets for sale.  If you are interested in buying or selling tickets (or both) please let Deb Wearne-Neurohr know at or 920-992-5403.  You can return ticket stubs and cash to Deb (or Don Jackson), mail them by March 31 to Friends of MacKenzie, W7303 County Hwy CS & Q, Poynette, WI 53955, or bring them to Maple Fest on April 7.  The drawing is at noon, so be sure they’re back before then.  All proceeds will be used to support the MacKenzie Center and its programs.


Friends of MacKenzie Celebrate 40th Anniversary in 2018!

The Friends of MacKenzie Environmental Center, Inc. is celebrating its 40th Anniversary. Founded in 1978 by Ingeborg “Ingie” Lothe, after Genevieve Bancroft, the director of the MacKenzie Center at that time, convinced the Department of Natural Resources that creating a support group for the MacKenzie Center was a good idea. Although they knew that there were no other Friends groups associated with DNR facilities at the time, neither Gen or Ingie realized that the Friends of MacKenzie Environmental Center, Inc. would become a model for over 80 similar Friends groups supporting state parks, forests, and trails statewide.

In recognition of this anniversary, the Friends group is planning to incorporate this celebration into events all year long. Continue to check this website for an updated events calendar or find the group on Facebook! There are a lot of exciting events planned all year long, starting with our Annual Meeting on January 18 and including the anticipated ground breaking of phase 1 of our wildlife area renovation!

Steve Siegler, Friends group President, would like to express on behalf of the organization sincere appreciation and thanks to all members, volunteers, and MacKenzie staff over the past 40 years. “We hope that everyone can find time to visit the Center and help us celebrate and be a part of moving forward in 2018.”

Volunteers Needed for Night Hike on Nov. 4

Dear MacKenzie Friends and Volunteers,

On Saturday, November 4th from 5:30pm-8:30pm we will be having a self-guided Night Hike and Campfire at the MacKenzie Center. The lit path will begin at the MacKenzie Center lodge and will continue up through one of the south trails. There will also be a campfire with s’mores available to make!  We are looking for a few volunteers to help with different activity areas.

We need:

3-4 parkers and directional people (we have flashlights and reflective vests)

1-2 people to help keep the campfire going outside

2 people to help hand out s’mores

1-2 people to make and hand out hot chocolate

2 greeters

If you are able to help out please email You can also call at 608-635-8112.  Please come at 5:00pm, park in the lodge parking lot, and dress for the weather!

We are also looking for donations of campfire skewers. If you have any that you would like to donate please drop them off at the MacKenzie Center lodge, Monday-Friday, 8:00am-4:00pm.

Please help us spread the word for the event by sharing it on facebook or letting your friends and family know!

Thanks and hope to see you all there!




Fall Festival is Fast Approaching (Oct. 7)!

Don’t forget to mark your calendars for Fall Festival at the MacKenzie Center on Saturday, Oct. 7 from 10 am to 3 pm.  Hayrides, pumpkin painting, scarecrow making, lots of seasonal activities and a chance to try some of the many outdoor activities MacKenzie has to offer — archery, air guns, fish casting, pond study, fire making, compass skills and much more.  We’ve got a DJ/karaoke at 11 am and a ukulele band at 1 pm.  The $15/vehicle entry fee covers all of these things and concessions are available for an additional charge.  A wonderful way to enjoy the fall season with family and friends!

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