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!

Volunteers Needed for Movie Night Aug. 30

Our MacKenzie Movie night is next Wednesday August 30th from 7:30pm – 10:30pm in the picnic area. We’re in need of volunteers to help with parking, friends popcorn stand tent, directing traffic and helping visitors find their way in the dark if/when necessary. UW Space Place will be there with telescopes to stargaze as well. Any help would be much appreciated. Please email Chris at Christopher.Tall@wisconsin.gov if you’re interested.

Volunteers and items needed for Fall Festival (Oct. 7)

Hello MacKenzie Center Friends and Volunteers,

Planning for the MacKenzie Center Fall Festival is well underway but we are need of many more volunteers. If you are able to help out or know of family and/or friends available on Saturday, October 7th we could definitely use your help. Shifts are from 9:30am-12:30pm and 12:30pm-3:30pm or you can work both shifts. Volunteers who work both shifts will be provided free lunch! There are shifts available as an archery instructor, archery gate attendant, air gun instructor, air gun gate attendant, leaf rubbings, wood cookie necklaces, fire building, pond area, fishing/casting, wood-cutting, pumpkin painting, scare-crow making, hayride loading attendant, hayride guide/attendant, temporary tattoos, face painting, crossing guard, food ticket sales, 50/50 raffle, popcorn making, smokey the bear, and smokey the bear attendant.  Please email Hayley at Hayley.parsons@wisconsin.gov or Deb at friendsofmackenzie@gmail.com if you are interested in volunteering or want to learn the details about certain positions!

We are also in need of some donations for the fall festival. If you have any of these items you can drop them off at the MacKenzie Center lodge MondayFriday 8:00am-4:00pm or contact Hayley or Deb (emails above) for another time or place to drop them off.

Items we need:

Pumpkins/gourds (small pumpkins are best; please drop off these items closer to October 7th)

Corn stalks

Decorative leaf bags (pumpkin)

Indian corn

Paint brushes (mostly small and medium sizes)

Straw bales or hay bales

Scare-crow making clothing (jeans, long sleeves, sweatshirts, flannels, kids clothes work the best)

Soybeans (in buckets works best)

Corn (in buckets works best)

Orange and black table cloths


Kiddie pools

Colored markers

Apple cider

We also need help spreading the word about the event. Please “share” the event found on the Friends of MacKenzie Center’s facebook page. You can also stop by the MacKenzie Center lodge for flyers to hang at local businesses in the surrounding area.

Thank you so much to everyone who has already helped out and signed up to volunteer!

Wildlife Wish List

Old car and bike tires
Kitty litter boxes
Gallon freezer bags
Antler sheds
Kong toys
Feather duster

All donations are much appreciated.  Please email Katherine.scheffer@
wisconsin.gov or call (608) 617-1613 with questions or drop off donations at the MacKenzie Lodge Monday – Friday 8 am – 4 pm.

Volunteer Opportunities in July

Dear Friends and Volunteers of the MacKenzie Center,

We have four unique volunteer opportunities coming up at the MacKenzie Center.

  1. This coming Sunday, July 9th we will be having An Afternoon with Wildlife event from 1pm-3pm. Visitors will have the chance to chat with wildlife staff about the animals, touch furs and skulls, and participate in some wildlife related crafts.  We are looking for a few volunteers to work some tables and activities. If you are interested in volunteering please contact Hayley at Hayley.Parsons@wisconsin.gov. We would need volunteers from about 12:30pm-3:00pm.
  2. For our next volunteer opportunity we are looking for volunteers who love to fish. During the week of July 17th-20th the MacKenzie Center is running an Outdoor Skills Day Camp for 4th-6th graders. On Tuesday July 18th, we will be teaching the kids how to fish and could use some volunteers from 12:15pm-2:15pm when we head to Lake Wisconsin to test out their skills. If you are interested in volunteering please contact Hayley at Hayley.Parsons@wisconsin.gov.
  3. On July 22nd, the Friends of MacKenzie is hosting a 3D Archery Competition. We are looking for volunteers to work in the food booth from 10am-2pm, registration booth from 8:00am-1:00pm, and youth activities from 9:30am-1:00pm. The youth activities will be an archery clinic, shed hunt, aerial archery, and arts and crafts. If interested in volunteering please contact Jason Murray and Jason.Murray@wiscon.gov.
  4. Lastly we are looking for a volunteer or two to help us recycle a metal pile we have at the MacKenzie Center. It will need to be delivered to a recycling center in Portage . If interested please contact Steven Kaylor at (608) 635-5083.

Upcoming Events:

July 9th: An Afternoon with Wildlife; 1pm-3pm

July 17th-20th: Outdoor Skills Day Camp; 8:00am-3:00pm daily (still two spots left, call 608-635-8105 to register)

July 22nd: Friends of MacKenzie 3-D Archery Competition; 8am-4pm with kid’s activities and clinics running from 10am-1pm

July 26th: Story Time with Animals; 10:00am-11:30am

Thanks again for all your hard work!

Volunteer Picnic August 20, 2017

Each year we meet at the picnic shelter at the MacKenzie Center to thank everyone who helps to make this such a great place.  This year’s picnic will be Sunday, August 20.   We’ll gather at noon for conversation and refreshments.  Lunch begins at 12:30.  The Friends will provide brats, burgers, chicken, beverages, plates and eating utensils.  Please bring a dish to pass, based on your last name:  A-G salad, H-M appetizers, N-Z dessert.   Please RSVP to Sue Brockel (608-846-4145 or rbrockel@centurytel.net) by August 14 to make planning easier.  This is a great time to come together and have fun as we celebrate all the hard work the staff and volunteers do throughout the year!

Updated List of Items Needed for Wildlife Enrichment

Dear MacKenzie Center Friends and Volunteers,

On behalf of the wildlife team and the wildlife we would like to thank all of you whom, in the past two weeks, have donated an enormous amount of enrichment material for the captive wildlife we care for.  We have never received so many enrichment donations in such a short time!  We are thoroughly excited to ramp up our enrichment program and dive into all the new and fun experiences we can give the animals to better their daily lives.  We have already started using some of the material!

We will be continually open to donations from the original donation list.  We are pleased to say, however, that we will not be needing any more magazines, phone books, newspaper, shoes, or fire hoses for some time.  If you are still interested in donating we are especially looking for these items from our list:


Empty Wooden Spools

Large Seashells

Milk Crates

Bottles of Scents

Decoys (ex: duck)

Feather Dusters

A Large Mirror

Snake Sheds

Kiddie Pools

Dog Toy Kongs

Small Child Plastic Slide

Pool Diving Sticks and Rings

We have also added; kitty litter boxes (to be used as bath pans), or gallon sized freezer bags (for food storage)!

Thank you all so much,

The Wildlife Team

(Kyle, Kate, and Hayley)

Items needed for wildlife enrichment

Dear Friends and Volunteers,

The MacKenzie Center wildlife staff is looking to expand their enrichment items for the animals in the wildlife area. Enrichment allows animals to perform natural behaviors, permits them to be more active and increases the animals’ control over their environment. Enrichment helps satisfy both the physical and psychological needs of animals and allows them to make choices. We are looking to collect items to create new enrichment materials. Included is a list of items we are looking for. If you have any of these items please drop them off at the lodge anytime MondayFriday from 8am-4pm. If you have any questions please call (608) 635-8105. Also if anyone is able to plant extra pumpkins in their garden this year, the Fall Festival organizers would love your help. Pumpkin painting is one of the activities held at the fall festival and we are hoping to increase the amount of pumpkins we have for kids to paint this year.  Thank you for your continued support of the MacKenzie Center.

Here is a list of the items we are looking for:

Egg Cartons (no styrofoam please)

Hollowed Out Gourds

Large Pine Cones

Toilet Paper Tubes

Paper Towel Tubes


Large Balls

Bird Toys

Dog Toys

Cat Toys

Burlap Bags

Empty Wooden Spools (especially large ones)

Leather Footballs


Noise Maker/Rattles

Phone Books

Large Seashells


Bird Baths

Milk Crates

Natural Hides

Broom Heads



Fresh Herbs

Bottles of Scents/Spices

Scented Wood Chips

Sun Catchers

Old CD’s

Wind Chimes


Feather Dusters



Nature CD’s

Snake Sheds

Butcher Paper

Fire hoses

Kiddie Pools


Bags of Sand

Scratch pad or posts

Horse hair

Pool Diving Sticks and Rings

Old Bath Towels

Old Hand Towels

Wooden Ladders

Laundry Baskets


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