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 neurohrdeb@gmail.com 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 hayley.parsons@wisconsin.gov. 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!

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!

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