MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) today announced the expansion of Check Out Wisconsin State Parks At Your Library. The program provides library cardholders the opportunity to check out day passes to state parks, forests and recreation areas.

Starting Monday, May 1, more than 160 libraries across Wisconsin will make nearly 6,300 day passes available. The passes are valid for free single day admission for one vehicle at any state park, forest or recreation area where admission is required.

The initial program offered 1,000 day passes to 20 libraries across Wisconsin.

“We had a great response to our pilot program over the winter, and we are confident this summer and fall opportunity will be just as successful,” said Steve Schmelzer, Parks and Recreation Management Bureau Director. “Through this program, Wisconsinites will be able to visit our state park properties this summer without the barrier of a fee. Come explore Wisconsin’s special outside places this summer!”

Check Out Wisconsin State Parks At Your Library is a collaborative effort between the DNR, Wisconsin Library Association’s Wisconsin Association of Public Libraries and Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. The cost of day passes at 84 libraries was underwritten by the Friends of Wisconsin State Parks, a grant from the C.D. Besadny Fund of the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin and two Green Tier businesses.

Additionally, libraries could purchase day passes, and 62 libraries purchased 3,865 passes for their patrons to utilize. Along with the day pass, the cardholder can pick up a variety of DNR materials.

To celebrate the second distribution of passes and National Public Library Week, the DNR is hosting a spring celebration event on Monday, April 24 at 10:30 a.m. at the Hausmann Nature Center in the Kettle Moraine State Forest – Lapham Peak Unit. This event is free and open to the public. The Hausmann Nature Center will be open from 10 a.m. – noon for those wishing to visit.

The Kettle Moraine State Forest – Lapham Peak Unit is located in Delafield. Lapham Peak’s glaciated topography provides excellent hiking, backpacking, horseback riding and biking. Learn more about it on the DNR’s website.

Find more information about the Check Out Wisconsin State Parks program, including a full list of participating libraries, online.

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