Oct 6, 2021 – The DNR supports the Friends of Lapham Peak’s proposal to build a new Lodge at Lapham Peak!
Lapham Lodge will be built in Evergreen Grove, to the east of the Evergreen Shelter, between the parking lot and the ski/hiking trails. Please see our Lapham Lodge Informational and Fund Raising Page
In a letter to the Friends, Steve Schmelzer, Bureau Director of the DNR, wrote:
“I am writing to express the Bureau of Parks and Recreation Management’s support for the Friends of Lapham Peak in planning, constructing, and funding the operations of a gathering and warming all-season shelter at Kettle Moraine State Forest – Lapham Peak Unit and outline our cooperative responsibilities.
The Friends of Lapham Peak, and Department of Natural Resources work cooperatively to create premier experiences at the property. As growth in the park has increased so has the support from Friends of Lapham Peak. The Friends’ fund the snow making operations as well as many other projects at the property. The Friends’ proposal to replace the existing Evergreen Shelter with a larger, more relevant gathering space will enhance visitor experiences, interpretation, outreach, winter property use and various outdoor recreation activities. The gathering space will also include an indoor classroom and congregation space for the public, enhancing the quality of life in the local community, Milwaukee area and beyond. The Friends of Lapham Peak will fundraise for construction and operations of the new gathering space, as well as, the necessary outdoor space and moveable equipment. The Friends will also lead the planning and construction efforts for this new facility.
Throughout the process the Bureau of Parks and Recreation Management will serve as a resource for the Friends of Lapham Peak. The Bureau will assist the Friends when seeking necessary approvals from Department of Administration, Natural Resources Board and the Department of Natural Resources. The Bureau will also work cooperatively with the Friends through the entire process to discuss features of the facilities, the operations of the facility and to negotiate in good faith the future management and funding of the facility. The Bureau of Parks and Recreation Management understands that upon completion of the facility it will be donated from the Friends to the Department. Upon donation the Department will become the sole owner of the gathering space and the Friends will continue to support the facility. The Department of Natural Resources is pleased to support the Friends of Lapham Peak in making the property a signature destination of Wisconsin and elevate recreational experiences with a contemporary gathering and event space.
Steve Schmelzer, Bureau Director
Parks and Recreation Management Program
Fish, Wildlife and Parks Division, Department of Natural Resources”