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5/21/2020
Publisher’s Note: As referenced in the May-June 2020 print issue of On Wisconsin Outdoors, the Ellis column Memorial Day-Trading it all… directs the reader to this website for stories of Americans in battle during World War II and Vietnam.  Posted in the April 30 Ellis Blogs on this website Tanks in a Mine Field is the eye witness story of 709th Tank Battalion gunner John “Mike” Kunnen during the bloody battle of t...
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Groups Add Support to Help Students Attend Free May 15-16 Outdoor Heritage Education Event at MacKenzie

The Wisconsin Trappers Association, Friends of Poynette Game Farm and Friends of MacKenzie have added their support to help students attend for free The Midwest Outdoor Heritage Education Expo, May 15-16, at MacKenzie Center, Poynette, Wisconsin.  Organizers are inviting schoolteachers and administrators to schedule field trips for that Thursday or Friday.

Transportation grants are available, according to Harry Mattox, President of the Wisconsin Chapter of Safari Club International, primary fiscal partner, along with SCI Badgerland, SE WI Bow Hunters and Northeast WI Chapters providing key initial funding for the expo.  Other organizations are adding their support. Friends of the Wisconsin Conservation Congress will offer transportation grants up to $200 for schools planning to attend.

Students will also be given information about on-going mentored programs so they can develop their outdoor skills and enjoy lifelong outdoor activities.

Additional funding is coming from individuals and groups that want their local schools and students to connect with natural resources and healthy outdoor activities. Volunteers, donors and educators can reach organizer Mark LaBarbera at 608-854-2196 or mobile 520-730-9252, or malabarb@peoplepc.com for more information.

WTA President Virgil Schroeder said, “Education is the key to the future, and this youth expo is a great way to share Wisconsin’s outdoor heritage with our next generation of conservationists.”  WTA Vice President Scott Zimmerman said students will have hands-on opportunities at the expo with trapping, archery and airgun shooting skills, plus hunting dogs, game calling, forestry, fisheries, and other activities that help teachers meet state education standards.”

Neil Bishop, President of the Friends of MacKenzie volunteer group, said, “We’re glad to support this event and to showcase the MacKenzie Center, just 25 miles north of Madison, and one of the most diverse education centers in Wisconsin. With interpretive trails, wolves, bison and other live wildlife, plus museums and education programs for school and youth groups, MacKenzie is a wonderful place to visit and learn about the natural world.”

 The State Game Farm is connected to the MacKenzie Center and is adjacent to the arboretum on the western half of the property.  The facility raises 75,000 pheasants that the DNR releases on more than 90 properties open to the public in Wisconsin.

“Wisconsin conservation is rooted at this place,” said Vic Connors, President of the Friends of Poynette Game Farm, “and we see this education expo as a valuable way to share this history and build upon our outdoor heritage.”

The DNR MacKenzie Center is located on a 500-acre property near Poynette in Columbia County, 25 miles north of Madison at W7303 County Highway CS. It offers:

  • Interpretive trails that wind through forest and prairie habitats.
  • Conservation and logging museums and exhibits.
  • A wildlife habitat area where visitors see up-close wolves, lynx, eagle, badger, otter, deer, bison and other animals native to Wisconsin.
  • An arboretum that includes more than 100 species of trees.
  • A nature study pond.
  • An observation tower to view the property and surrounding countryside.
  • A large picnic area with a shelter and restrooms.
  • A lodge and dormitories for overnight field trips.