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State Natural Resources board accepts donation to rebuild Eagle Tower at Peninsula State Park

Published by Central Office October 2, 2018

Contact(s): Missy Vanlanduyt, Wisconsin State Parks 608-266-7617 or Paul Holtan DNR Office of Communications, 608-267-7517

HAYWARD, Wis. - Plans to rebuild Eagle Tower at Peninsula State Park took a major step forward when the State Natural Resources Board accepted a $750,000 donation from the Friends of Peninsula State Park at their September 25 meeting in Hayward.

The new design will consist of a 60-foot observation tower with a 1,000-square foot observation deck at the top and an accessible ramp approximately 850 feet long with an additional observation deck off the ramp. The project will also include a new accessible trail from the base of the ramp to the picnic and parking area; parking and repaving; interpretive displays; benches and connections to existing trails.

The new Eagle Tower will include an accessible ramp approximately 850 feet long ramp with an additional observation deck. - Photo credit: DNR
The new Eagle Tower will include an accessible ramp approximately 850 feet long ramp with an additional observation deck.Photo credit: DNR

The State Building Commission approved the $2.07 million project at its August meeting, meaning the project now has all necessary approvals. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources plans to proceed with the design and hopes to begin construction in early 2019 pending bid results and weather, with an estimated completion of late summer 2019.

An artistic drawing of the ramp to the new Eagle Tower. - Photo credit: Contributed image.
An artistic drawing of the ramp to the new Eagle Tower.Photo credit: Contributed image.

The DNR went through a public process to determine the final design solution for the new Eagle Tower including public meetings, meetings with key stakeholders, legislators, as well as a public survey to gain input on the feasible designs options.

The key design elements favored by the public included: looking like the old tower as much as possible, using cutting edge technology to extend life of new tower, being fiscally responsible, minimize operating costs and being accessible.

"We are extremely grateful to the Friends of Peninsula State Park for their generous donation and the extensive work they put into fundraising to restore this Door County icon," said Ben Bergey, Wisconsin State Park System Director. "We join the Friends group in looking forward to the return of Eagle Tower to the park."

DNR Secretary Dan Meyer presents a plaque of apprciation to Friends of Peninsula State Park President Chris Holicek. The donation was accepted at the September Natural Resources Board meeting in Hayward. Also pictured are NRB Chairman Terry Hilgenberg and Peninsula Superintendent Brian Markowski (right). - Photo credit: DNR
DNR Secretary Dan Meyer presents a plaque of appreciation to Friends of Peninsula State Park President Chris Holicek. The donation was accepted at the September Natural Resources Board meeting in Hayward. Also pictured are NRB Chairman Terry Hilgenberg and Peninsula Superintendent Brian Markowski (right).Photo credit: DNR

Gov. Scott Walker has also included $750,000 funds in the current budget to help build the tower and the DNR will be using other state and federal funds to rebuild the tower.

For more information on the Eagle Tower reconstruction search the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov, for keywords "Eagle Tower." People interested in more information on how to support the project or donate to the tower or other projects at the park should visit the Friends of Peninsula State Park website at www.peninsulafriends.org.

Last Revised: Tuesday, October 02, 2018

Contact information

For more information about news and media, contact:
James Dick
Director of Communications
608-267-2773