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ARCHIVED Weekly News Published July 5, 2016

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Summit Players 'Shakespeare in the Park" coming to Wisconsin State Parks

Contact(s): Paul Holtan, DNR office of communications, 608-267-7517 or A.J. Magoon, Summit Players public relations director, 262-227-0880

MADISON - Visitors to Wisconsin State Parks will have 20 opportunities at 16 separate parks to enjoy "Shakespeare in the Park" performances this summer. The performances begin July 16 and run through August 21.

The Summit Players in a performance of
The Summit Players in a performance of "A Midsummer's Night Dream" last summer at the Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest
Photo Credit: DNR

The performances include stripped-down productions of Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and "As You Like It." The performances are free, although at most locations an annual or daily admission sticker is required for entrance into the property.

The performances are done by The Summit Players, a group of Marquette University theater and drama alumni. The troupe's productions cut Shakespeare plays down to fun and frenized one hour and fifteen minute productions. The production is "Shakespeare out of a trunk," with minimal set, costumes, props and a focus on actors, as per the style of Shakespeare's time.

"The Summit Players' mission is to promote overlap between nature and the performing arts by providing accessible outdoor theater to young people and their families," said A.J. Magoon, an actor and public relations director for the troupe.

Prior to each performance, the company members will lead a 45-minute workshop, "Playing with Shakespeare: Get Outside with Will," for children ages 8 and up. The workshops focus on understanding Shakespearean text, general theater practices, and how Shakespeare used nature in his plays.

Two performances will be held on the same day at four park properties: Devil's Lake, Kohler-Andrae, Lake Kegonsa and High Cliff state parks. At these parks the troupe will perform a "Midsummer Night's Dream" at the 2:30 p.m. matinee and "As You Like It" at the 7 p.m. eventing show. At parks with just one performance, the audience will get to select which of the two shows the troupe should perform.

The Summit Players held their first Shakespeare in the Park performances last summer at 13 state park properties. Magoon said because the performances were popular and well attended, the troupe decided to continue it this summer, expanding to more parks around the state.

"The Summit Players are committed to making the arts available to everyone regardless of income; both the workshops and performances are free of charge to park patrons. We are meeting production costs through a crowdfunding campaign and have currently met about 65 percent of our goal," Magoon said.

The one performance not held at a Wisconsin State Park property is at Three Bridges Park in the Menomonee River valley, which is located along the Hank Aaron State Trail. The Department of Natural Resources was a partner in the environmental remediation and redevelopment of the Three Bridges property.

People can find out more about the Summit Players at their website (exit DNR).

Shakespeare in the Park 2016 schedule.



Public hearing on strategic analysis of industrial sand mining set for July 26

Contact(s): David Siebert, DNR Bureau of Environmental Analysis and Sustainability Director, 608-264-6048 or Roberta Walls, environmental assistance coordinator, 608-785-9272

Public comment period ends August 22

MADISON, Wis. - The Department of Natural Resources will hold a public informational hearing on a draft analysis related to industrial sand mining in the state.

The public hearing will be on July 26, starting at 4 p.m., at the Chippewa Valley Technical College, Business Education Center, in the Casper Conference Center, Room 103A/B, 620 W. Clairemont Avenue, Eau Claire.

Written public comments may also be submitted until August 22, 2016, by email to: , or sent via US Mail to: ISM SA Coordinator, Wisconsin DNR OB/7, P.O. Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707-7921.

The draft document and links to more information about industrial sand mining can be found on the industrial sand mining strategic analysis page of the DNR web site,, and by searching for keywords "sand mining" and clicking on the link in the right side navigation panel.

The department used a strategic analysis process to update a previous 2012 summary of the industry, as a means for providing the most recent factual information about industrial sand mining and key environmental topics. The information in the strategic analysis could assist legislators and other decision makers in establishing future policy. The DNR sought public input on its proposed scope for the analysis before starting the work.

"The strategic analysis tool is used for taking a higher level look at the science and important topics in advance of policy decisions," said David Siebert, director of the DNR Bureau of Environmental Analysis and Sustainability. "The department welcomes input on the industrial sand mining strategic analysis that we will use to finalize the document."

Siebert said the DNR will consider all verbal and written comments in the preparation of the final strategic analysis. The purpose of the analysis is to be an informational tool and does not include specific recommendations for specific projects or new policies.



Blue-green algal bloom season is underway

Contact(s): Gina LaLiberte, DNR statewide blue-green algae coordinator, 608-221-5377,; Jennifer Miller DHS communications, 608-266-1683,; or Jennifer Sereno, DNR communications, 608-770-8084,

MADISON, Wis. - Those heading out to lakes are reminded to be on the lookout for blue-green algae blooms beginning to form on lakes and ponds across the state.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has received reports of blooms on some southern lakes and blooms will continue to appear throughout the state as the summer months continue.

Blue-green algae blooms tend to grow when there is a lot of sunlight, water temperatures are high, and there is little wind. The blooms peak from July to September.
Blue-green algae blooms tend to grow when there is a lot of sunlight, water temperatures are high, and there is little wind. The blooms peak from July to September.
Photo Credit: DNR

"Blue-green algae are in all lakes in Wisconsin, but they only become a problem when they form nuisance-level growth, called blooms, on some lakes," said Gina LaLiberte, DNR's statewide blue-green algae coordinator. "Actively growing blooms are usually green and have a 'pea soup' appearance, but they may contain blue, white, red, or brown scums that may be foamy or in mats. These blooms may cause illnesses for those who accidentally ingest or inhale water containing algae, or have prolonged skin contact with the algae."

Jordan Dieckman, a waterborne disease fellow with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, said common symptoms of exposure to blue-green algae blooms include rashes, gastrointestinal ailments and respiratory irritation. People experiencing symptoms that may be due to blue-green algal exposure should contact their health care provider or the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.

Public health officials encourage people to avoid swallowing any water and to always wash off after swimming in any lake, pond or river. Dogs should always be rinsed off with clean water to remove algae from their coat. If people have any doubts about the appearance of water, they should stay out. They should ensure that children and pets do not swim in or drink water with an algae bloom.

Not all blue-green algae outbreaks have heavy surface scum.  People should avoid conditions when water is opaque and green like this seen in Lake Monona in 2015.
Not all blue-green algae outbreaks have heavy surface scum. People should avoid conditions when water is opaque and green like this seen in Lake Monona in 2015.
Photo Credit: DNR photo by Gina LaLiberte

"A good rule for identifying risk from blue-green algae is that if adults are in knee-deep water and can see their feet clearly, the risk of illness is low to moderate, but it's still a good idea to avoid swallowing water that could contain other bacteria and pathogens," LaLiberte said. "When you can't see your feet, keep children and dogs out of the water and consider having the whole family pursue another activity that day."

People are also encouraged to help out by reporting potential algae-related illnesses in both people and animals to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services by filling out an online questionnaire [ ] (exit DNR) or calling 608-266-1120.

Animals have a higher risk of dying after exposure to blue-green algal toxins because they are smaller in size and may ingest large amounts of toxins from drinking lake, pond, or river water or licking algae from their coat. Symptoms in dogs can include lethargy, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea or even seizures. If your animal shows any of these symptoms contact your veterinarian immediately.

Blooms tend to grow when there is a lot of sunlight, water temperatures are high, and there is little wind. The blooms peak from July to September.

While not all cyanobacteria produce toxins, the presence of blue-green algae blooms in lakes, ponds or rivers may indicate a potential health hazard, LaLiberte said.

Blue green algae chat July 12 at noon

DNR will host an online blue-green algae chat July 12 at noon. Participants can log on and ask a panel of experts from DNR and the DHS questions about blue-green algae and ways to stay safe this summer when spending time on the water. To participate, visit the DNR home page,, and click on the graphic or search the phrase "ask the experts." You can also join the conversation via our Facebook page at and clicking the "Ask the Experts Chat" tab at the top of the page.

More information is available by searching the DNR website for "blue-green algae."



Grants available to help communities develop, manage urban forests

Contact(s): Suzann DaWalt, DNR urban forestry financing specialist,, 715-453-2188 extension 1267; Jennifer Sereno, DNR communications,; 608-770-8084

MADISON, Wis. -- Wisconsin cities, towns, villages, counties, tribal governments and nonprofit organizations can now apply for financial help for urban forestry projects from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Urban Forestry Grant program.

The grants support new, innovative projects that will develop and maintain urban and community forestry programs, said Suzann DaWalt, DNR urban forestry financing specialist. The application process is open now and the deadline to apply is Oct. 1.

"The grant period has been expanded by one month to allow applicants additional time to obtain an authorizing resolution from a governing body," DaWalt said, adding those resolutions must be submitted by the application deadline for the application to be eligible for ranking. "The ranking is based on project outcomes, in other words, the benefits created by the urban forestry project."

Well-developed applications will align with one or more of the following DNR urban forestry program goals:

Other 2017 funding priorities include:

As part of the current funding period, the urban forestry program will also fund smaller startup grants for communities that want to start an urban forestry program, or resume an inactive one.

"A competitive startup project should focus on initial steps needed to develop a community urban forestry program, with a long term goal of that program being sustainable," DaWalt said. "Initial steps could include conducting a tree inventory, developing a management plan or establishing an ordinance related to the community's urban trees."

Applications and additional information can be found by searching the DNR website, for keyword: "UF grant." Projects are to be completed between Jan. 1, 2017 and Dec. 31, 2017. Additional information on urban and community forestry and assistance with urban forestry grants is available through local urban forestry coordinators.


Read more: Previous Weekly News

Last Revised: Tuesday, July 05, 2016

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