New Publication: The Nature of Peninsula State Park

Friends of Peninsula State Park (FPSP) are pleased to announce the publication of The Nature of Peninsula: A Park Ecology Sampler.

The 90-page book, with color photographs, features essays by field specialists including Roy and Charlotte Lukes, Scott Craven, Tom Blackwood, and several DNR staff. After recouping printing costs, remaining proceeds will be reinvested into future Peninsula educational publications.

Topics vary from bats and white-nose syndrome, to fireflies, to wildflowers. “In recent years, several people authored books about park history,” said Kathleen Harris, Peninsula State Park Naturalist.  “This is the first title ever to focus exclusively on Peninsula’s natural heritage. Peninsula protects Wisconsin’s largest contiguous tract of the Niagara Escarpment. It includes two state natural areas and eight miles of mostly undeveloped shore. Helping visitors and decision-makers understand that the park is irreplaceable is the purpose of this publication.”

A painting by nationally known artist Charles Peterson graces the cover. The scene – ravens at Sven’s Bluff, with a ribbon of shoreline in the distance – is easily recongized. Peterson donated use of the image, and all contributors donated their time and talent towards the project. A few essays are cutting edge, addressing DNR issues like beech bark disease and the native wasp that preys on emerald ash borer. Others are a lighter fare. Nature Center volunteer Wendy Nelson penned a piece about fireflies, and former summer naturalist Nick Meiers wrote of the 2008 discovery of an endangered snake by Gibraltar second graders.

The Nature of Peninsula is an excellent example of the way FPSP supports the educational efforts of Peninsula State Park and the DNR.

Order your copy

Mail orders are available. Please contact Naturalist Kathleen Harris by calling (920) 854-5976 or emailing

Two packages are available for mail order:

  • Order your copy of The Nature of Peninsula State Park for $10.00, including shipping and handling.
  • Order The Nature of Peninsula State Park + Centennial Reader for $12.00 (including shipping and handling). You will receive The Nature of Peninsula State Park, as well as the Centennial Reader, a collection of stories from Peninsula’s 100 years. The Centennial Reader was released during the park’s 2009 Centennial and retails for $5.

The Nature of Peninsula State Park may also be purchased at Peninsula State Park Headquarters and Nature Center for $7.50.