Our mission is support the WDNR in operating and maintaining Rock Island State Park
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FORI Annual Picnic  

The fundraiser event held on Saturday, July 6th, 2019 was an amazing success!  Plan on joining us next summer and be sure to book your campsites early at the new State Parks reservation site:


The picnic offered the annual meal deal on brats, burgers or hotdogs that included a sandwich, chips, a beverage and dessert for $6.  Big thanks to Target and Costco for donating gift cards with which we purchased supplies for the picnic.


The silent auction in the Boathouse nearly sold out!  Incredible offerings were contributed by our wonderful donors:   Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Brewers, Bayshore Outfitters, Becky Zastrow, Candlelight Manor, Christine Anderson, Colleen Andrews & Rick Simmons, Cyndi Lucia, Donna Soellner, Door County Coffee & Tea, Island Style, Jacksonport Cottage, Jeanell Dailey, Jim Johnston, Kaupstadur Gift Shop, Kraco Photography, Marianne Zastrow, Mary Phair, Melanie Mailand, Milwaukee Admirals, Milwaukee Brewers, Nicolet Bank, Peninsula Pulse, Sharon Wolf, Siever's Fiber Arts School, St. Norbert College, Stone's Throw Winery, Summerwind Alpaca, Sweetie Pies, The Jacoby's, The Oilerie - Fish Creek, Vicki Auble-Simpson and the Washington Island Rec Center.


Face painting for the youngsters by Sabrina Zerhouni and her mother as well as flute music in the Boathouse all afternoon by Jim Morris of Washington Island added to the festivities.


Because it was FORI's 25th anniversary, cake was served in the afternoon to everyone that stuck around to watch the finish of the Silent Auction and the picnic. 


To top off the anniversary celebration, the FORI Board and Rock Island State Park Manager and their guests took an exciting sunset cruise on the Karfi to see the Pottawatomie Lighthouse from the water.  Beverages and sweets were served onboard.  Colleen Andrews presented a short history of the Friends of Rock Island organization and distributed a brochure that highlighted what FORI has done for the park in the last 25 years.  Click here to see the brochure.


Mailorder Merchandise Available

You can now order new park stickers, magnets and patches by mailorder.   Complete the order form here and mail it with your check to Jim Johnston.

There are 7 new vinyl stickers, 2 new wooden magnets and an embroidered patch that are available to purchase this way.


Volunteer Opportunities

If you are interested in volunteering for 2020 as a Lighthouse Docent or Camp Host, Click here to download a Volunteer Application.  Everyone is encouraged to apply, even if you have applied before and were not selected.  Please reapply every year for our volunteer opportunities.

See Lighthouse docent duties by clicking here.  A FORI committee selects the Lighthouse Docent volunteers from applications received by the end of each year (December 31st is the application deadline).  Lighthouse Docent selections for the upcoming park season are announced in early spring.

Camp host duties include meeting the ferry to welcome visitors and campers to the island, selling firewood daily and inspecting the campground each evening along with other duties requested by the park manager.   Camp Host volunteers are selected by the park manager prior to each park season.  


Cell Phone Service on Rock Island

Cell service works well on Cellcom and U.S. Cellular phones.  Service from other providers such as Verizon, Consumer Cellular,and Sprint is available in some areas of the island as well.  Most other providers do not offer service on Rock Island.  Please plan for this when you visit the park.

Stairs to Lake on North End of Rock Island Remain Closed

Until further notice, the stairway down to the lake from the cliff edge below the Lighthouse is closed.  The base of the stairs was washed away by strong spring wave action and is no longer stable for use.  Please be careful and stay off of the stairway until a repair can be done.  FORI is working with the DNR to get quotes on fixing the stairs and hope to have the project underway in the near future.

Woodlot News

During the 2019 park season, firewood will be available for $6 per bundle at the Contact Station when you check in and later in the afternoon at the Woodlot.  There is a 3-bundle daily limit in 2019.  Cash only.  The new firewood is kiln dried and packed in bundles with handles.  It should be very good quality and more convenient for moving to your campsite.

  Woodlot Roof 2017


Pottawatomie Lighthouse is Wisconsin's Oldest Lighthouse!

The Lightstation on the north end of Rock Island is the oldest lighthouse in Wisconsin.  It has been restored as a live-in museum to what it was in its 1910 era.  Docents live in the lighthouse from Memorial Day weekend through Columbus Day each year, giving tours from 10am-4pm daily.  Tours include a visit to the lantern room to see the replica of the 4th Order Fresnel lens and to look north to St. Martin's Island in Michigan and northwest to Escanaba and the Upper Michigan Garden Peninsula.  Pottawatomie Lighthouse is a 2-flat with living quarters for the Head Keeper on the main floor and for the Assistant Keeper and his family on the second floor.  One unique feature of this lighthouse is that every room has a large closet which was very uncommon for homes built in 1858.  Besides tours, the museum has a gift shop with Rock Island and Lighthouse clothing and souvenirs.  Donations for tours are gratefully accepted in the Summer Kitchen.  


Other News:  See our News page for information on the In Wisconsin TV segments featuring Rock Island State Park and the Pottawatomie Lighthouse