Students hope to help Big Foot Beach State Park
“People don’t realize they have that so close,” said senior Corrine Chaplo.
That’s why the senior leadership class targeted the park for a facelift as its annual service project.
The class met with park manager Anne Korman to determine what improvements could be made to Big Foot Beach State Park to make it more attractive to the community.
She took the students on a walking tour of the park and pointed out things on her “wish list.”
The students whittled down Korman’s list and chose items they believe are within their realm of possibility—“little things we can do to make (the park) nicer,” said senior Rachel Karnes.
The slated improvements include replacing fire rings and grills, staining picnic tables, painting bathrooms, building a garbage and recycling center and installing a new sign.
The students have budgeted $20,000 for the project, every penny of which they need to raise before anything can happen at the park.
They’ve joined forces with Sarah Schuster, who’s a member of the Friends of Big Foot Beach State Park group and owner of Clear Water Outdoor downtown.
“She’s really passionate about (the park),” said senior Alexandra Shanahan.
Schuster proposed the idea of hosting an environmental film festival as a fund-raiser for the project.
She learned about the festival at an outdoor retailers show in August and was interested in bringing it to Lake Geneva. And when she learned about the senior leadership class project, she thought it would be the perfect partnership.
“I knew I wanted to it with the kids,” Schuster said.
The film festival is just one of many ways the students are raising money for the project.
Korman said the students’ goals are lofty, but they’re motivated to take ownership of the park.
“They don’t see the same kind of obstacles and roadblocks other people see,” she said.
“I don’t think they’re going to let anything stop them.”
The improvements the students make will improve the community’s first impression of the park, Korman said of what now includes a chain-link fence and an aging sign.
She anticipates the students’ efforts will draw more people into Big Foot Beach State Park.
“Part of us will always be with the community,” Chaplo said.