John Nolen drafts a plan for a state park system in 1909
State Parks for Wisconsin
The desire to protect and conserve natural resources and landscapes led many states to begin setting aside land for state parks in the late nineteenth century. In Wisconsin, the creation of a state park required legislative action. The legislature had approved the establishment of Wisconsin's first state park in 1878, a 760-square mile park in northern Wisconsin called "The State Park." The First State Park Board was appointed in 1909 to investigate and make recommendations for the development of a state park system. Noted landscape architect John Nolen was hired to draft the plan. His report, published by the State Park Board, provided guidelines and recommended four sites for inclusion in Wisconsin's first state park system.