MADISON -- A new accessible fishing pier will be constructed at Peninsula State Park, thanks to a $25,000 donation the state Natural Resources Board accepted at its April 9 meeting in Madison.
The Alan Rheinschmidt Memorial Fund donated the $25,000, which will fund an accessible fishing pier at the Nicolet Bay boat launch area at Peninsula State Park.
Rheinschmidt, of Mosinee, passed away in December 2013. He was an avid outdoorsman, whose "passions were hunting and fishing," according to his obituary. He worked for 30 years at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.
"This generous donation bequeathed by Mr. Rheinshmidt will assure that his passion for Wisconsin's outdoors and Wisconsin's state parks will be shared with generations to come," said Department of Natural Resources Secretary Cathy Stepp.
Rheinschmidt was also a strong supporter of Disable Veterans and Special Olympics, and his donation will assist the department in its mission of opening the outdoors to people with disabilities, Stepp said.
This is not the first significant contribution Rheinshmidt has made to the State of Wisconsin. In 2003, seven years after his retirement from UW-Green Bay he donated $30,000 to the university to be used by the chancellor at his discretion to address institutional needs. He agreed then to allow his gift to be publicized saying: "As long as I had the opportunity to give a little, I would. I hope it inspires others to do the same."
The new accessible fishing pier will be placed at the end of the new breakwall extension located at Nicolet Bay. The donation will allow for the construction of the accessible fishing pier and potentially an accessible kayak to be available for public use at Peninsula State Park.
This will provide additional opportunity for fishing at Nicolet Bay and separate anglers from the heavily used boat launch. Day users and campers will benefit from this designated fishing pier and it will provide an opportunity for additional educational opportunities.