Most likely Frontenac State Park wouldn’t exist had it not been for this Association. The group was formed by influential local citizens who rallied around the idea that a state park would be a boon to the local economy. To kickstart the effort, in the 1950s members bought land with the intent of creating the park; and lo and behold it worked.
Today, the Association continues to support the park. While membership has ebbed and flowed through the years, the current roster of about 20 folks are a continual presence in the park.
Last year the group worked hand-in-hand with the assistant manager to plan and deliver monthly educational programs. They included a talk by arctic explorer Will Steger, a family festival with local artists, prairie seed collections and a candlelight ski/hike event that saw 300 people attend last January. “One volunteer spent the whole month of December making ice candles for the event,” said Kiki Sonnen, the Association’s secretary. “Another year we had volunteers out relighting the candles all night because it was so windy,” she laughs.
But with recent changes in park staff and declining volunteers, Sonnen expects the Association to support few events. The new direction is yet to be determined, but Sonnen says the group is energized by Parks & Trails Council’s recent acquisition for the park and expects renewed momentum for the group’s mission.