Project update: construction begins for accessible amphitheater on Stockton Island

Sparks are flying in Madison Wisconsin, where crews are now building the framework for the new, universally accessible amphitheater to be installed on Stockton Island this summer.

The new raised-deck amphitheater is funded by $55,000 in grants and private contributions to Friends of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. The tubular structural steel framework with wooden decking will replace the aging benches and fire ring now located on a gentle, wooded hillside near the Presque Isle Bay Dock and other National Park Service facilities.

The amphitheater is used for programs for park visitors and for middle school students attending the residential Island School programs. It’s a short distance away from an the Presque Isle Bay campsites, one of which is fully accessible with a raised platform and boardwalk access.

Workers at the Wickcraft Company in Madison are cutting, drilling and welding the support structure for the wooden deck. The steel components will be galvanized to provide decades of service; they’re guaranteed for century. The structure now being fabricated in Madison will be transported by boat to Stockton Island and assembled later this summer.

When completed, the project will enable visitors in wheelchairs, using walkers or with mobility issues to move from the dock or already accessible campsite up to the contact station and on to the amphitheater.

This much-needed project fits within the Friends core commitment to removing barriers for people of all abilities to explore the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. It the first of several big projects planned according to the Park’s 2012 Accessibility Self-Evaluation and Transition Plan. 

Friends plans to do fundraising for the benches in 2021. We appreciate those who donate with purpose and passion, often with specific personal connections in mind. I’d like to help.

This project is also made possible by a funding award from the National Park Service and Outdoor Foundation. In addition: Funded by the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Office for Coastal Management under the Coastal Zone Management Act, Grant #NA17NOS4190035.

Stay tuned. We will share updates on this wonderful project as the work continues..

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