Summer is in full splendor, and our trails, ponds, and skies are teeming with life that swims, flies, and scurries. Each visit to the Center provides a unique weekend nature experience depending on temperature, rainfall, migratory patterns, and a host of other factors in the natural world.
At Schlitz Audubon, we’re always developing new ways to improve, expand upon, or reinvigorate the experience you have when coming here. After our Welcome Booth opened in the summer of 2017, we began to imagine ways people could have additional interactive experiences.
Nature Ambassador Hikes
Now, every Saturday and Sunday, at 11:00am and 2:00pm, you can join an all-ages hike. These hikes are included in the price of admission or membership. Each weekend hike is led by either a staff Naturalist or Nature Ambassador, and is unique to their individual observational skills.
Jeff Gilardi, our Weekend Naturalist, earned his Biology PhD with a focus on insects, and is an avid nature photographer. He helps guide a weekend volunteer group called Nature Ambassadors. Many of the weekend Nature Ambassadors are graduates of the Wisconsin Master Naturalist program, and each has their own interest in the natural world. Some of the Ambassadors are avid birdwatchers, while others focus on prairie plants, and some specialize in aquatic pond life. The guided hikes are also tailored to the interests and demographics each group of visitors.
Throughout the day, inside the Great Hall, weekend Nature Ambassadors introduce people of all ages to our various Animal Ambassadors. You may meet a Blue-tongued Skink named Grover, Boxy the Box Turtle, one of our other resident reptiles or amphibians.
Meet Raptors Every Weekend
Before you attend the 2:00pm hike, stop by to interact with our Raptors during Word with a Bird from 1:00pm – 2:00pm. Each Saturday and Sunday, Raptor Volunteers bring a bird or two to the main building to educate all ages about the unique animal perched on their glove. Word with a Bird is a great way to have an up-close encounter with animals that can be elusive in the wild. Seeing and observing one up close can help your spotting skills when you’re out on the trails.