All visitors to Schlitz Audubon experience the wonder of engaging with nature. Key to that experience is our land’s 185 acres of high-quality habitats, 31 of which are among the highest in the region. Our team of conservation staff and volunteers works throughout the seasons to preserve, restore, and create rich landscapes, conserving habitats where people can observe abundant wildlife up close, making them available to people of all abilities.
Habitat Restoration and Preservation
With generous support from donors, we restore habitats through strategic removal of invasive species and ash trees, followed by dedicated planting to increase biotic quality. As a part of our Hardwood Swamp restoration, we planted 25,000 seedlings, shrubs, and trees to restore a vital, endangered habitat. With a recent expansion of the project to the corner of Brown Deer Road and Lake Drive, visitors will soon be welcomed with a stunning view of native wildflowers and a lush green forest.
We strive to preserve our beautiful acreage all year long, which is a haven for 261 species of birds, including migrants and year-long residents. Preserving and restoring habitats creates vital breeding and nesting grounds for these birds, including 20 birds of greatest conservation need. Our visitors witness the wonders of spring migration, connecting with this grand annual cycle in habitats that support species who rely on the Center as a stopover site. People forge relationships all year long with bird species who nest, rest during spring and fall migration, and live here as winter residents.
Key to our preservation efforts is the work of our volunteer land stewards, who clear invasive species, encouraging the repopulation of vital native plants. Our conservation work is truly a community effort, with staff, volunteers, and people who join as members all experiencing the wonders of the natural world from numerous vantage points.
New Boardwalks and Accessible Trails
An exciting new addition to the Center is our rain garden boardwalk, east of the Visitor Center. People can traverse this glorious garden of marsh marigold, blue flag iris, cardinal flower, and more, before hiking north towards our Central Wetlands Loop.
On the nearly two miles of accessible trails at the heart of our property, visitors of all abilities observe a variety of wildlife. Molly’s Pond and Dragonfly Pond, two newer wetlands created as a part of our ravine restoration, are essential for breeding salamanders, frogs, and toads. The accessible trails are also home to bird-friendly tree species, such as bur oak, hackberry, and sugar maple, making bird watching here a rewarding endeavor.
With donor support, the committed conservation of our land provides wildlife with healthy habitats, allowing visitors to see numerous species in a stunning, biotically diverse ecosystem.