2023-2027 Strategic Plan | On Kinship & Nature
Schlitz Audubon Nature Center has been a gem in the community for over five decades. Our 185-acre Center is home to lush and diverse habitats that visitors explore through six miles of trails, one mile of which is wheelchair accessible. As the 17th most visited attraction in the Greater Milwaukee area, we welcome nearly 160,000 visitors each year who hike our trails or participate in the hundreds of rich and interactive programs that we offer. We strive to foster a welcoming culture so that people of all backgrounds and interest levels may experience the joy of nature.
Beginning in early 2022, we launched a comprehensive strategic planning process. Through a variety of means, we identified the objectives and goals which would continue to advance our mission over the timeframe of this plan. With these goals vividly in mind, we crafted a plan that will enrich the academic and cultural pillars of the Center, as well as improve important physical spaces at the Center.
Strategic Priorities of the Center
1. The Visitor Experience | Creating Diverse Connections with Nature
The Visitor Experience resides at the very heart of Schlitz Audubon and matters deeply because it creates and sustains the critical relationship that people have with the natural world. In its most fundamental objective it brings joy, solace, and inspiration to people, which is central to our mission and the foundation of conservation and education.
Over the course of the next five years, we will expand and enrich the visitor experience through interesting and immersive educational programs. Through increased promotion, our programs will reach new audiences as it relates to appreciating and stewarding nature. We will create more inspiring programs and events filled with the wonder and beauty of nature. Our reimagined Great Hall and trail enhancements will provide a deeper connection to existing and new areas of the Center.
2. Welcoming Everyone | Accessibility, Diversity, and Nature for All
Schlitz Audubon welcomes all members of the community to enjoy the beauty and benefit from its many well-documented benefits. The Center deeply believes that diverse populations and the means to accessibility must be a part of our culture.
Over the course of the next five years, we will implement a diversity plan created by a newly developed task force. The plan will be designed to measurably increase representation from populations across the region who are currently underrepresented in our membership, staff, volunteers, and board of directors.
3. Conservation | Caring for the Land
Conservation is primary to the mission of Schlitz Audubon because it expresses the deep regard we have for the land in its purest and healthiest state. Our approach will once again consider the land one hundred years hence, and we will subsequently work in a variety of ways to continually improve the land’s stability, sustainability, biotic diversity, and beauty.
Predicated upon baseline analysis and on-going stand assessments, we will improve and protect habitat quality through invasive species removal, restoration of native vegetation, and stormwater mitigation. Our goal is to create high integrity and harmonious habitats that evoke a sense of wonder among visitors while also nurturing a variety of vegetation and wildlife.
4. Education | Creating Enriching Experiences for the Community
Environmental Education is the foundation of all that we do and aspire to be at Schlitz Audubon. Meaningful educational experiences deepen our relationship with nature and open our eyes to the beauty, intricacy, and interconnectedness of the natural world. Our educational philosophy holds that everyone can learn and grow throughout their lives. We believe that with more scientific understanding, people may make better informed decisions on behalf of environmental conservation.
Over the course of the next five years, we will introduce a more sophisticated educational structure; this will include online learning formats and interactive, outcome-based curricula. We will build partnerships with a variety of new audiences in a manner that encourages kinship with nature.
We will post updates as we make progress on this plan. Read the summary of results from our previous five year plan, Trails to Innovation.