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At Schlitz Audubon, we have a comprehensive and dynamic Conservation Plan to create a more biologically and visually diverse landscape. Our conservation philosophy takes inspiration from the land ethic of Wisconsin ecologist and writer Aldo Leopold, “A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.”
The strategies and projects within our Conservation Plan are weighed against four main goals: to maximize floristic quality, enhance ecosystem services, protect and restore populations of greatest conservation need, and to support the Center’s mission. We also use these goals to develop and adapt our overall conservation strategy.
Maximize Floristic Quality
Floristic quality is an assessment of a natural area’s ecological integrity based on its plants. We strategically plant native plants that offer benefits to the plants and animals that surround them, and which are resilient within their location and our climate.
Enhance Ecosystem Services
Ecosystem services are the benefits that a piece of land offers people. Our ecosystem provides a host of services, including stormwater mitigation, carbon cycling, and oxygen production, habitat for pollinators, and of course a beautiful haven for exploration and discovery.
Protect and Restore Wildlife Populations of Greatest Conservation Need
In an urban environment, habitat fragmentation is a problem that confronts many native and migratory species. Reptiles, amphibians, fish, birds, and mammal populations have plummeted since settlement. We tailor our habitat to create homes for the most vulnerable of these animals.
Support the Center’s Mission and Vision
Schlitz Audubon conserves our land’s diverse habitats on Lake Michigan and provides meaningful experiences and environmental education for all. These 185 acres are the premier location to experience plants, animals, and seasonal cycles. We are continually finding new ways to share it with the Greater Milwaukee community.
When we consider which conservation projects to undertake, we measure them against these goals, pursuing the greatest overall return on our investment of time and resources spent improving the land. Efforts that accrue the highest overall rating become the Center’s paramount conservation priorities. Through this scientific process, we restore these 185 acres into a more visually stunning and biotically diverse ecosystem to support native and migratory wildlife. This is how we embrace our conservation ethic.