A remarkable example of habitat transformation is providing a welcome and stunning visual change at… Read Story >
Current Conservation Projects
We’re busy at Schlitz Audubon restoring the land and improving visitor experience. Visit this page to stay updated on current conservation projects.
Lake Drive & Brown Deer Road Project: Hardwood Swamp Phase 2
A remarkable example of habitat transformation is providing a welcome and stunning visual change at Lake Drive and Brown Deer Road. A beautiful open mix of wetland and meadow now greets all visitors to the Center thanks to removal of the dead and dying ash trees, buckthorn and other invasive plants that had overtaken this corner of the property. Continuing restoration will further enhance the ecological significance of this habitat as it evolves into a vibrant and diverse hardwood swamp.
Thanks to a grant from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, this project expands upon hardwood swamp restoration work undertaken in an adjacent project area from 2020-2022. A rare habitat type, our extended hardwood swamp will fill an important ecological niche for a variety of plant, bird, and animal species that rely upon such specialized habitat for survival.
Watch Our Progress!
The current phase of the Hardwood Swamp Project will extend through 2024.
- Winter 2022-2023: Buckthorn and other invasive brush cutting
- Spring 2023: Removal of 80% ash (20% to remain as wildlife habitat), and clearing of woody debris to make space for planting
- Fall 2023: Native tree and shrub planting
- Summer / Fall 2024: Native herbaceous seedling planting
Central Wetlands Loop: Accessible Trail Project
The Central Wetlands Loop is at the heart of the Schlitz Audubon trail experience. This large trail loop is easy to find and simple to navigate, facilitating awe-inspiring outdoor experiences and plentiful educational opportunities.
About 75% of the one-mile Central Wetlands Loop is currently accessible to people using wheelchairs or other mobility devices. Over the next year, we will continue conversion of the remaining unimproved trail segments into either a crushed limestone or boardwalk surface to ensure that they can be used by all.
By transitioning to paths that follow ADA guidelines, we are replacing the existing rustic natural trail with clean, raised surfaces that will allow people who use wheelchairs or walking aids to safely explore the entirety of the Central Wetlands Loop. Converting these crucial trail segments will also greatly reduce soil compaction to create healthier habitats and allow all Center visitors to easily observe the native plants, pollinators, and animals that thrive along this trail.