Conservation easements on private lands resulted in the protection of 933 acres and partnerships have protected another 121 acres. The Waukesha County Land Conservancy has 40 preserves that are open to the public, encompassing over 1,960 acres! We encourage you and your family and friends to explore these places.
We've listed a few of our preserves which can be accessed by the public below:
Home to one of the rarest native communities globally, Eagle Centre Prairie was protected in 2002. Once covering over five million acres in Wisconsin, less than 1% of oak savanna and oak woodland remains. The Waukesha County Land Conservancy maintains and restores Eagle Centre Prairie by employing brush removal techniques and prescribed fires. These practices keep the protected bur oak tree openings from being overrun by shrubs and saplings. Within the fragile landscape are the state-threatened kitten tails in abundance with many other plant species, such as the pasque-flower, prairie smoke, and lupine.
Geigner Woods is a 20-acre preserve located along the Fox River southwest of Big Bend, Wisconsin. It is a segment of the 427-acre Big Bend Wet Mesic Woods. Obtained in 1999 by the Waukesha County Land Conservancy, the majority of the preserve is composed of wet mesic woods and wetlands.
Langer Nature Preserve, located in Summit and owned by Waukesha County Land Conservancy, is a 10-acre wetland with forest in the northwest corner that provides habitat for waterfowl and various fish species. The wetland on the preserve provides pristine breeding habitat for the state-endangered black tern. Loss of marsh habitat is a factor that has caused a decrease in the presence of these birds mainly because this loss strains breeding capabilities.
Marsh Hawk is a 9-acre preserve in Pewaukee, WI composed primarily of upland and wetland habitat. It is located in the upper Fox River watershed and acts as critical habitat for migrating bird species and herptiles.
In the city of Oconomowoc, the 28-acre Mud Lake Preserve was acquired by the Waukesha County Land Conservancy in 2003. The 5-acre lake drains into a tributary that leads to the Oconomowoc River. Shrub-carr and lowland hardwoods cover the wetland community and provide excellent wildlife habitat. Some uncommon plants includesmall tamarack relict are yellow birch, northern bog orchid, and wood reedgrass. The wetland community protects the water quality where a state-threatened fish species, the slender madtom (a catfish relative), resides. The boardwalk on the preserve renders it a convenient site for nature study, research, and environmental education.
in the northern kettle of Nagawicka Lake, the three properties that make up the
13.35-acre Nagawicka Kettle Bog were purchased in 1997 by the Waukesha County Land Conservancy. In addition
to the bog, there is an upland oak forest that includes the uncommon nodding trillium.
This 20 acre site in New Berlin is a good mixed forest, with sugar maples, a very large hackberry tree, and a ground layer of wildflowers including Jack-in-the-pulpit and wild geranium.
Designated as a “Significant Natural Area,” the 350-acre Ottawa Wildlife Refuge provides a critical link in the same corridor containing Scuppernong Creek Preserve and Nelson’s Woods, two other Waukesha County Land Conservancy sites. The Ottawa Wildlife Refuge provides feeding and nesting habitat for several uncommon woodland bird species including the Veery, the Nashville warbler, the blue-gray gnatcatcher and northern water thrush. Geologically significant also, the refuge has numerous oval drumlin hills. Over half of the preserve was once the bottom of a large, shallow glacial lake, now a thriving wetland.