Since 1992 the Waukesha Land Conservancy has nearly 2,900 acres protected permanently in Waukesha County.
Conservation easements on private lands have resulted in the protection of
698 acres and partnerships have protected another 121 acres.
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 WCLC 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.
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.