Nature is Open for Business

The Waukesha County Land Conservancy has been monitoring the COVID-19 crisis closely, and one thing has remained at the forefront of our thinking: the health and well-being of our community is our top priority.

More than ever, we’ve realized the importance of having healthy, protected natural areas that we are able to enjoy and be connected to. Our job at Waukesha County Land Conservancy is to protect and care for the land and water here in Waukesha County for current generations and generations yet to come – creating clean air, clean water, and unique ecosystems to explore. WCLC staff are now performing fieldwork and are working remotely. Meetings and events through May 26 have been moved to a virtual platform or are postponed until further notice. Workdays will still take place on a shift basis (more information below). Please watch out for updates on social media or our events calendar on our website.

We have 40 preserves that are open to the public! If you are able to practice social distancing, now is a great time to head out to a preserve to experience the health benefits of nature. From the colors and songs of migrating birds to the beautiful blooming spring wildflowers, there is so much to discover. Click here for a map of our public preserves.

Our ability to pull together as a community is what will get us through this difficult time. We hope to see you in the field soon!

the team at WCLC
Annual Meeting Successes
Thank You to All in Attendance

Our Annual Meeting on March 11 was a huge success thanks to you! Our supportive community helped us raise close to $27,000 to continue our mission of protecting and caring for environmentally significant land and water in Waukesha County for future generations. 

We learned more about citizen science across Wisconsin with our dynamic keynote speaker, Julia Robson. We also heard from WCLC president, Steven Schmuki, and Laudato SI’ Project Executive Director, Joe Meyer, about potential partnership opportunities in the future.

The Annual Meeting was a wonderful opportunity to celebrate all of the successes we have reached together . We hope for many more successes as we continue to strive towards our significant goals for this year. Thank you for your involvement in our efforts. We look forward with great anticipation to our continued partnership throughout 2020!

Click here to view photos from the event by our wonderful volunteer photographer, Kim Belton. 
Limited Edition Waukesha County Land Conservancy Scarves

If you were unable to make it to our 2020 Annual Meeting, you didn't have the chance to get yourself one of the limited edition Waukesha County Land Conservancy scarves this year. These scarves will not be printed again, but we have good news! There is still time to secure a limited edition scarf with a donation of $100 or more. When we receive your donation, we will mail you your new swag.

Your donation will support our organizational capacity, restoration efforts, educational activities, and other urgent projects in fulfilling our mission.

Make a donation today  to receive yours before they run out!
Wetland Restoration Underway
Water, Wildlife, & Native Plants Returning

The Davis Preserve In-Lieu Fee Wetland Restoration project is now entering into Phase 3 – Maintenance and Monitoring. 2020 hydrology monitoring has begun, and based on an analysis of our 2019 hydrology data, the site is responding well to last year’s construction and is headed towards becoming a healthy wetland.

The rock spill way was constructed and areas along the Mukwonago River have been forestry mowed to remove large stands of buckthorn and honeysuckle. The site has also been seeded with native wetland plants, and shrubs will be planted near the river. Our invasive species monitoring and control will continue through this year.

During our most recent visit, there were chorus frogs singing and birds chirping on every corner of the preserve! This is a promising sign that native wildlife is returning to this crucial habitat. 
Community-Based Conservation
Wildlife Monitoring on WCLC Preserves 

Our Wildlife Monitoring program enlists citizen science volunteers to conduct wildlife and plant community surveys, identify important species, and monitor populations of herptiles, birds, mammals and plant communities to better understand our preserves and to guide our land management activities.

Collecting data will help determine property priorities, restoration plans, and evaluate the effects of land stewardship on wildlife habitat and species populations.

This summer, we will conduct surveys on two more species: bumble bees and bats. Bumble bee surveys will occur on our Ottawa Wildlife Refuge, a potential home to the endangered Rusty-patched bumble bee. Bat surveys will be held on our Nelson’s Woods Preserve. All training and data collection will take place during the months of June, July, and August – with bat monitoring scheduled around dusk.
Bumble Bee Monitoring Dates:

  • June 22 – 28
  • July 20 – 26
  • August 24 – 30

Citizen scientists will attend one training with WCLC staff, and then have the ability to collect data on Ottawa Wildlife Refuge as many days as possible within the scheduled weeks listed above.
Bat Monitoring Dates:

  • June 19
  • July 29
  • August 14

Citizen Scientists can attend any or all of the scheduled dates and will be led by WCLC staff at our Nelson’s Woods property to discover the bat species that may be living there.
The Importance of Bumble Bees
in our Landscape
The What & Why of Collecting Data

Bumble bees are prime pollinators of wildflowers and the most dominant pollinator of many economically important crops and native plants in Wisconsin. They are also one of the most identifiable guests that frequent our gardens, yards, prairies and wildflower patches, contributing to the pollination system by sustaining productive growth of commercial crops and maintaining healthy ecosystems. Of the 240 species of bumble bee on Earth, Wisconsin is home to 20 of those.

Sadly, several of the species that occur in Wisconsin and the Midwest have undergone a decline in numbers, and there have been dramatic decreases in many geographic ranges across the world. Climate change, habitat loss and pesticides are some of the potential causes of the bumble bee’s population decline. To promote a bee-friendly environment, providing a stable and plentiful supply of flowers from early spring through late fall can assist in their active foraging. Leaving unmown, undisturbed areas of land can equip the bumble bee with a habitat perfect for nesting. Assembling a bumble bee-friendly environment is the first step in our efforts to serve the magnificent bumble bee!  
Become a Land Steward this Spring
Workday Calendar + COVID-19

Workdays are one of the main ways volunteers help us steward some of the most untouched lands in Waukesha County. Our Spring workdays occur in May and June at various properties across the county.

First and foremost, your health is our top priority. While we can't gather as a group until further notice, we still have work to do, and  we still need your help! 

We have six workdays scheduled on four different preserves during the month of May, and we want you to come out and help us steward the land we all love while participating in our restoration efforts and this year's Garlic Mustard Pull-A-Thon! 

We will be holding workdays in shifts, so that you can come out on your own or with those in your household to volunteer and make a difference in conservation.  

Click here to sign up for a volunteer shift,  and we will send you an online training video and more information about your volunteer shift as the date approaches. Shifts are being filled on a first-come-first-filled basis. Thank you to those who have already signed up!
Creating a Legacy with Planned Giving
Let's Act Together

Planned gifts, bequests, or a donation from your estate will help ensure that the land, water, and wildlife you've cared about and supported your whole life are preserved even after you're gone. 

By including us in your lifetime vision, you will become a part of an exclusive group of donors whose support is vital to the Waukesha County Land Conservancy.

Thoughtful planning can:
  • Provide major tax savings for you starting today
  • Ensure the financial security for your family in the future
  • Create substantial benefits for the Waukesha County Land Conservancy's mission

Click here to visit our website, and learn more about your options today.
Conservation Options for Landowners
Protect the land you love

Protecting your land for future generations can be deeply meaningful. It’s also a big decision. If you have ever considered wanting to protect your land, but are unsure on where to start, please reach out to us .

We are happy to discuss conservation and stewardship options that may be available for your property. We look forward to hearing from you soon!
Make a Difference Today
Be Part of the Change

Do you want to get involved and make an impact in our work?

There are many ways you can help us fulfill our mission of protecting and caring for environmentally significant land and water in Waukesha County for future generations: