Spring is upon us
Dear friends,

As winter slowly comes to an end, we will soon be met by spring wildflowers, migrating birds, and warmer temperatures.

WCLC staff, board, and committee members have been hard at work this winter planning spring and summer workdays, the upcoming 2021 Annual Meeting, and where WCLC's land and water protection work will focus this year.

Some of our favorite parts of welcoming a new season are the spring ephemerals that begin blooming from the newly thawed soil. They show themselves for only a short time and leave before the prime growing conditions in the summer. Typically in late April and throughout May, you can witness the colors covering the ground of woodlands and prairies. Most of these blooms are spring ephemerals and have adapted to grow at ground-level before the canopy of trees above them fully come to life. They take advantage of this brief period of forest floor sunlight and leave us just before the long days of summer begin.

If you have a chance, take a walk through one of our preserves that are open to the public during this time. Be mindful of the forest floor and take in the beauty of these spring ephemerals before it's too late.

the WCLC team
Davis Preserve:
A wetland brought back to life
Davis Preserve Updates

Wetlands are among the most productive ecosystems in the world, comparable to rainforests and coral reefs. They protect and improve water quality, provide critical wildlife habitat, store floodwaters, maintain surface water flow during dry periods, and are crucial for clean water in our communities.

The Davis Preserve is comprised of approximately five acres of existing floodplain forest wetlands adjacent to the Mukwonago River and 47 acres of former wetlands that were ditched and drained for agriculture in the 1950s. The Mukwonago River is home to 59 species of fish. Seven of the 59 are listed as endangered, threatened, or species of special concern. Sixteen species of mussels are supported here, making it one of the most diverse mussel habitats in Wisconsin.

We are now in phase three of this wetland restoration project in partnership with the Wisconsin Wetland Conservation Trust. Most recently WCLC has removed nonnative spruce trees and controlled buckthorn in the wooded wetland along the Mukwonago River. Additional native seed and plugs have been purchased to ensure natural communities continue to thrive as more native wildlife begin calling this preserve home. The good news is that the Davis Preserve is already meeting, and in some areas exceeding, the performance standards set by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program
Proposed for 10-year renewal

In Governor Evers' recent state budget proposal, the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program was proposed for a 10-year renewal at $70 million a year. This is great news for lands trusts across the state as the program is a primary source of funding for land protection, trail building, waterway improvements, and more. WCLC has received the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship grant on multiple occasions throughout our 29-year history, most recently to help fund half of the cost of acquiring the Meyer Preserve.

We encourage all our supporters to click here to help renew this program, taking action, and reaching out to your elected official today!
Adopt-A-Preserve today
What is it and how can you help?

The Waukesha County Land Conservancy's Adopt-A-Preserve program is one of our newest programs created to bring together volunteer efforts in removing invasive species, trash, maintaining trails, and sustaining land and water for wildlife and public use spanning over 3,000 acres in Waukesha County. 

You can make a commitment to a woodland, a prairie, or a wetland and help WCLC take care of it so that our native plants and wildlife can continue to thrive. WCLC staff will work with you to choose a site based on your location and interests, and we will provide all the training and tools needed to become a successful steward of the land we all love.

Click here to "meet" our current adopters. If you'd like to learn more, visit our website and fill out an adopter application.
Weiland Preserve

Adopt-A-Preserve adopters Peter Dargatz and family are kicking off the spring season at Weiland Preserve with some exciting activities.

Peter is a nature kindergarten teacher with a passion for citizen science, nature play, and sharing his knowledge with his community.

Upcoming free activities at Weiland Preserve open to the public:

Sunday, April 7 at 11 AM
Pond Trap Session: Come see what creatures we catch in the ephemeral pond.

Wednesday, May 5 at 6 PM
Garlic Mustard Removal: Bring gloves and a garbage bag to help remove invasive species.

Follow their Facebook page to keep up with the exciting events they will be hosting as part of WCLC's Adopt-A-Preserve program.
Land stewards needed
Volunteer Workdays

Spring is the perfect time to join WCLC outdoors to remove invasive species like garlic mustard and dame's rocket.

We have seven workdays scheduled on three different preserves during the months of May and June, and we would love to have you join our volunteer team as a land steward to care for our special natural areas here in Waukesha County.

While we can't gather in large groups safely due to COVID-19, we still have work to do, and we still need your help! Sign up for a volunteer shift, and we will send you information (including online training) about your shift as the date approaches. Workdays are being filled on a first-come-first-filled basis.

Calling all business owners
WCLC Needs Your Help

WCLC's new Sponsorship Program is up and running, and we would love to have you consider becoming a partner and making an investment in our mission. Last year was tough for WCLC, but this sponsorship will help us ensure the longevity of our unique natural communities, precious oak ecosystems, and the hundreds of native species they support.
Your investment will strengthen your community presence and reputation as WCLC offers our sponsors marketing packages that align with your needs.
With your help, Wisconsin’s native ecosystems can thrive for generations to come. Check out a description of WCLC’s Sponsorship Program levels and benefits here. If you'd like to support WCLC, you can find our sponsorship form here.
Other Ways to Get Involved
Do you want to 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: