Discover and explore Ozaukee County's natural treasures on July 24th, ending at Forest Beach Migratory Preserve for a free, family-friendly celebration.
Everyone knows Ozaukee County is rich in natural sites and resources, but most people have seen only a few of these up close. This day will change that with a wonderful celebration that invites everyone to come and discover what lies beyond.
Treasures will provide great opportunities for photos, birding, biking and geocaching as well as hiking, taking in the fresh air and getting a little smarter. The adventure ends for the day with food, music, a silent auction and a chance to win prizes.
This is how it works:
1. Participants will visit selected treasure sites around the county from 9:00 a.m. until 3 p.m.-using a map and passport they can download here. The Interurban Trail is a great resource for biking to various sites and the trail map and suggested site routes will be available on the website.
2. Each site will have docents and volunteers to offer information about the site and its theme. Passports will be stamped at each site and the passports can be exchanged at the final event site for raffle tickets. Bicycle riders can get an additional stamp at Mequon Nature Preserve, Bratt Woods next to the trail or at Forest Beach. This stamp is worth additional raffle tickets.
3. The Treasures celebration will take place at Forest Beach Migratory Preserve from 1:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. There will be informational tables from partner organizations, sponsors and more. There will be a silent auction (1:00 - 4:00) to benefit OWLT and the Interurban Bridge and/ or to provide start up funds for Treasures for next year. There will be bluegrass and rock ‘n roll music by String-A-Long and Smokin' Joe's BBQ/Chuck's Place will be at Forest Beach with a wonderful menu of food and beverages for purchase.
2010 Treasure Sites with top-notch docents and guides
- Mequon Nature Preserve - This premier environmental education site begins at the LEEDS Certified green building. Trails move out from there where you can see ongoing restoration of wetlands and a historic maple-beech forest, that existed prior to European settlement of Wisconsin.
- Highland Woods - provides a large part of the natural corridor between Cedarburg and Mequon/Thiensville. A beautiful conservation area, it is also a battlefield contested by native species and Invasive Plants. Learn how the native plants are winning with the help of local stewards and the City of Mequon.
- Bratt Woods - On the shore of the Milwaukee River, this birding hot-spot supports a high quality southern mesic forest. The river is key to the local watershed and to every place downstream to Lake Michigan.
- Lion’s Den Gorge - This extensive park on the Lake Michigan Migratory Flyway, includes deep gorges (one with staircase) that drop through old (untouched before the European settlement of Wisconsin) cedar and hardwood forest to the Lake Michigan shore. Bluffs tower 90 to 100 feet providing wonderful lake views.
- Cedarburg Bog - home to over a thousand plant and animal species, this state natural area covers over 2000 acres in a lake basin scoured by the most recent glacier.
- Riveredge Nature Center - Prairies are featured on this day at this private nature preserve, which you may want to join after your visit. (free admission on event day with passport)
- Huiras Lake - one of the best state natural areas, with a diverse wetland forest and pristine seepage lake and information on nearby North Branch Milwaukee River Wildlife and Farming Heritage Area.
- Forest Beach Migratory Preserve - on the Lake Michigan Migratory Flyway, you will see the transformation of this former golf course to a five-star bird hotel with nine different habitats.
- Harrington Beach State Park - everything you could want including camping (even kayak only camp site.) (free admission on event day with passport)
- Interurban Bike Trail Bridge- Clean energy transportation, outdoor recreation (Stamp only Site)
Treasures of Oz is brought to you thus far through this growing partnership of organizations:
- Ozaukee - Washington Land Trust
- Ozaukee County Parks and Planning
- Wisconsin department of Natural Resources
- City of Mequon Parks
- Riveredge Nature Center
- Cedarburg Bog, UWM Field Station, Friends of Cedarburg Bog
- Friends of the Bog, WDNR
- Harrington Beach State Park, Friends of Harrington Beach
- Friends of Harrington Beach, WDNR
- North Branch Heritage Project - WDNR
- Ozaukee County Interurban Trail
- Ulao Creek Partnership
- The Land Conservation Partnership of Ozaukee County
- MATC Environmental Health
- Ozaukee Community Awareness Forum (OCAF)
- Great Lakes Earth Institute
- Ozaukee Humane Society
The objectives of Treasures of Oz are:
- Create a family-friendly event that will generate awareness and appreciation of the environment, local resources and natural areas in Ozaukee
- Increase public knowledge of the importance of local watersheds and good stewardship, including specific ways that they can participate in stewardship activities.
- Encourage public involvement in local stewardship.
- Bring local environmental and outdoor interest groups together to maximize community education.
- Encourage thinking about clean energy for planet health.
We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.
-- T. S. Eliot
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources