Treasures of Oz

Celebrating the Natural Gems of Ozaukee County


2011 Eco-Tour

Like winds and sunsets, wild things were taken for granted until progress began to do away with them.
- Aldo Leopold

Treasures of Oz, Explore the Ozaukee Coast, June 18th, was a huge success and our thanks go out to everyone who made this possible.

Thank you to our sponsors, We Energies, Port Washington State Bank, Junior Woman’s Club of Mequon-Thiensville, Ball Manufacturing, and Wisconsin Coastal Management. Thank you to our 105 donors, most being local businesses who care enough to invest in our community and environment. Thank you to our 150 volunteers who give their energy and expertise to make this day happen smoothly, this year at seven different sites and all at the same time. Thank you to our 36 partner organizations who pool their resources and talent to showcase our treasure sites, especially to the Ozaukee Washington Land Trust, Ozaukee County Planning and Parks and Ozaukee/Port Washington Tourism. Thank you to Mother Nature for giving us a perfect day.

We estimate that we have doubled our attendance figures from our first event last year with over thirteen hundred individual or family site visits logged in as people visited some or all of our seven treasure sites. The best part about this event was the number of smiles, the amount of excitement and the positive comments coming from so many people, who were discovering places, that up to then, they had only heard about. About sixty-three percent of the site visits were first-time visits.

Thanks to all of you who helped to spread the word. Many, many people reported learning about this event from a friend or neighbor, and that would be you. Stay in touch with us all year through this website and our facebook page. We will do our best to keep you up-to-date on other environmental events and celebrations.

We welcome your ideas and input. We, together, are Treasures of Oz.

Thank you everyone for making this year a very special event.

Treasures of Oz turns the spotlight on Ozaukee’s outstanding coastline June 18th, for its 2011 event to uncover the natural gems of Ozaukee County.

Ozaukee’s entire eastern border is 25 miles of the western shore of Lake Michigan. The natural areas along this coast are diverse and wildly beautiful. Follow the 2011 treasures map and visit up to seven unique sites, each with docents and guides and special offerings for the day. Walk along the migratory flyway, venture into deep, pristine cedar gorges, spend time on vast overlooks, explore a rushing feeder stream, wander through areas being restored to natural habitats and find friendly places for beach hikes and launching kayaks and canoes. You may even learn about shipwrecks, ghost towns and a little lake history.

SearchingExplore with Treasures of Oz on June 18th starting at 9 a.m. and ending at 5 p.m. Enjoy opportunities for photography, birding, hiking, biking, geocaching and discovering new places. This adventure ends for the day with food, music, a silent auction, raffle and more at Forest Beach Migratory Preserve.





Donges Bay Gorge

The Eagle’s Treasure

Ben Arnold  & Garry Schalla from OWLT

Carol Bangs from MATC Landscape Horticulture

Sneak a peek at the eagles’ nest - bring binoculars.

Hike through the ravines if you choose.

Discover and learn about native plants and invasive ones.

Virmond Park

Great Facts, Great Lakes, Great Treasures

Tom Kroeger, DNR from Lakeshore State Park

Talks on Lake Michigan:  Great Facts, Great Lakes, Great Treasures - what this lake brings to our lives and how it influences this region.

Walk the bluff and beautiful grassland trails and birding areas.

Learn about the multitude of recreational opportunities available at this gem of a county park in Mequon.

Lion’s Den Gorge Nature Preserve

The Crown Jewel           

Andy Holschbach - Director Oz. Cty Land and Water

Andrew Struck- Director Oz. Cty. Planning and Parks

Nicole Sidoff - UW Extension

Learn park history and ecology.

Hike down into the gorge and explore the beach.

Birders’ Paradise

Natural Area site with old cedar stands and wonderful native plants

Discover the many trails and treasures in this rare place.

Ongoing information and hikes

Visit with Ozaukee Humane Society at this dog-friendly park.

South Beach Kayak & Canoe Launch

Beach Treasures

Kathy Bates - MATC Environmental Health & Water Quality, water quality testing - 9 to noon

Water safety with the Feith Family YMCA - noon to 3

Todd Brennan - Alliance for the Great Lakes  Get the facts on beach clean-ups.

Explore kayak and beach walk opportunities.

See the mouth of Sauk Creek.

Watch the Peregrine falcon nesting box.

Sauk Creek Nature Preserve

Port’s Hidden Treasure

Dale Busar - hydrologist/aquatic ecologist

Paul Schwarzkopf - Milwaukee Riverkeeper

Jim and Katie Gennrich – Water quality monitors

Discover the little falls and rapids where the river rushes over exposed bedrock and learn why the falls exist.

Learn about preservation and restoration.

Self-guided educational nature trail

River biotics – participative demonstration

Forest Beach Migratory Preserve

Treasure in the Making

Treasure Site Activities from 9 to 3

Shawn Graff - OWLT executive director

Barb Wooten, OWLT

Walk the trails through the seven bird habitat areas being developed, 

Visit the hawk viewing platform.

Bring your spotting scopes or binoculars to see water birds out on the lake.

Ongoing hikes and tours

Harrington Beach State Park

Shipwrecks & Sunken Treasure

Picnic Point area just down the trail from the Welcome Center and close to Quarry Lake.

"Birding with Bird City, WI and Friends of Cedarburg Bog. Begin the day with a 90 minute guided bird walk with top birders Noel Cutright and Carl Schwartz".  See details here

Learn about shipwrecks and lake history with lake historian and diver who discovered the Niagara, Rick Smith.  Talks at 9:30, 11:30 and 1:30.

Take pictures of the anchor from the wreck of the Northerner.

Hike the Quarry Lake Trail or walk the beach.

Get into the park free with your Treasure’s passport.

Check out the camping and kayak camping opportunities.

Forest Beach Migratory Preserve

Treasure in the Making

Celebration activities from 1 to 5

Get some great food from Chuck’s of Thiensville/Smokin’ Joe’s BBQ.

Sit back and enjoy the bluegrass and old time rock’n roll with  Stringalong from 1 to 5.

Meet some of the raptors from Pine View Wildlife Rehabilitation Center and learn about wildlife with Jeannie Lord from 2:30 to 4

Turn in your passport for free raffle tickets to win many prizes from local merchants, restaurants and attractions.

Shop the Silent Auction for wonderful treasures including fine art items from well-known area artists.

Visit the exhibits and learn about many environmental organizations, projects and earth-friendly services in and around Ozaukee County.