Treasures of Oz

Celebrating the Natural Gems of Ozaukee County


Error the profile is not published
Profile Unpublished

2013 Event

Hits: 7936

too grants 2013
We Energy Logo WUWM Logo Port Washington State Bank Logo Junior Womens Club Mequon Logo

Looking ahead to 2014

June 14th, 2014 - Plan ahead. We are! Treasures of Oz 2014

Treasures Breaks Records!

As you probably already know,Treasures of Oz more than doubled its attendance from 2012. We had a somewhat larger media presence this year and really benefitted from increasing numbers of returning visitors who brought friends and family.

Why? You ask.

People who attend love this event and are not shy about telling us. It is the quality of the sites, and the volunteers' knowledge, friendliness and open engagement that makes Treasures work. It is really exciting to watch Treasures of Oz grow and connect more and more people to the Ozaukee environment and to the love of special places.

One wonderful mom told us that she dragged her two boys to the event. This was not something either was interested in doing. At the end of it all, they reported it was their BEST DAY EVER. Isn't that just the way it is supposed to be?

Auction revenues went from around $3500 in 2012 to $4500 this year from the auction. Wow! The auction puts the gold back into the treasure chest and provides the main source of revenue to fund our next event. We are in a good place to begin for 2014.

2013 TOUR

TREASURES OF OZ 2013 TOUR Treasures of Oz invites you to fall in love with Ozaukee County as you visit up to 8 natural treasure sites on June 15th. Download an event passport and start exploring. Docents and guides will greet you at each site and share their expertise to make your visit unforgettable.

This year's event focuses on places totally surprising, newly unveiled, or rarely available to the public.

End your day of adventuring at Celebration Headquarters, Forest Beach Migratory Preserve, just a few minutes north of Port Washington, where good food, down-home music, interesting exhibits, and an exciting silent auction that includes fine art and crafts from local artists await you. Turn in your passport for free raffle tickets to win further adventures in local dining, entertainment, or other surprises.

The sites for the 2013 Tour:

1. Forest Beach Migratory Preserve - home base for the Celebration as well as a treasures site for tours. The preserve continues to change as it matures. This is an Ozaukee Washington Land Trust (OWLT) site.

2. The Port Washington Coal Dock - new to Ozaukee. The old coal dock in Port Washington has turned into a bird sanctuary. Awesome views of the coastline abound. The Grand Opening is a week after Treasures, so this is a first peek for the public.

3. Cedarburg Bog Boardwalk - The UWM Field Station is opening their amazing boardwalk for Treasures this year. It goes out into the bog, over some islands and into the area of the string bog. This is only open to classes and organized trips - but on June 15th, the public can experience it.

4. Blue Heron Wildlife Preserve - This beautiful private preserve is open to the public, but few people know about it. It runs along the Milwaukee River, right near Tendick Park.

5. Quarry Lake - The Friends of Harrington Beach State Park will lead this site with an emphasis on the history of the stone quarry. Quarry Lake has the most enchanting trail around it. Harrington Beach will offer free admission to the park on the day of our event.

6. Armin Schwengel Waterfowl Production Area. Armin was a student of Aldo Leopold and was responsible for many of the wetland restorations in Ozaukee County, such as this. This natural breeding area for waterfowl was named in his memory. We will highlight the Aldo Leopold Land Ethic as visitors explore this site.

7. Kurtz Woods - this is a "down-the-rabbit-hole" experience as visitors enter a path between 2 suburban homes, on a typical suburban street and find themselves lost in a Kettle Moraine setting filled with huge trees, rocky paths and very interesting topography. This is an OWLT preserve.

8. Shady Lane - a Wisconsin natural area site that has never been open to the public before. It is now part of Hawthorne Hills County Park (behind the golf course.) It has quite a story leading to its acquisition by Ozaukee County with the very happy ending that this beautiful wild place will be preserved for generations to come and is open to the public.

Armin, Aldo and Free Tickets

don't miss this site

Armin O. Schwengel WPA - at 278 acres, the Schwengel WPA is the best grassland habitat in Ozaukee County. Located at the junction of Six Mile and Jay roads, the property is named for local conservationist Armin Schwengel, who was instrumental in the construction of the grassland and wetland restorations on the property and numerous private lands throughout Ozaukee County. As a result, bobolinks and meadowlarks fill the spring air with song, and shorebirds, marsh birds, and ducks can be found on the ponds and wetlands. Short-eared owls are frequent winter visitors.

Armin graduated from Port Washington High School in 1935 and attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Michigan State University. While at the UW, Armin had the privilege of studying under Aldo Leopold, another Wisconsin hero, who is considered the founder of the environmental movement in the United States..

The following information is adapted from an article by Don Behm, in the Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel, October 2003

Armin Schwengel's living legacy to the future generations is more than 10,400 acres of wetlands and grass-covered hills in southeastern Wisconsin that now provide rest stops for migrating waterfowl, and summer nesting sites for ducks, meadowlarks and pheasants.

Schwengel was hired by the former Wisconsin Conservation Corps in 1941. After becoming game manager for southeastern WI in 1948, he gradually persuaded farmers to sell thousands of acres of wetlands and floodplain forests to create the Theresa, Allenton and Jackson State Wildlife Areas in Washington and Dodge counties.

He helped US Fish & Wildlife buy more than 500 acres of former farm fields in Ozaukee County and worked with private landowners to reclaim more than 600 acres of previously drained wetlands in the region.

He retired in October, 2003 for the second and final time. In 1982, after 41 years of service, he stepped down from the DNR. He was rehired in 1989 to work on wetland restoration in Ozaukee County, where he resided. When asked what motivated him to work for 55 years, he replied that "I wanted to leave some of this here before I leave, you know. It's all here for future generations."

No other state or federal employee in the Upper Mississippi River and Great Lakes regions has a comparable record of single-handedly negotiating public land purchases and helping restore wetlands.

To honor his achievements, the US Fish & Wildlife Service put his name on this 280-acre federally owned wildlife area. (end Don Behm article information.)

Visitors to this special site can ask for a tickets to see the EMMY-winning film GreenFire, the first full-length documentary film ever made about legendary environmentalist Aldo Leopold, GreenFire highlights Leopold's extraordinary career, tracing how he shaped and influenced the modern environmental movement. Leopold remains relevant today, inspiring projects all over the country that connect people and land.

The film will be shown at Forest Beach Migratory Preserve on July 11th at 7:00 p.m.

Birds here, Banks there on the 2013 Tour

Port Washington’s newest park will be highlighted of this year’s Treasures of Oz Tour. Buried under tons of coal for many years, Port’s Coal Dock is being transformed into a beautiful bird sanctuary, a key stop along the Lake Michigan Migratory Flyway as well as a summer home for Ozaukee shorebirds.

Charlie Imig, Director of Port Washington Parks and Recreation plans to be on hand to talk to visitors about this almost magical change, the end product of years of debate and planning, that offers open space and habitat to our shorebirds in summer and migrants in Spring and Autumn.

Along with Charlie, will be Tom Kroeger, DNR park manager for Lakeshore State Park. Tom is an expert on Lake Michigan and a hydrogeologist, with much to say about Ozaukee’s beautiful Clay Banks. From the Coal Dock, the view to the south is a view of those banks, a unique feature on the Great Lakes and a precious landmark.

The banks, often cutting up to ninety feet above the shoreline, provide a cut-away view of the shorelands of Ozaukee County. The banks differ widely in patterns of clay and sand seams and each year their changing form alters the coastline and adds incredible varieties of rocks to the shore. Radically different than the white stone beaches of Door County, Ozaukee shores are “the beaches of a geologist’s dream,” every rock, every size, every color, constantly shifting.

Treasures of Oz 2013 update
Treasure is in sight!

We have strong and creative site teams in place with just a few spots left if someone missed the earlier calls to volunteer.  Training dates are either set, or will be set this week.  Volunteers will receive an email with the dates and times of all trainings so they can join in on any they choose - its a great way to visit all the sites they are missing on the day of the event.  The training at Cedarburg Bog will be a 3 hour on-site seminar - awesome opportunity!

We have about 30 exhibitors and tables expected, more than ever at Forest Beach.  Randyman Hetzel is new on the scene, with his collection of turtles, snakes and other critters.  He engages everyone with his crew,  especially children.  Jeanne Lord is coming again with the raptors of Pine View.  Jeanne is both an amazing teacher and an inspiration, coupling raptor education with care of the planet.

The Silent Auction and Raffle team have gathered another wonderful array of treasures to bid on and adventures to win.  Visitors will be able to earn one free raffle ticket for each passport stamp they have.  Hints as to some of these items can be found on this site under 2013 Donors.

Food and music are ready to go!  Smokin’ Joe’s/ Chuck’s of Thiensville will be sure we are well and happily fed.  We are again looking forward to String-Along being back with their upbeat style of bluegrass and old time rock ‘n roll.

Listen for information about our event on WUWM and on Morning Blend June 10th  Watch for us in Natural Awakenings magazine, PATCH, and all in the local newspapers.  You will find our calendar listings everywhere, from Travel Wisconsin and Midwest Living to Third Coast Digest and Explore Ozaukee.  If we have missed your favorite place to check events, please let us know.

A Word About Our Silent Auction and Raffle: OPPORTUNITY!

Our Auction Team works so hard and pulls such magic together because our auction is the single largest source of funding for our event, and we’ll do what it takes to get people to fall in love with Ozaukee’s environment! Our donors are an amazing part of the team. They support our efforts so generously and I think it is because they love our environment as much as we all do. Everyone understands that when the environment is loved and appreciated, it is cared for.

Those of you who have shopped our auction before, know that there are always wonderful bargains to be had. Some people come just to shop.

Our raffle is our unabashed bribery system to pull people into the wonderful natural sites that we have for this event. We know that what visitors really get from their visits is worth a whole lot more than any item might be, but it sure adds to the fun to win some really great prizes. Visitors earn one raffle ticket for each stamp they get on their passport - so be sure to take your passport along. Each site has a limited number of passports on hand just-in-case, but they could go fast.

Bikers! If you is willing to bike from site to site, you are going to earn double raffle tickets. You deserve it for all the extra energy you are spending to keep the air clean. This is how it works.

Ask for a bike stamp at Forest Beach - it is the only place you can get one. When you turn your passport in at the end of your adventuring, you will get double tickets for every site stamp you received. It doesn’t matter when you get the bike stamp - you only need it before you turn your passport in.