The Treasures of Oz flag with St. Mary's steeple in the background. Upper Lake Park, Port Washington
A house wren peeks out from the rafter in the pool house at Donges Bay Gorge Nature Preserve, Mequon
A close-up of the house wren at Donges Bay Nature Preserve.
Lake Michigan from the bluff at Virmond Park.
Andrew explains chimney swift flight at Virmond Park
Andrew Struck talks about chimney swift roosting at Virmond Park
Andrew Struck explaining the future plans for Virmond Park
Group of visitors to the Virmond Park, Mequon, site, heading towards the bluff and trail
Tina Kroening talks salamanders at Virmond Park
A blue-spotted salamander found in Virmond Park -- and later released!
Andrew Struck describing the chimney swift tower to a group of visitors to Virmond Park, Mequon
Treasure site at the north shelter in Virmond Park, Mequon
Following the path to the Lion's Den Nature Preserve, Grafton. Treasure site was on the bluff.
Lion's Den Nature Preserve site all setup and ready for visitors
Part of the team at Lion's Den Nature Preserve: Christine Bucher and Karina Ward
Part of the team at Lion's Den Nature Preserve: Wayne Brogelman and Karina Ward
The bird walk guides at Lion's Den Nature Preserve, Grafton: Dr. Brian Lenz, Carl Schwartz and Joan Sommers
Two of the shipwreck banners at Lion's Den Nature Preserve, Grafton
Ship wreck banners on the bluff railing at Lion's Den Nature Preserve, Grafton
Visitors learning about the Clay Bluff/Cedar Gorge Nature Preserve. Did someone say winery?
Lake Michigan (and personal watercraft) from the bluff overlook at Lion's Den Nature Preserve, Grafton
The view from the hydro-geologist tent south along the clay bluffs at South Beach Canoe and Kayak Launch, Port Washington. The chart shows the geology of the bluff at that location. There are two kayak on this calm Lake Michigan day. Cool view!
South Beach Canoe and Kayak Launch, Port Washington. At the beach, they focused on water safety and the Riveredge Nature Center's "Return of the Sturgeon" project.
Shipwreck diving explained by Jim Bach, Deep Six Diving club, at Upper Lake Park, Port Washington
Bicyclists visit Upper Lake Park in Port Washington. Bicyclists get double raffle tickets at Forest Beach!
The NOAA Marine Sanctuary explained at Upper Lake Park in Port Washington
The view from the duck blind at Forest Beach Migratory Preserve.
Male red saddlebags dragonfly at Forest Beach Migratory Preserve, Belgium.
A black saddlebags dragonfly at Forest Beach Migratory Preserve, Belgium.
A Carolina saddlebags dragonfly, which are uncommon in Wisconsin but which, in the past, has bred at Forest Beach Migratory Preserve.
The view across the grassland of Cedar Grove Waterfowl Production Area. Watch where you step here! There are bird nests on the ground. (That is, after all, why the WPAs exist.)
The Treasures of Oz flag fluttering in the breeze at Cedar Grove Waterfowl Production Area.
All sites open 9 to 3 for tours & Celebration at Forest Beach Migratory Preserve noon to 6
The Treasures of Oz 2016 Eco-Tour of Ozaukee County uncovers the Treasures of Lake Michigan and the Ozaukee Coast. Discover the Migratory Flyway above, the shipwrecks below, the towering Clay Bluffs and the deep coastal ravines. Get a preview of Clay Bluffs/Cedar Gorge Nature Preserve, the newest nature preserve with a mile of Lake Michigan shoreline. Learn about the coming NOAA marine sanctuary that begins in Ozaukee coastal waters and heads north to Manitowoc. Talk about the bottom of our inland sea with some of the divers who explore it. Learn about the 17 historical shipwrecks in the waters and the ones that are still searched for. That is only the beginning.
Treasures 2016 is a cross between an eco-tour and a science expo. You can go just for the excursions into 7 beautiful and diverse natural areas along the coast or you can go to learn about the natural and historic Ozaukee Coast and Lake Michigan through up close, real-life experience and interaction with top science docents. Go for both.
This event is always a great opportunity for birding, photography, finding new recreational opportunities and simply enjoying some of the best natural treasures in Oz.
Interested in volunteering at one of the sites or to help with the silent auction? Click here!
Discover the deep ravines and learn about ravine ecology with expert Matt Smith. Walk the trail and bridges of the preserve. See the stone relics from when this property was an elegant estate. Do some birding with birding experts. Bring your camera and capture the dramatic images of this unique preserve.
Check out the magnificent overlooks and surprising features of this coastal county park, including the first engineered Chimney Swift chimney in Ozaukee. Wetland restoration, amphibians and other critters will be on the agenda.
Get a first peek at the plans for our newest coastal preserve that lies just north of Lion’s Den and learn about plans for its deep gorge, future trails and beach with Ozaukee County’s Matt Aho.
Delve into the significance and history of the clay bluffs with expert, Dale Buser. Take some time to explore this spectacular preserve with its trails along the bluff and down through the ravines to the lake below. You will want to bring a camera.
Walk this beautiful beach under the shadow of the Port Washington Clay Bluffs. Explore the glacial geology of the bluffs with hydrogeologist Tom Kroeger, DNR. Learn about The Return of the Sturgeon project with Mary Hollebeck. Check out the Peregrine Falcon nesting boxes and shorebird birding with expert birders, Becca Sher and Seth Cutright. Get smart about water safety on the lake with staff from the Kettle Moraine-Feith Family YMCA.
As always, all trails lead to the Forest Beach Migratory Preserve, a “Five Star Bird Hotel” and Celebration Headquarters. Explore the trails, the hawk watch tower and the wetlands area birding platform. Spend morning time with Bill Mueller, Director of Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory or afternoon time with naturalists Kate Redmond and Freda Van den Broek learning about the dragonflies and butterflies at this diverse and beautiful preserve.
Learn about Waterfowl Production Areas, especially this one along the Lake Michigan Flyway. It is a major breeding area and significant stopover for birds during spring and fall migrations. Staff from USF&W and Ozaukee County Land & Water Management will be on hand to talk birds and the efforts at local and federal levels to protect them.
Shop the silent auction! Everything from fine art (including an Ellen Anderson original oil) and fine dining to golf outings, a Washington House Inn overnight, disc golf and camping passes, firewood for a year, Johnson Nursery plants and more! There are many unique and fun items for home and gifts!
Meet Ozaukee artist Ellen Anderson and check out her original oil paintings of Ozaukee places
Connect with top science and outdoor experts.
Meet Randyman Hetzel and his Critters- starting at 11:00 am.
Learn about the Raptors of Pine View with Jeanne Lord at 1:00 pm.
Listen to down-home music with Steve & Friends.
Enjoy great southern-style food from Yummy Bones BBQ of Port Washington including vegetarian options.
* Forest Beach tours are 9-3 with Bill Mueller (morning) and Kate Redmond (afternoon).
Ozaukee County waters are home to 17 historical shipwrecks.
Shipwreck banners will be at the various sites for the sunken vessels closest to that site. More information on these vessels and their stories can be found at wisconsinshipwrecks.org