Treasures of Oz

Celebrating the Natural Gems of Ozaukee County

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Treasures of Oz 2017 Eco-Tour/Science Expo

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water drop splashing

This year, Treasures of Oz is all about Ozaukee waters and how they come together in “The Watershed.” We will be looking at smart planning tools to protect our waters, what’s swimming around in them, what allows water to return to the aquifer, and how we can interact in ways that keep our waters healthy.  And it is FREE!  Download a passport and come!

By the end of the tour, you will know what Ozaukee’s watershed is all about, residents will know which sub-watershed they live in, how they can improve their watershed and actually have an idea as to how the waters come together throughout the entire county.

One of the most spectacular watershed features in Ozaukee is the Cedarburg Bog, and this year you can walk into the Bog on the UW Field Station Boardwalk. This was developed for science education and research and is rarely open to the public - but on June 17th it will be and you can explore it with naturalists, like Kate Redmond, who really know and love the Bog and are excited to share it with you.

Lake Michigan is part of the tour, this time at Harrington Beach State Park. Park staff will show you some of the recent changes to the park. You can learn about water safety with the staff from the Kettle Moraine Feith Family YMCA, and Wisconsin Coastal Management will get you in on some of the wonderful work they are doing to protect the waters of our lake. You can also learn about the proposed Lake Michigan National Marine Sanctuary from our NOAA representative.  Your Treasures passport is your entry fee for June 17.

Tendick Nature Park: Prairie and wetland restorations, invasive species management and bluebird and kestrel nest box monitoring.  Ozaukee County Planning and Parks Department staff (Andrew Struck and Tina Kroening), Pheasants Forever and the USFWS staff will discuss and lead tours of the on-going large scale habitat restoration projects at Tendick Nature Park as well as learn about bluebird and kestrel nest box installation and monitoring and do some birding along the way.

The Treasures of Oz 2017 Eco-Tour is pleased to introduce an exciting watershed-based planning tool developed by the Mequon Partners in Preservation for the City of Mequon, which can become a model for other communities. That will be at Spirit Lake Nature Preserve, OWLT’s newest Ozaukee preserve located just off Bonniwell Road between the river and Green Bay Road.

Treasures would not be complete with a Critters Component. Yes, there will be birding. There will be dragonfly walks at Forest Beach. We will showcase the latest in smart gardens - Bug Hotels - to support pollinators and other 6-legged garden helpers. Jeanne Lord will present one of her engaging talks at 10:30 am at Forest Beach with her Raptors of Pine View. Randyman Hetzel will be there all day with his diverse crew of critters - the kind you rarely see in your neighborhoods. 

Our Ozaukee County game warden will be at Ehlers County Park along with experts from the Ozaukee Fish Passage Program and staff from Milwaukee Riverkeeper.  Learn about macro-invertebrates, fish diversity and the monitoring and efforts to improve and maintain the health of this critical water In Oz.. Fish? They will be there as well.

Treasures 2017 is a cross between an eco-tour and a science expo. You can go just for the joy of experiencing 6 beautiful and diverse natural areas or go to learn about the workings of the watershed 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.

The Celebration at Forest Beach Migratory Preserve offers lots of great exhibits and presentations, good food - this year with the Blue Cow Creperie, old-time rock & roll/ bluegrass from Steve and Friends, and the beautiful (hawks and owls) Raptors of Pine View, with Jeanne Lord at 10:30. 

Shop our great silent auction. Trade your passport stamps for raffle tickets.

Other notes

If you bicycle to the sites, show your bike to the passport stampers at Forest Beach.  They will stamp your passport with a bike stamp, which doubles your raffle tickets.

Sparkles the Water Spaniel will be at Forest Beach - great opportunity for a selfie with this tv star!

Kids can get trading cards at each site and then have a trading card made with their photo on it at Forest Beach.  Sparkles would like to be in that photo as well.