Milwaukee County Parks-Natural Areas Program

Milwaukee County Parks-Natural Areas Program The Natural Areas Program is a creative use of partnerships that engages Wisconsin’s largest community through the science and beauty of restoration ecology while managing approximately 10,000 acres within the Milwaukee County Parks System.

The Natural Areas Program is a creative use of partnerships that engages Wisconsin’s largest community through the science and beauty of restoration ecology. In just five short years this newly reborn Natural Areas Program has developed over 80 community partnerships and has trained 8,000 volunteers. These volunteers, who have donated nearly 60,000 hours, consist of university students, elementary school students, community groups, government agencies, NGO’s, religious institutions, and private corporations. The assistance these partnerships provided and continue to provide is integral to the management of the Milwaukee County Park’s 9,200 acres of natural areas. These resources include upland and bottomland forest, fens, oak savanna, remnant wet-mesic prairie, shrub-carrs, open marsh, lagoons, pollinator gardens, and surrogate grasslands. These are natural resources that have been historically molded by the influences of a great lake, Wisconsin’s ecological tension zone, and over 150 years of Euro-American settlement. Many unique challenges present themselves in a county where the human element cannot be separated from the natural element, nor should it. The overriding goal is restoration and management of these natural resources, but another, which is of equal importance, is binding the citizens of Milwaukee County to their natural areas. In the process we are creating stewards, advocates, donors, and in effect a corps of restoration ecologists.

Mission: Blending Milwaukee County’s Diverse and Unique Natural Areas With Its Culturally Rich Communities to Preserve and Nurture Its Natural Heritage

Operating as usual

This not so scary odonate with distinct coloration and wing pattern is known as a Halloween pennant dragonfly 🎃
10/31/2020

This not so scary odonate with distinct coloration and wing pattern is known as a Halloween pennant dragonfly 🎃

Look at those mandibles! Giant stag beetles can reach up to 2.5 inches long. Have you seen one in Milwaukee County Parks...
10/26/2020

Look at those mandibles! Giant stag beetles can reach up to 2.5 inches long. Have you seen one in Milwaukee County Parks?

It's a bird! It's a plane! It's a flying lobster! This moth is a delight to see in the parks. Other names it goes by are...
10/22/2020

It's a bird! It's a plane! It's a flying lobster!

This moth is a delight to see in the parks. Other names it goes by are snowberry clearwing or hummingbird moth

MILKWEED- These summer bloomers benefit many pollinators including butterflies, moths, bumblebees, beetles, and more! Ca...
10/14/2020

MILKWEED- These summer bloomers benefit many pollinators including butterflies, moths, bumblebees, beetles, and more!

Can you name all 4?

Staff have been seeing a great diversity of sparrows in the parks recently!
10/14/2020

Staff have been seeing a great diversity of sparrows in the parks recently!

If September belongs to warblers, then October is surely the month of sparrows. As short-distance migrants (with the exceptional few making it down into southern Central America) sparrow migration through NW Ohio is later than other songbirds, extending from about mid-September into mid-November.

While many migrating sparrows begin appearing in September (including the Lincoln's Sparrow whose peak is right at the end of September) October is really when these birds move en masse through the region, with White-throated, White-crowned, and Song Sparrow leading the charge. The appearance of the American Tree Sparrow toward November is often the signal that fall migration is nearing its end and that the next season will soon be upon us.

Because of their subdued colors and patterns, sparrows are often confounding to people, earning the group as a whole the throwaway nickname "little brown birds" or "little brown jobs." But rather than simply impress with flash, sparrow plumage begs for closer inspection, revealing a plethora of earthly colors. A wide array of brown, russet, tan, rust, red, peat, loam... These birds are truly made of the rich soil they scratch in.

And while many may share the similarity of being "streaky," each sparrow species has its own style and placement of streaks (or lack thereof). When searching for an identification, streaking on the breast is often the place to start, noting its presence or absence and deducing from there.

#MigrationMonday

This little dude was found feeding on wild carrot or Queen Anne's lace. Black swallowtail butterflies don't migrate sout...
10/02/2020

This little dude was found feeding on wild carrot or Queen Anne's lace. Black swallowtail butterflies don't migrate south, but rather overwinter by hibernating. The pupae will emerge from the chrysalis in spring!

This time of year we are cleaning out nest boxes, but we wanted to share this priceless picture of a bluebird nest this ...
09/25/2020

This time of year we are cleaning out nest boxes, but we wanted to share this priceless picture of a bluebird nest this June 🥰

Catch this incredible plant in forested areas throughout the county! Its unique white appearance is due to lack of chlor...
09/21/2020

Catch this incredible plant in forested areas throughout the county! Its unique white appearance is due to lack of chlorophyll because it isn't dependent on photosynthesis.

It goes by many names including Indian pipe, ghost plant, or corpse plant.

Birds aren't the only wildlife to migrate south for the winter. The common green darner is one of several dragonfly spec...
09/15/2020

Birds aren't the only wildlife to migrate south for the winter. The common green darner is one of several dragonfly species to make the journey to warmer climates. Watch for dragonfly swarms now through the end of the month!

09/12/2020
09/12/2020
As bumblebee season comes to a close, we continue to see males (AKA drones). New queens and males are the last to emerge...
09/10/2020

As bumblebee season comes to a close, we continue to see males (AKA drones). New queens and males are the last to emerge.

Pictured is a male Bombus fervidus (yellow bumblebee), which can be disguised from the female because it has 5 yellow abdominal segments and not 4.

What do Milwaukee County parks or trails mean to you? Take a moment and share a written, audio or video answer:
07/15/2020
County Parks Ask

What do Milwaukee County parks or trails mean to you? Take a moment and share a written, audio or video answer:

Powered by VideoAsk - Build instant trust, put a face on your brand, and have more personal interactions at scale.

❤️❤️❤️
07/04/2020

❤️❤️❤️

We've heard from a lot of county residents asking how they can help parks this summer - we're dealing with funding and staffing shortages due to COVID-19, as well as the impacts of years of underfunding; so today we launched a new campaign called Love Your Parks, with several ways you can take action and support your parks.

Head to https://buff.ly/3gpsIWA to get details on how to volunteer, donate, share stories and get a new Parks Explorer app

06/29/2020
Join us for a virtual bumble bee field trip! Watch live Monday June 29 at 1pm as we discuss and look for bumble bees in ...
06/23/2020

Join us for a virtual bumble bee field trip! Watch live Monday June 29 at 1pm as we discuss and look for bumble bees in our parks. 🐝🌼

Wehr Nature Center
06/03/2020

Wehr Nature Center

From #blackbirdersweek: It’s official, from May 31st - June 5th, we’re happy to announce the first #BlackBirdersWeek !
We’ve put together several days worth of events that you all can follow along with.
It’s time to change the game!

🐢❤️
06/01/2020

🐢❤️

Join the TURTLE TEAM. Help our slow moving friends cross the road, and report any 🐢🐢🐢 sightings to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources >>> https://buff.ly/2IEqhTU

Wisconsin Bird Conservation Partnership - WBCP
05/08/2020
Wisconsin Bird Conservation Partnership - WBCP

Wisconsin Bird Conservation Partnership - WBCP

Window collisions kill an estimated 600 million birds per year in the U.S. alone. These deaths occur at homes like yours and ours, as well as taller buildings with extensive glass, often in urban areas. Our partners at Madison Audubon have been studying this problem in Madison through its volunteer, citizen science project called the Bird Collision Corps. They are also in consultation with officials in Madison and Middleton as both cities are considering ordinances to design, construct, and/or retrofit buildings with bird-friendly glass to reduce mortality.

Learn more about these efforts and how you can take action:
https://madisonaudubon.org/blog/2020/5/7/dead-birds-that-didnt-have-to-die

Wisconsin Society for Ornithology - WSO
05/03/2020

Wisconsin Society for Ornithology - WSO

Here come the migrants!

04/24/2020
Wehr Nature Center
04/19/2020

Wehr Nature Center

Spring migration is underway and we thought we would share this with you if you are currently a birder or just starting birding as a hobby.

Help us monitor Bumble Bees in the Parks system! Data collected will be used to protect and restore their populations.🌸 ...
04/16/2020

Help us monitor Bumble Bees in the Parks system! Data collected will be used to protect and restore their populations.🌸 🐝

04/08/2020
Wisconsin Bird Conservation Partnership - WBCP
03/29/2020

Wisconsin Bird Conservation Partnership - WBCP

This radar image from 1am this morning shows heavy bird migration into southern Wisconsin, while rain and snow fall to the north and west. The circular shapes are centered around cities because that's where the radars are sourced and the beams shoot over the height of bird migration (a few thousand feet) when you get 40-60 miles out. In reality, hundreds of thousands of birds were well distributed aloft across the region. Also, we know this is not radar "clutter" because the associated velocity data indicates biological targets headed in a northerly direction at speeds and intensities not shown by clutter. So we can't tell the species or exact numbers but we can see the relative volume was great. Southern and central Wisconsinites, go find some new birds this morning!

Can't wait to see them back in our parks!! You can help us better manage our natural areas for sandhill cranes by enteri...
02/28/2020

Can't wait to see them back in our parks!! You can help us better manage our natural areas for sandhill cranes by entering your sandhill observations into eBird.org 😁

Sandhill Cranes are on their way back to Wisconsin! A few overwintered here but others have just returned to the southeastern part of the state. Expect numbers to increase each week over the next month.

Read more in DNR's latest birding report: https://bit.ly/2T544Sj

📷 by Ryan Brady, map courtesy of eBird

If you care about bird conservation, you definitely need to learn more about this great partnership!
02/21/2020

If you care about bird conservation, you definitely need to learn more about this great partnership!

A NEW ERA FOR OUR PARTNERSHIP
After nearly two decades of work to conserve birds, our statewide coalition is entering 2020 with a new name and logo, renewed focus on Important Bird Areas, and a revitalized team of partners ready to tackle the challenges facing birds in Wisconsin and beyond. The Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative (WBCI) is now the Wisconsin Bird Conservation Partnership (WBCP).

Learn more: https://dnr.wi.gov/news/Weekly/Article/?id=4723

"In the past decade, Boyle estimated 10 to 15 species were discovered or rediscovered in Wisconsin. Some were spotted by...
01/10/2020
These Are The Rare Species Discovered Or Rediscovered In Wisconsin In Last Decade

"In the past decade, Boyle estimated 10 to 15 species were discovered or rediscovered in Wisconsin. Some were spotted by trained volunteers."

Another reason why community science is so important. Thank you to the wonderful volunteers out there-we couldn't do it without you!!

Volunteers help the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources track down rare animals like Blanchard's cricket frog, the rusty patched bumblebee and the American marten.

As you probably know, Milwaukee County Parks manages over 10,000 acres of natural areas, miles of beaches and dozens of ...
12/17/2019

As you probably know, Milwaukee County Parks manages over 10,000 acres of natural areas, miles of beaches and dozens of parks along four rivers in Milwaukee County.
The work we do has a direct impact on the health of our local environment, so we’re seeking your input on which aspects of our work are most important to you. Please take this quick 5 minute survey to share your thoughts.

https://buff.ly/2PTxfoO

Address

1150 N 68th Street
Wauwatosa, WI
53213

Opening Hours

Monday 07:00 - 15:30
Tuesday 07:00 - 15:30
Wednesday 07:00 - 15:30
Thursday 07:00 - 15:30
Friday 07:00 - 15:30

Telephone

(414) 257-6521

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The Natural Areas Program is a creative use of partnerships that engages Wisconsin’s largest community through the science and beauty of restoration ecology. The Program has developed over 80 community partnerships and has trained over 10,000 volunteers. These volunteers, who have donated nearly 80,000 hours, consist of university students, elementary school students, community groups, government agencies, NGO’s, religious institutions, and private corporations. The assistance these partnerships provide is integral to the management of the Milwaukee County Park’s 10,000+ acres of natural areas. These resources include upland and lowland forest, fens, oak savanna, remnant wet-mesic prairie, shrub-carrs, open marsh, lagoons, pollinator gardens, and surrogate grasslands. These are natural resources that have been historically molded by the influences of a great lake, Wisconsin’s ecological tension zone, and over 150 years of Euro-American settlement. Many unique challenges present themselves in a county where the human element cannot be separated from the natural element, nor should it. The overriding goal is restoration and management of these natural resources, but another, which is of equal importance, is binding the citizens of Milwaukee County to their natural areas. In the process we are creating stewards, advocates, donors, and in effect a corps of restoration ecologists.

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Free pizza and information tables showing the events and ambitions of the newly formed Friends of County Grounds Park. Free registration is appreciated for planning purposes, but not required. Link below!! https://www.facebook.com/events/2516631525258681
Author Michelle Madden has just released her book, "111 Places in Milwaukee That You Must Not Miss" which includes Wauwatosa's own Sanctuary Woods and portions of County Grounds Park. In helping launch her book, I am proudly providing my first tour of 2019 - complemented by the interactive map launched this past December. The registration is through Eventbrite for planning purposes, but the event is free. Sign up and reserve your calendar for a fun time outside, with a historical tour, and meet the author! https://www.eventbrite.com/e/exclusive-tour-of-sanctuary-woods-the-milwaukee-county-grounds-tickets-64827693376 https://tosahistory13.wixsite.com/tosa
Is lake Michigan safe to swim in right now in the Veterans Park area? If not, where is the closest outdoor watering hole. I know the Milwaukee River is not safe.
Rarely seen Sora (Porzana carolina) is spotted in Milwaukee River Parkway.
Just wanted to share my experience today as I monitored my wetland in Wauwatosa. A solid reminder that anyone going out to do this should let someone else know that they are there. Fortunately this tree limb did not land on me while I was in the pond checking my traps, I was standing right there about 30 seconds before it fell!
Spotted a coyote at lakefront near Yacht Club 12/24/17 ~0830
The stats are out and the third season of the Atlas is officially a wrap, with special thanks going out to all of the Milwaukee birders and County Parks team members who helped out! Find out how many blocks are totally complete, which new species we confirmed, and how many million birds we've documented by heading to http://bit.ly/2ykgH30.
Is this a blue bunting bird? lol I need to be able to sleep tonight knowing what kind of bird this is!!! #grantpark Sorry...the squirrel came along for the ride!