Every year, as winter approaches in Milwaukee, I vow to learn a new outdoor activity. Snowshoeing, cross-country skiing…hiking nature trails. If enjoying the great outdoors is your thing, you may have visited one of our many nature preserves here in southeastern Wisconsin.
The Mequon Nature Preserve is one of the newest in this region, covering 438 acres in Ozaukee County, just north of the Milwaukee County line.
"It started as a dream of several organizations that came together," said Kristin Gies, the Executive Director at the Mequon Nature Preserve. "The City of Mequon, Ozaukee/Washington Land Trust and the Greater Milwaukee Foundation…everything we are doing is to bring it back to what it once was, pre-settlement conditions."
The mission of the Mequon Nature Preserve is to give people the chance to restore, explore and discover throughout its 5 miles of trails. Walking from one end of the preserve to the other, you will pass through emerging forests, natural wetlands and a restored prairie.
There is no cost to visit, and it's open 365 days a year, dawn to dusk. And for those that like to get their hands dirty, there are many opportunities to help replant native trees, flowers and grasses. Bring your binoculars. Each season brings a change in wildlife that can be spotted from the trails, or one of two observations towers.
Click the story player above to hear more from my visit with Kristin at the Mequon Nature Preserve.