On June 16, 2012 Ozaukee County again sponsors their annual Treasures of Oz to introduce hikers of Milwaukee and surrounding areas the wonders they can discover throughout the natural areas that Ozaukee County has to offer. This celebration of the wonders of Ozaukee County began an effort to promote Ozaukee County natural resources while also promoting environmental awareness and education and knowledge.
Treasures of Oz theme this year, 2012, 'The Wonderful Waters of Oz', presents some of the waterland wonders located along some 40 miles of Milwaukee River encompassed by the county. Ozaukee County includes almost 30 percent of acreage in wetlands which provide rich wildlife habitat along with water filtration, water recharge and flood control.
Grab your Treasures passport and enjoy June 16th discovering the water wonders located just on the northern edge of Milwaukee amidst twelve hundred acres of park land, nature preserves, twenty-five hundred acres of recreation land and 50 designated natural areas all encompassing over seven thousand acres. Enjoy hiking, geocaching, learning and photography within the eight sites being promoted this year including:
Tendick Nature Park - Andrew Struck will be there to guide you through the park where many fitness options are available from disc golf, sand volleyball, cross country skiing, archery. Trails will lead you through cedar wetlands and an upland maple beech forest.
Riveredge Nature Preserve offers a diverse ecosystem on a 380 acre sanctuary with trails, ponds, fens, woodlands and prairies along the Milwaukee River.
The Cedarburg Bog State Natural Area presents a southeastern Wisconsin rarity of a conifer swamp as well as one of the southernmost string bog in North America. Special guided walks will be led at 9 am, 10:30 am, noon and 1:30pm.
Bike Path Island is one of the eleven unsurveyed islands located in the Milwaukee River. It is a critical species habitat site where paddlers are welcome to stop and explore the island.
Grafton Historical Corner is the site of the former Chair Factory, Milwaukee Dam and the birthplace of Grafton Blues. Will Wawrzyn, DNR fisheries biologist will educate you on the history of the area, the development, decline and reemergence of the river area. Talks will be on the hour.
The Mequon-Thiensville Dam is one of he most dramatic pieces of the Milwaukee River Watershed Fish Passage Program which enables fish to migrate to historic spawning-rearing area upstream of the dam. Staff of the Ozaukee County's Fish Passage Proram will provide in depth overview of the fishway and other efforts to improve overall ecological productivity of the Milwaukee River Watershed.
The Ulao Waterfowl Production Area is located just adjacent to the Lion's Den Nature Preserve. It is a nesting and migration haven for scoters, loons, many duck species as well as dozens of song and water birds.
The Forest Beach Migratory Preserve is a perfect last stop of the day locatedalong a vital migratory corridor, the Lake Michigan Flyway. Hike the trails amidst it's emerging restoration with nine planted habitat areas. Climb the hawk watch platform or the wetland and songbird observation deck on the west.
From 1 to 6pm, on June 16th, collect at the Forest Beach Migratory Preserve for the days celebration of the program. There will be many exhibitors of environmental organizaitons, project ans earth-friendly services of Ozaukee. Meet some fo the raptors from Pine View Wildlife Rehabilitation Center.
Enjoy bluegrass and old time rock n roll music, great food and a silent auction. Turn in your passport for free raffle tickets to win wonderful prizes from area merchants, restaurants and attractions.
The long term goal of the Treasures of Oz project is to provide a vehicle for continued partnership, growth and collaboration for environmental stewardship in Ozaukee County. Help support this project by attending the daily activities on June 16th, 2012.