S14 W28167 Madison StWaukesha, WI 53188 (262) 896-8007
Hours Nature Center Grounds: Sunrise to 10 pm (Year-Round) Visitor Center:8 am - 4:30 pm (Daily)
Retzer Nature Center was John and Florence Retzer’s retirement home. John purchased the original 90 acres from the Federal Land Bank in 1938. The Retzer’s immediately began restoring the degraded land with over 26,000 trees, shrubs, and flowers, many obtained from the Wisconsin Conservation Department. These plantings can be enjoyed today. In 1973, Florence Horn Retzer bequeathed her property to Waukesha County for park purposes. Her vision was "to conserve the scenery, natural life and wildlife, leaving the land unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations." Guided by Mrs. Retzer’s wishes, the Waukesha County Park System began developing a nature center in 1974. Significant land acquisitions in 1980 and 1984 expanded the site to 335 acres. The Nature Center focuses on environmental education, natural land management, community restoration, and wildlife habitat improvement. Today restored prairies, a colorful butterfly and rain garden, and an oak opening demonstration area greet visitors and compliment the Retzer’s original homestead. The Retzer Environmental Learning Center and Charles Z. Horwitz Planetarium addition opened in May of 2005.
Park / Expo EventsJanuary 4 - Milwaukee Radio Control Auction & Swap Shop - Expo (Arena)January 4 - Motorcycle and Automotive Swap Meet - Expo (Forum Halls)January 9-11 - Bob & Rocco Gun Show - ExpoJanuary 10 - W.A.R.A.C Swapfest - ExpoJanuary 17-18 - Waukesha Expo Market Collectibles & Flea Style Show - ExpoJanuary 24 - Artworks : Art & Artisans Studio Creations Clearance SaleFebruary 6-7 - Winter WADA Antiques 2 day Show & Sale - ExpoFebruary 14 - Waukesha Kennel Club B-O-B Dog Match & Vet Clinic- ExpoFebruary 15 - 4H Horse Associations Annual Tack Sale - Expo
RETZER NATURE CENTER GIFT SHOP
Support our nature programs while taking a memory of Retzer home with you. You’ll find the perfect gift for everyone on your gift giving lists.
The Retzer Nature Center has a wonderful Gift & Book Store full of unique items including: bird feeders, stationary, children’s books, adult books, novelties and many creative gift ideas.
Call (262) 896-8007 for information.
RETZER NATURE CENTER NATIVE PLANT GUIDE
The Waukesha County Park System’s Nature Program, housed at the
Retzer Nature Center, is recognized statewide for its ecological
orientation and experience in applied research on prairie plantings and
restoration. Over the 24-year history of the Nature Program, we have
established prairie nurseries and restoration plantings at Retzer Nature
Center and in many of the other parks within the Waukesha County Park
Today, we are able to offer to the public the same high quality
native plant material used by Retzer Nature Center for use in school,
business, and private plantings. The Nature Program has prairie
nurseries and restoration areas at the Retzer Nature Center, Mukwonago
Park, Nashotah Park, and Ryan property. These facilities have native
plant seeds and transplants available to the public.
Learn how to control invasive species with our "Weeding the Way" manual.
Retzer Nature Center Native Plant GuideCall (262) 896-8007 for Plant Guides and Information.