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 Events
July 28 & 30 - Lil Bobbers - Muskego Park July 30 - Corn Roast Fun Run - Minooka ParkJuly 31, Aug. 21 - Fleet Feet Aquathon Series - Menomonee Park August 8 & Aug. 9 - Waukesha BluesFest - Naga-Waukee Park August 16 - 17 - Cooler Classic 26 - Naga-Waukee-Park August 30 - Kubb in the Kettle - Naga-Waukee Park August 30 - Wisconsin High School Cycling League Race #1 - Minooka Park
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
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.