Waukesha County

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 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 System.

Plant Information


Native Plant Identification

Need help in identifying a plant found on your property?

Check out Wisconsin Vascular Plant Species or contact Retzer Nature Center

The Ecology staff is available to help with your plant identification. Start by taking a photo or cutting a sample of the plant in question. You can either email the photo or drop off the sample to the front desk of the nature center. Please provide the following information when submitting a plant sample: your name, phone number or email, and information on where the sample was found (sun, shade, wet, dry, and soil conditions). This information will aide in the identification of the plant in question.

2018 Spring Sale

Start off the planting season with our upcoming Spring Sale. Native Plants, Compost Bins, and Rain Barrels will be available for pre-order/pre-pay from February 1 through March 30. Native perennial plants will add a wealth of beauty to any garden. With over 30 species to select from, the Retzer Native Plant Sale is a great opportunity to enhance your natural landscape. Pickup of all pre-ordered items is on Saturday, May 12, 9:00 a.m to Noon.

Spring Workshop Event: Saturday, February 24, 9:00 a.m. to Noon at Retzer

Try before you buy! Hear about each item and the plants available for our Spring Pre-Sale from a variety of speakers who will also discuss different spring yard care topics including: rain gardens, rain barrels, home composting and using native plant collections in your landscape. 

Invasive Species

Help control invasive species currently found in Southeastern Wisconsin. Learn to identify and manage these unwelcome plants.

"Weeding the Way" Quick Reference guide
Wisconsin DNR website