Waukesha County

Retzer Nature Center Announces New Spring Workshop Series

Think spring and prepare for warmer weather at expert-led workshops and programs. Retzer Nature Center invites residents and visitors to a series of free programs highlighting popular springtime topics.

 “These workshops are a great way for people to engage with local experts as they prepare for spring,” said Janet Barthel, Nature Center Supervisor. “The support from local partners, like Johnson’s Nursery, make these programs possible for the community.”

 The series runs one Saturday a month from 9:00 a.m. to Noon, February through April at Retzer Nature Center, located at S14W28167 Madison Street, Waukesha. Each seminar will be led by an expert and will cover a range of information on the topic. Participants are welcome to come for one session or stay for them all. The programs highlight birding, gardening and citizen science. 

Spring Workshop Series Lineup:

  • February 9: Better Birding
  • March 9: Spring Gardening
  • April 13: Citizen Science Day

Registration is free, but required by Friday before the program. For more information or to register for Retzer Nature Center’s Spring Workshop Series, call 262-896-8007, or visit www.waukeshacounty.gov/springworkshops. Detailed workshop schedules available below.


About Retzer Nature Center

Retzer Nature Center is a part of the Waukesha County Park System, which is a natural resource based park system that demonstrates stewardship while providing recreational and educational opportunities. For more information, visit www.waukeshacounty.gov/retzernaturecenter, follow Waukesha County Parks on Twitter, or like us on Facebook

Retzer Nature Center Spring Workshop Series

Presented by Johnson’s Nursery, Inc.


Better Birding

Saturday, February 9, 2019: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Check in begins at 8:45 a.m. Register by Friday, February 1st.




9:00-9:45 a.m.  

Birding for Beginners

Tips on becoming a birder or becoming a better birder. Plus, an overview of hotspots in Waukesha County Parks!

9:45-10:45 a.m.

Bird Friendly Garden Design

With Carrie Hennessy

from Johnson’s Nursery

Learn how to design your home landscape for the birds with trees and shrubs.

11:00-11:30 a.m.

Citizen Science Online

Discover eBird & iNautralist to help track data. Designed to help amateurs and professionals alike. Learn the basics and see how you can get involved.

11:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Winter Bird Hike

Apply new birding skills on the trails at Retzer Nature Center. Bring your binoculars or use ours! Dress for the weather.



Spring Gardening

Saturday, March 9, 2019: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Check in begins at 8:45 a.m.  Register by Friday, March 1st




9:00-9:45 a.m.  

Rain Gardens & Rain Barrels

Discover how rain barrels help restore a more natural water flow while saving you money. Learn the benefits of rain gardens and how to install rain barrels.

9:45-10:45 a.m.

Gardening for Pollinators

With Zannah Crowe

from Johnson’s Gardens

Learn about the important role pollinators play as indicators of our environmental health. Learn how to create a productive and beautiful pollinator habitat.

11:00-11:30 a.m.

Home Composting

Learn how to create your own compost, how to use it, and different bin styles to build or buy. Hot or cold, you’ll create “black gold”!

11:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Planning Your Spring Garden

Learn how to establish your garden site and prep your soil. Decide which plants to grow and how to start from seed inside.

9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Rain Barrel & Compost Bin Sale

Get discounts on environmental gadgets during the seminars.



Citizen Science Day

Saturday, April 13, 2019: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Check in begins at 8:45 a.m.  Register by Friday, April 5th.




9:00-9:50 a.m.  

Wild in Waukesha - Citizen Science Projects Presentation

Join Waukesha County Parks and Land Use for the launch of our first-ever county-wide Citizen Science Program! Our conservation biologist will discuss how you can help study and protect rare plant and wildlife populations through Citizen Science in Waukesha County. Citizen Scientists will be trained to help monitor wetlands, birds, small mammals, amphibians, reptiles, butterflies, and more! No prior experience necessary.

10:00-10:50 a.m.

Migratory Bird Survey Program & Hike

Learn how to do a bird survey and why we should. Then help document breeding and migratory birds with our trained staff using the Retzer's vital natural areas. Dress for the weather.

11:00-11:50 a.m.

Wetland Monitoring Program

& Hike

Learn about wetlands and what goes into monitoring them. Then learn about surveying for sensitive species that inhabit our local wetlands such as frogs, toads, salamanders, and fairy shrimp! Dress for the weather.