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  • What's happening at Retzer Nature Center.

    The Nature Center is alive with color. Come for a visit and see the landscape's artistic display.

    Retzer Nature Center newsletter • Summer 2016

  • Retzer Nature Center
  • Retzer Nature Center

    S14 W28167 Madison St
    Waukesha, WI 53188

    (262) 896-8007

    Nature Center Grounds

    Sunrise to 10 pm (Year-Round) 
    Visitor Center:
    8 am - 4:30 pm (Daily)

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    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.
    Rules & Regulations
    - Please stay on established trails.
    - Wildlife is easily stressed, do not disturb dens or nests.
    - Please respect the grounds by leaving plant and other natural materials for others to enjoy. Removal of plant material with naturalists permission only.
    - Sorry, bicycles are not allowed on Nature Center lands or trails.
    - Please park bicycles in bike racks.
    - Dogs, pets, or horses are not allowed.
    - Fires and alcoholic beverages are not allowed.
    - No hunting, shooting, or littering.
    - Please be considerate of other visitors.
  • Online Registration is now available for
    Retzer Nature Center Public Programs


    Waukesha County Environmental Education
    Activity Guide
    August 2016 - February 2017

    Fall Workshop Event
    Where: R
    From: 10/8/2016 8:30:00 AM To: 10/8/2016 11:30:00 AM



    Prepare for Fall by attending one of the following FREE workshops: Getting the Garden Ready for Winter. Turn Over a New Leaf- Mulching & Composting, and a Fall Exploration Hike to the Oak Savanna.


    Family Adventure Hikes(34)
    Where: Retzer Nature Center
    From: 10/8/2016 10:00:00 AM To: 10/8/2016 11:30:00 AM


    Fee: $4.00 per person (Children under 5 free)
    No registration required

    Join us today for a flexible themed adventure to get families out on the trails, and have a land discovery experience - exploring with a naturalist.  Programs are family-friendly and geared toward all ages


    Saturday Natural Landscape Volunteers(15)
    Where: Retzer Nature Center
    From: 10/8/2016 1:00:00 PM To: 10/8/2016 3:00:00 PM


    Join Retzer Nature Center for a day of learning and outdoor fun during our Natural Landscape Volunteer Saturdays. Throughout the sessions you will help with various projects such as: collecting and cleaning plant seeds, controlling invasive species and planting native plants. Yo will work alongside talented naturalists who will answer your questions and help you through the day’s activity. All ages and experience levels welcome, however, we do ask that participants come dressed to enjoy the day outside and be able to walk along unpaved trails. We can’t wait to meet you!


    Retzer Rangers(5)
    Where: Retzer Nature Center
    From: 10/10/2016 4:30:00 PM To: 10/10/2016 5:30:00 PM


    Ages: 5-7 year olds  Fee: $4.00  Register By: Friday, October 7

    "Trees, Seeds, Nuts and Leaves"  Soak up the beauty of fall in Wisconsin and explore teh woods to collect colorful leaves. We will learn why this transformation is taking place and identify different types of leaves. 


    Wee Wonders(17)
    Where: Retzer Nature Center
    From: 10/11/2016 9:30:00 AM To: 10/11/2016 10:30:00 AM


    Ages: 2-4 year olds Fee: $4.00 Register By: Friday, October 7

    "ICK! Spiders and Snakes"  They are not as scary as you may think. We will enjoy a visit from our resident snakes Mazy and Peaches. Let's then take a walk to discover spiders and snakes living along the trails.


  •  NEW Online Services

    Reduced Rate Annual Stickers are available Sept. 16 (at park location and online)

    Resident: $16.00
    Senior: $10.00
    Non-resident: $21.00

    There is no discount for additional stickers or 
    Lake Access.