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  • Retzer Nature Center
  • What's happening at Retzer Nature Center.
    Snowshoe rentals are available. $5.50 for half a day and $9 for a full day.

  • Retzer Nature Center


    S14 W28167 Madison St
    Waukesha, WI 53188

    (262) 896-8007


    Hours 
    Nature Center Grounds

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

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    History
    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

    16-17EEguideCover 

    Waukesha County Environmental Education
    Activity Guide
    August 2016 - February 2017

  • UPCOMING EVENTS
    22
    JAN
    Waukesha JanBoree at Retzer
    Where: Retzer Nature Center
    From: 1/22/2017 10:00:00 AM To: 1/22/2017 4:00:00 PM

    Description:

    Free

    Snowshoe use, Children's activities, Planetarium shows, Guided Tracking Hikes, Bird Feeding Program and Refreshments

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    28
    JAN
    Winter Wildlife on Snowshoes(11)
    Where: Retzer Nature Center
    From: 1/28/2017 9:00:00 AM To: 1/28/2017 11:00:00 AM

    Description:

    Adults/ Families & Scouts  Fee: $5.00  Register by Friday prior to program date    Winter is a great time to get out and explore the environment, and snowshoes are a fun way to do it. Join a Retzer Naturalist as you trek the trails in the silent world of winter on snowshoes. The program will emphasize wildlife tracks and signs and recreational snowshoeing as you connect to your winter surroundings.

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    4
    FEB
    Winter Wildlife on Snowshoes(11)
    Where: Retzer Nature Center
    From: 2/4/2017 9:00:00 AM To: 2/4/2017 11:00:00 AM

    Description:

    Adults/ Families & Scouts  Fee: $5.00  Register by Friday prior to program date    Winter is a great time to get out and explore the environment, and snowshoes are a fun way to do it. Join a Retzer Naturalist as you trek the trails in the silent world of winter on snowshoes. The program will emphasize wildlife tracks and signs and recreational snowshoeing as you connect to your winter surroundings.

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    11
    FEB
    Friends of Retzer Nature Center Wild Winter Night
    Where: Retzer Nature Center
    From: 2/11/2017 6:00:00 PM To: 2/11/2017 9:00:00 PM

    Description:

    Fee: $2 per person at the door

    Cure your cabin fever and join us for this wild winter adventure! There will be guided hikes, free snowshoe rentals, informal sing-along by the campfire, S'mores and hot chocolate, Children's activities, Planetarium shows, and  a night sky watch (weather permitting). 

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    13
    FEB
    Retzer Rangers
    Where: Retzer Nature Center
    From: 2/13/2017 4:30:00 PM To: 2/13/2017 5:30:00 PM

    Description:

    Ages: 5-7 year olds  Fee: $4.00  Register By: Friday, February 10


    "Track That Scat"  While trekking the trails on snowshoes, we will go in search of evidence of the animals that went before us. Dress accordingly and arrive early to get your snowshoes. 

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