Schlitz Audubon Nature Center
Press Release

Schlitz Audubon Nature Center Raises Over $500,000 in Funds and Pledges for Stormwater Wetlands & Ravine Restoration Project

Project will create wetlands to capture rain from extreme storms

By - Sep 20th, 2018 03:51 pm

Milwaukee, WI (September 20 2018) – With the addition of two recent grants from the Brico Fund and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Schlitz Audubon Nature Center announced today that it has raised more than $500,000 for an extensive stormwater management project slated to break ground in mid-January 2019. Schlitz Audubon is located on the shore of Lake Michigan in northern Milwaukee County, and the Stormwater Wetlands & Ravine Restoration Project will dramatically reduce the impact extreme storms have on the 185-acre property, the lake, and the surrounding community. The project will also catalyze the Center’s efforts to educate the public on the importance of water conservation.

To date, Schlitz Audubon has received grants and pledges of support for the project from the Brico Fund ($50,000); National Fish and Wildlife Foundation ($116,632); Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District Green Infrastructure Partnership Program ($189,280); Fund for Lake Michigan ($100,000); Freshwater Future ($10,000); Brookby Foundation ($20,000); Pentair Foundation ($10,000); an anonymous corporate donor ($1,000); and an anonymous private donor ($10,000).

“We are thrilled to have garnered such a wide breadth of support for this project, from local family foundations, to national corporate and federal support,” said Helen Boomsma, Executive Director of Schlitz Audubon. “It is our job, as stewards of this land, to continually improve the integrity, sustainability, and biotic diversity of Schlitz Audubon as we look out one year, twenty years, or a century.”

Schlitz Audubon has contracted Miller Engineers & Scientists to provide final design plans for the Stormwater Wetlands & Ravine Restoration Project and prepare and administer a construction bid package, with the bid scheduled to open in approximately mid-December. Project construction will take place in early 2019, with habitat restoration and trail work continuing throughout the rest of the year as weather permits.

The Stormwater Wetlands & Ravine Restoration Project is anticipated to add more than 400,000 gallons of annual stormwater storage capacity through bio-retention and habitat restoration activities spanning more than 20 acres, and restore 2.5 acres of steep ravine slope. Post-construction work will include restoration planting of more than 25,000 trees, shrubs, and plants, and creation of nearly a half-mile of wheelchair-friendly trails that will give all visitors to the Center the chance to experience a range of healthy Wisconsin ecosystems.

Read more about the Project.

About Schlitz Audubon Nature Center
Located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Schlitz Audubon’s mission is to conserve our land’s diverse habitats on Lake Michigan and provide meaningful experiences and environmental education for all. Once a farm for the Schlitz Brewery draft horses, Schlitz Audubon is now Milwaukee’s comprehensive nature center, offering six miles of trails that take visitors through 185 acres of forests, wetlands, restored prairies, ravines, bluffs, and Lake Michigan shoreline. The Center strives to be the leading household name for innovative environmental education for all, featuring a nationally-recognized Nature Preschool and the largest comprehensive Raptor Program in the Midwest. Schlitz Audubon is also recognized as a regional leader in sustainable conservation practices, and continues to grow its legacy as a financially sound, accountable and transparent non-profit organization. In September 2018, Schlitz Audubon was awarded four stars by Charity Navigator, their highest rating.

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