Ozaukee Treasures Network

Notes from the 2014 September OTN Conference

Who was in attendance:

We had a full house with membership from:

Ozaukee County Planning and Parks, Land and Water Management, UW Extension, and County Board.

Wellspring, Riveredge, OWLT, Pheasants Forever, Wisconsin Wetlands, DNR, Ulao Creek Partnership, Village of Thiensville, Town of Grafton, Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat, Wisconsin Humane-Ozaukee, Cedarburg Bog, Treasures of Oz, Land Conservation Partnership of Ozaukee County, Renew Port, Milwaukee Riverkeeper, The Conservation Fund, Eco-Resources, Stantec, Sweet Water Trust, Tall Pines Conservancy, and SANC.

Talks and topics were interesting and enlightening...so apologies for the brevity of the notes. We would have needed one good court reporter to keep up with the flow and details of the presentations. This is a very good reason to attend these events, rather than rely on the notes..LOL. Some more details will be coming, so watch this space.

Read more: Notes from the 2014 September OTN Conference

Ozaukee is for the Birds!!!

What is this about Ozaukee County being a "Bird City" and why are so many Ozaukee municipalities following suit?

The city of Mequon, the Town of Grafton, the City of Port Washington and our neighboring Village of Newburg have all become part of Bird City Wisconsin in the past four years.

Maybe it is because they understand that the more species of birds an area has, the higher the property values will be. An area that has many bird species needs to have a diverse collection of trees, shrubs and other growing things. Prospective home buyers as well as birds love that diversity of plants and a 2011 study in Lubbock Texas indicated that homes with more than one species of less-than-common birds in the area sold, on average, for about $32,000.00 more than comparable homes without.

Perhaps Bird Cities understand that birds are the indicators of a healthy environment and they are willing to take extra steps to improve the ecological health of their community. The birds are daily reminders that a community has a healthy eco-system, something that more and more people are seeking. The Bird City WI website sums it up well. " Like the proverbial canaries in a coal mine, birds serve as indicators of the ecological health of our planet. Because of their rapid metabolism and wide geographic distribution, birds provide early warning to us of changes in the environment and potentially harmful biological conditions. Robust, diverse bird populations reflect the underlying health of the ecosystem in which they – and we – live. Since we share our planet with all other species, what happens to birds can happen to us."

Read more: Ozaukee is for the Birds!!!

2014 Was a Very Good Year for Treasures of Oz

2014 was a very good year for Treasures of Oz!

We had somewhere between 1305 and 388 participants - we don't really know because we do know that some folks go to just one site and some others go to every site and and many come to Forest Beach along the way, often for the food, the music, the exhibits, the silent auction and the raffle. 1305 is the number of people who were counted at each site. 388 is the number counted at Forest Beach Migratory Preserve.

We do know that smiles were everywhere and positive comments floated through the air until the last of the take-down crew departed in the evening.

Our site numbers are below. We love these numbers because we know lots of people are coming to the event but the numbers are small enough that everyone can ask questions and have real discussions at the sites. We want Treasures of Oz to be interactive so everyone can get connected to Ozaukee environment and we think our teams are wonderful links bringing visitors into the world of natural Ozaukee.

Trinity Creek Wetland Habitat 139  Visitors, even residents of southern Mequon, were really surprised and delighted to discover Trinity Creek Wetland Habitat right in the middle of an industrial area off County Line Road.

Mee-Kwon Park 179   We were delighted to have a surprise additional docent, Andrew Struck. Andrew is recovering from a serious sports injury and surgery. We did not expect to see him for weeks, but he is key organizer for this event and found a way to get to Mee Kwon, crutches and all.

Cedarburg Environmental Study Area 121  The ants were a huge draw! Docents, Kate and Tom, did not think anyone would care about ants. They were happily shocked! Visitors really were interested. Kate found ants tending their herds of aphids on some dogwood and another group tending their leaf-hoppers. What a cool opportunity to see what was being talked about in action.

CESA was armed with mosquito spray and a screened tent, as the woods and water can make for a buggy habitat.. The mosquitos boycotted the site for the most part, and we are thankful to them for that.

Pleasant Valley Trails Park 180  Many thanks to the Ozaukee Mountain Bikers and Riveredge Nature Center naturalists for working with Treasures of Oz to showcase this Cedarburg gem.

Lions Den Gorge Nature Preserve 235   It was a long walk to the natural area ravine and beach, almost a mile. Look how many people made the hike! No lions were sighted on Saturday. Visitors always ask why it is called Lion's Den. Are there lions there? Years ago local residents reported seeing "lions" there, most likely bobcats. Recently a mountain lion was seen in Sheboygan County. Interesting. You never know.

Belgium Waterfowl Production Area 63  Serious thanks to US Fish & Wildlife experts, Jim Lutes and Bruce Luebke for traveling all the way to Ozaukee to share their expertise with visitors.

Forest Beach Migratory Preserve 388  Forest Beach had it all - the migratory preserve and the Celebration. A large flock of pelicans came down on the lake just north of the preserve mid-day. Guess they heard about Treasures of Oz.

What's next?  Planning has already begun for 2015.  If your organization would like to be part of the 2015 Eco-Tour in Ozaukee, contact Marjie Tomter at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..