The Ozaukee Treasures Network is a consortium created through the efforts of the Land Conservation Partnership of Ozaukee County, Ozaukee County – Planning and Parks Department and the Ozaukee Washington Land Trust. Its purpose is to be an umbrella coalition / affiliation of organizations that brings together Ozaukee County, State agencies such as the WDNR, DATCP and WCMP, federal agencies such as the USFWS, NOAA, USEPA, non‐profit organizations, businesses and local and private groups that have a common focus on Ozaukee County’s environment, land use planning, outdoor recreation, economic viability and sustainable conservation to be able to work and promote our efforts together and independently with a unifying vision and understanding in order to achieve Ozaukee County’s environmental protection, tourism and recreation, economic viability and sustainable conservation goals. The overall premise is that a sustainable environment develops a strong economy.
Sustainable conservation efforts in Ozaukee County fall into several general areas: Farmland and Agriculture (e.g. Farmland Preservation Plan), Natural Resources (e.g. Park and Open Space Plan including land / habitat preservation, water resources ‐ quality and quantity, and fish and wildlife), Healthy Lifestyles (e.g. recreation, tourism, public health), Sustainable Economic Development (e.g. comprehensive planning, alternative energy, water supply, transportation) and Cultural, Historical and Outreach / Education Resources (e.g. Scientific Research, Archeological Resources, Natural Resource Education). Ozaukee has many organizations that in some way touch these areas: Farmland organizations, Natural Resource organizations, Cultural and Tourism organizations and various Economic Development organizations. While each organization has its own focus that seeks to improve the whole, there is sometimes little connection and/or communication among the various players for shared information, common support or common effort and currently no formal structure to assist.
We believe that through formalized networking and collaboration, we can strengthen the efforts of the whole group and may reenergize or add additional direction to individual groups. A collective network also allows the “community” definition of conservation and sustainable economic development to be expanded, so that human and ecological needs are considered jointly.
The Ozaukee Treasures Network creates an umbrella organization using the Park and Open Space Plan for Ozaukee County and the Multi‐jurisdictional Comprehensive Plan for Ozaukee County: 2035 as guiding documents. Members will understand the direction and long‐term plan for the County as well as learn what all the other organizations are working towards and/or have accomplished. As a network, we are able to leverage what is already in place, tap into existing organizations for vision, direction and resources and be able to enter into larger initiatives as a cohesive force.
Our conferences, networking meetings and tools will produce platforms to share strengths, cooperate to increase the strength of each groups’ efforts, and have a voice to publicize our victories producing group excitement and the ability to place Ozaukee County as a regional/national leader in the environment, economic viability and sustainable development and conservation. In addition, once a year, organizations have the opportunity to showcase some of their efforts as part of the Treasures of Oz tour and celebration in Ozaukee County.
A balanced, strong and common vision of a diverse set of people with specific goals in five major areas (Natural Resources, Healthy Lifestyles, Sustainable Economic Development, Farmland and Agriculture and Cultural and Historic Resources) and the ability to learn and communicate this vision through outreach using available resources and opportunities to implement positive outcomes that advance the collaborative.
The future of Ozaukee County is the preservation of natural, agricultural, historical and cultural resources, sustainable economic development and healthy lifestyles for quality of life.
Top Rural Development Initiative Award from Wisconsin Rural Partners.
Ozaukee Treasures Network/ Treasures of Oz were given this award which is designed to increase the visibility of best practices and strengthen the network between communities so they can model after creative projects that have been successful in other areas of the state.
GrassWorks - Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship Program
Marjie Tomter, OTN Coordinator was named one of three Environmental Heroes of 2015.
Wisconsin Society for Ornithology-Silver Passenger Pigeon Award
William Mueller for distinguished service to the Society.
Gathering Waters Conservation Leadership Awards - Conservationist of the Year
Dale Buser & Andrew Struck were essential in the creation of the Ozaukee Fish Passage Program, which reconnects existing, high quality fish and wildlife habitat throughout the Milwaukee River Watershed and drainage to Lake Michigan and supports public efforts to re-establish and encourage self-sustaining native populations of threatened, special-concern and game fish.
Gathering Waters Conservation Leadership Awards - Rod Nilsestuen Award for Working Lands Preservation
Dale Katsma (Milwaukee River Watershed North Branch Heritage Program) is awarded the Rod Nilsestuen Award for Working Lands Preservation 2012.
Gathering Waters Conservation Leadership Awards - Land Trust of the Year
The Ozaukee Washington Land Trust was named Land Trust of the Year
for being one of Wisconsin's most productive and innovative land trusts. To date they've protected nearly 5,000 acres of land in two of Wisconsin's fastest growing counties while engaging young and old alike in education and management activities that serve as a model for all land trusts.
World's Large Rivers Conference - Vienna
A paper, A Comprehensive Solution to Aquatic Habitat Fragmentation, Laurentian Great Lakes (re: Milwaukee River Watershed Fish Passage Program) authored by Dale Buser and Andrew Struck was presented by Dale Buser at the World's Large Rivers Conference April 2011, Vienna Austria.
Wisconsin Wetlands Association - Wetland Enjoyment Award
As director of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Field Station at Cedarburg Bog, Jim Reinartz has educated and inspired countless children and adults to marvel at the intricacies of wetland ecosystems. Jim has a unique ability to foster a love of the outdoors in people and acts to educate others as a means to achieve broad-scale wetlands advocacy and policy work. Throughout his career, Jim has educated and inspired many future wetland researchers, land stewards, and policy makers. Jim has also authored a wide variety of articles and research papers, including A Guide to the Natural History of the Cedarburg Bog.
Lifetime Achievement Award
Noel Cutright, honored for contributions to land conservation made in his long career as a renowned ornithologist. A retired Ecosystem Manager for We Energies, Dr. Cutright remains a driving force in bird habitat restoration and protection in Wisconsin.
Wisconsin Wetlands Association - Wetland Enjoyment Award
For over 30 years, Kate Redmond has brought enjoyment to the general public as a passionate photographer, writer, editor, educator, field trip leader, and wetlands advocate. Each aspect of her work has focused on sharing her wide knowledge and appreciation of the natural world, as well as her eye for both its singular and collective beauty. Kate has freely donated her professional-quality photography, writing ability, and other talents to a variety of nonprofit organizations in Wisconsin.