Milwaukee County Parks Natural Areas Program
The Natural Areas Program is a creative use of partnerships that engages Wisconsin’s largest community through the science and beauty of restoration ecology. The Milwaukee County Park System has 9,200 acres of natural areas. These resources include upland and bottomland forest, fens, oak savanna, remnant wet-mesic prairie, shrub-carrs, open marsh, lagoons, pollinator gardens, and surrogate grasslands. These are natural resources that have been historically molded by the influences of a great lake, Wisconsin’s ecological tension zone, and over 150 years of Euro-American settlement.
The Natural Areas Program has created stewards, advocates, donors, and in effect a corps of restoration ecologists. It has also developed important community partnerships and has trained thousands of volunteers. These volunteers consist of university students, elementary school students, community groups, government agencies, NGO’s, religious institutions, and private corporations. These partnerships are an integral part of the management plan for Milwaukee County's natural areas.