• NatureNOW (OWLT)

March 2021 eNews

From Resilience to Recovery!

It was this time last year that we sent out an email message entitled

"Nature Preserves Remain OPEN!"

With the state of Wisconsin's order to close nonessential businesses, we made the promise to keep all 32 of our nature preserves free and open to the public. The need for access to the outdoors for safe, socially-distant outdoor recreation created huge demands on nature preserves, with some properties seeing three times as many visitors as normal.

Like every business, we made sacrifices. We spent the first weeks of the pandemic figuring out how to move to a safer-at-home virtual work environment. Out of respect for the frontline charities that were providing healthcare and much-needed social services, we temporarily shut down our fundraising program and put our team to work communicating the principles of recreating responsibly to the influx of new nature preserve users. In lieu of large-scale volunteer events, we were creative at implementing ways in which to achieve the goals needed to accomplish the OWLT mission.

We could not have accomplished our success without you. So the true gratitude goes to you our dedicated supporters.

· While other state parks and regional preserves shut down due to littering and overuse, you showed the resilience of our community by organizing your own preserve clean-ups and helping us keep access to the outdoors free and open for all.

· Thanks to you we planted over 5,500 trees at Huiras Lake State Natural Area.

· We have expanded our nature preserves by adding over 350 newly conserved acres.

You have given us the support to come out of this global tragedy not only resilient but ready to help the recovery of our community!

More Nature Preserves to Support Outdoor Recreation and Wildlife Habitat

We’ve lined up another 600 acres of nature preserve expansion to make sure there’s room for our new nature preserve users and the native plants and wildlife we must protect.

We took a leap of faith in launching our largest land acquisition campaign to date: conserving Cedar Gorge Clay Bluffs,131-acres with 3/4 mile of Lake Michigan shoreline in Port Washington. Like so many leaps of faith, the community has caught us in your generous arms and we’ve raised over $3 million dollars toward the purchase of the Cedar Gorge Clay Bluffs nature preserve; putting us 60% of the way toward project completion!

Economic Recovery

· Investment in conservation helps the local business owner who understands that our nature preserves draw regional tourists to our community and support Wisconsin’s $7.8 billion outdoor recreation economy.

  • In a work from anywhere economy, large employers know that our wide-open Lake Michigan and Milwaukee River scenic vistas and more than 30 nature preserves offer outdoor amenities that attract and retain a quality workforce.

  • People don’t think of nonprofits as job creators, but thanks to our members, we have retained our talented team of natural resource professionals.

  • We’re expanding our ranks with competitively paid internships because we’re committed to creating equitable work experiences to train the next generation of conservation leaders.

Land Steward Employment Opportunity

Please share our job announcement with your networks.


Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteer needs range from helping us on scheduled workdays to helping us manage litter at our entrances or alongside roadsides and trails. We always appreciate assistance with trash cleanup along the Milwaukee River at several of our sites.

If you are interested in a more dedicated role, please see our volunteer steward listings on our NatureNow volunteer page. We are currently seeking Site Stewards, Equipment Stewards, Grounds Stewards, and Amphibian Monitors for the 2021 season.

For questions about these roles or any volunteer-related inquiry including registration for scheduled workdays contact Josh at jschlicht@owlt.org.

More Information

Stewardship Volunteer Workshop

Virtual Event

Tuesday, April 13th

6:00-7:00 pm

Register here

In order to minimize the potential for infectious transmission of COVID-19, OWLT requires that staff, board and community members, participating in OWLT activities, adhere to state guidelines found at Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

Activity Calendar


Support a Sapling!

Spring has sprung and that means the stewardship team will be welcoming new native saplings to the preserve family. Tree plantings require a great amount of people-power and financial backing.

You can engage as a




When you commit to Support a Sapling you are committing to Fund a Forest!

OWLT Spirit Wear and Gear In addition to apparel, this year we are adding merchandise sales. Support OWLT in style with these great fundraising opportunities.

Look for information, via social media and eNews blasts, throughout the year for these fundraisers.

Visit Store

Conserving Cedar Gorge Clay Bluffs

To make a forever-lasting difference in our community is a rare opportunity. The Cedar Gorge Clay Bluffs acquisition is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to preserve 131 acres of Lake Michigan land to support community well-being, provide wildlife habitats, and protect nature’s health.

Supporting the protection of this land today is a legacy that will last forever!

Conserve Cedar Gorge Clay Bluffs

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