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.

“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.

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.

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Richard Bublitz