Before Schlitz Audubon Nature Center (Bayside) first opened, it was a simple farm space for the Schlitz Brewery draft horses. Today, the Nature Center is a sprawling nature preserve full of forests, ravines, restored prairies, and serves as an unmatched location for weddings and business retreats. A comprehensive stop for anyone who loves the outdoors, this Center, located just 15 minutes north of downtown Milwaukee overlooks the gorgeous Lake Michigan shore.
In its six-miles of scenic trails, Schlitz Audubon provides a number of must-see features for all ages. From the Mystery Lake Boardwalk to the 60-foot-tall Observation Tower, visitors can take in the full beauty of the outdoors.
If the weather rains on your parade, Schlitz Audubon’s indoor interactive exhibits and events are sure to save the day. Live animal exhibits and a nature-inspired art gallery are a brilliant way to fight winter cabin fever.
Since joining the Chamber, Schlitz Audubon has been a reliable source of events for the Chamber’s Community Calendar – a testament to their exceptional programming. No matter the season, Schlitz Audubon is the place to go for an educational and refreshing adventure.
Executive Director Helen Boomsma shares more about her pioneering Center:
Tell us a bit more about the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center and your upcoming goals.
Ahead of its time when built in 2003, our building was one of the nation’s most environmentally conscious Gold LEED certified green buildings. The structure is called the Dorothy K. Vallier Environmental Learning Center, named after our founder.
Our 2018-2022 strategic plan, Trails to Innovation, contains 54 strategic goals and centers around three priorities: Accessibility to Nature for All; The Land Through the Lens of a Century; and Creating More Meaningful Visitor
Founded in 2003, our preschool was the first of its kind in Wisconsin and is nationally-recognized. We are a 2019 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School.
Why did you decide to join the Wisconsin LGBT Chamber?
We seek to broaden and diversify our members and visitors.
We don’t aspire to be a hidden gem; we want Schlitz Audubon to be Milwaukee’s destination and resource for inspiring life-long learning and enjoyment in the natural environment.
What do you enjoy most about what you do?
We truly enjoy making a difference in the lives of our visitors. It is a pleasure to serve as a community gathering place for people of all ages and background who embrace the outdoors and learning about the environment.
How would you most like people to remember your company?
As an inspiring conservation model for our region committed to providing meaningful experiences and environmental education for all.
What’s the best piece of business advice you’ve ever been given?
The best piece of business advice I’ve been given is to follow your passion, success will follow.
Finally: when work or life get stressful, how do you relax?
To relax, I love to head outdoors for a walking meeting and bird-watch.
Schlitz Audubon Nature Center is located at 1111 E Brown Deer Rd in Bayside, WI.