Habitat loss is ever-increasing due to development, fragmentation, invasive species, poor water quality and climate change. Native prairie/grassland are one of the most threatened natural communities and proactive measures are necessary to preserve and restore existing natural areas. The addition of native prairie/grassland species improves native plant diversity, provide critical habitat for declining species of birds and pollinator species, improve soil, filter stormwater and improve water quality.
The Ozaukee County Planning and Parks Department (Department) has been implementing native prairie restoration projects within several Ozaukee County Parks to create continuous and high-quality habitat to mitigate historical losses. Since 2011, the Department has seeded diverse native prairie on 41 acres at Tendick Nature County Park, eight acres at Virmond County Park, one acre at Ehlers County Park and 0.5 acres at Harborview County Park. The Department will continue expanding these efforts as opportunities arise with planned expansions at Tendick Nature County Park, Virmond County Park and the Little Menomonee River Fish and Wildlife Area County Park.
Wetlands within the landscape provide a variety of important ecosystem services such as slowing and filtering water to improve water quality, recharging groundwater, and providing habitat for a diversity of plants and animals. Wisconsin has lost nearly half of its original 10 million wetland acres and efforts should be made to protect and restore what remains. The Ozaukee County Planning and Parks Department (Department) has implemented several wetland restoration projects within the Ozaukee County Park System and habitat restoration project areas on private lands. Since 2017, the Department has restored a 0.5-acre wetland at Tendick County Nature Park, is creating and restoring 6.5 acres of wetlands at the Little Menomonee River Fish and Wildlife County Park and has constructed a 0.30-acre wetland at Virmond County Park. The Department will continue expanding these efforts as opportunities arise with plans for future projects at Tendick Nature County Park and the Little Menomonee River Fish and Wildlife Area County Park.