The Little Menomonee River Fish and Wildlife Preserve is a 56.28-acre park that includes 1,900 feet of stream shoreline on the Little Menomonee River. The Department is currently working on master planning for the park that will include picnic areas and walking trails. Three different wetland areas can be seen within the park, each with distinct habitats and functions. There is an ephemeral wooded pool created to provide habitat for amphibians and reptiles, an emergent marsh that provides habitat for fish, and a deeper wetland with open water and marsh that attracts and provides habitat for migratory waterfowl and shorebirds. Forested wetland and wet prairie habitats are found around the wetlands and provide additional bird habitat. The wildlife habitats within the park make it a great spot for wildlife viewing and photography.
History of the Park
The headwaters of the Little Menomonee River were historically a large wetland, but a straight ditch was excavated through the wetland to improve drainage for agricultural purposes. The property was acquired from the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District in 2021. This site was originally identified by the County as high priority for restoration and preservation. Ongoing restoration work by Ozaukee County started in 2019 and these activities have improved the function of the Little Menomonee River by creating a channel that is appropriately sized for its watershed, is connected to a regularly inundated floodplain, and has a self-sustaining, natural meander geometry. The new stream channel provides high quality, diverse in-stream, wetland, wet prairie, and forest habitat for fish, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals, improves water quality, and reduces flooding and erosion risk.