Easement gives Riveredge added protection

Conservation designation ensures 75% of center land will remain nature preserve

CHILDREN AT A RIVEREDGE NATURE CENTER day camp event were all smiles in a photo taken earlier this year. A new conservation easement ensures that most of the center’s 379 acres will be preserved in perpetuity so such activities can continue. Press file photo
By 
DAN BENSON
Ozaukee Press Staff

A conservation easement has been placed on about 75% of the Riveredge Nature Center in the Town of Saukville, ensuring that the area will always remain a nature preserve.

The easement permanently protects 287 acres of the 379-acre center, which is north of Newburg on Highway Y and along the Milwaukee River.

The easement ensures the property will be preserved for environmental conservation and education in perpetuity. 

While it doesn’t prevent the land from being sold, “this legal document would negate any possible intentions to develop the specified acreage into shopping malls, cul-de-sacs, parking lots, etc.,” center spokesman Ed Makowski said. 

The easement was created with assistance from the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) and the Conservation Fund, which helped secure the designation  through MMSD’s Greenseams program, which is now protecting more than 4,000 acres. 

The program includes undeveloped, privately owned properties in areas expected to have major growth in the next 20 years, as well as open space along streams, shorelines and wetlands. It works to store and drain water into the ground naturally, helping prevent flooding and water pollution while supporting and protecting MMSD’s structural flood management projects.

“I’m proud that this easement ensures that this land will enjoy stronger conservation protections long after any of our time here. Our team is fortunate to add to the bountiful history of conservation at Riveredge,” Riveredge Executive Director Jessica Jens said.

Riveredge was created in 1968 on 72 acres by members of the Whitefish Bay Garden Club. Today, it operates various outdoor educational programs and includes a native prairie, 10 miles of trails, wetland and forest habitat and Riveredge Creek, a Wisconsin State Natural Area. 

The center’s programs include the Homeschool Ed-Ventures curriculum and other educational offerings for all ages and the Riveredge Outdoor Learning Elementary School, a charter school of the Northern Ozaukee School District.

ROLES is the first nature-based public charter elementary school in the region and has 90 students in its second year.

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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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