Waukesha/Milwaukee County Chapter
The Waukesha/Milwaukee County Chapter was established in
1984 and currently has more than 450 members. We are
responsible for maintaining 45.8 miles of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail between Monches (on the border of Washington County) and the Town of Eagle (on the border of Jefferson County). The Chapter regularly sponsors Ice Age Trail workdays and hikes which are listed below.
The Chapter meets the third Thursday of each month (except July and December) at 7:00 pm at the Homestead Hollow Trecker Lodge facility of the Lapham Peak Unit of Kettle Moraine State Forest (driving directions). Occasionally, we will meet at a different location, so be sure to check the Chapter's calendar for location information. Our agenda always allows the opportunity for discussion of news and concerns beyond scheduled reports, and occasionally we have speakers with informative and entertaining programs at the meetings.
Subscribe to our electronic newsletter.
Ice Age National Scenic Trail Nature Center Display Fundraiser
The Ice Age Trail Alliance offers many volunteer opportunities and educational programs. We are currently working with local vendors on the design of a display for the Hausmann Nature Center in Lapham Peak. Our goals are to increase awareness of the Ice Age Trail, engage the youth in the outdoors, and highlight our volunteers.
If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation through PayPal, click on the "Donate" button below. Checks can also be mailed to: Dick Haas, S54 W23666 Hickory Ridge Dr., Waukesha, WI 53189. Please make checks payable to: "IATA Wauk/Milw County Chapter" and write "display" in the memo.
"Walk the Wauk" Program
The Chapter's Walk the Wauk program rewards hikers who have walked all Ice Age Trail segments in the Waukesha/Milwaukee County Chapter's territory. Download the program brochure to learn how you can join the ranks of "Walk the Waukers". Once you have completed the progam, you will receive Ice Age Trail Alliance and Walk the Wauk patches, as well as an Ice Age National Scenic Trail sticker and certificate. If you or your family would like to be highlighted for your accomplishment of completing the Walk the Wauk program, please contact us.
For additional photos of each segment, click on the links below.
Don't forget to stop at the Southern Kettle Moraine State Forest Headquarters near Eagle. They have a wonderful nature center that features a museum, auditorium, and gift shop.
TRAIL MONITORS - The Waukesha/Milwaukee County Chapter relies very heavily on volunteers to maintain the Ice Age National Scenic Trail, and report any trail issues so they can be addressed quickly. If you have a problem to report, please contact Pat. You can also fill out a Trail Report, and if you have questions about what to watch for, we have a guide to assist you. To learn how you can get involved, please visit our Adopt-a-Trail Program page.
GARLIC MUSTARD PULLERS - Late spring and early summer is the best time to battle Garlic Mustard by pulling it before it flowers and seeds out. Garlic Mustard is an invasive species that is unknowingly spread by hikers and wildlife. It is easy to identify and is best to take care of regularly in an effort to put a dent in next year's crop. You can find patches just about anywhere in Waukesha County, but this year we are specifically targeting Brady's Rocks and the Monches segment.
On your next hike, bring a plastic garbage bag and pull the plant (tiny white flowers, heart shaped leaves that smell like garlic when crushed). They pull out easily, but be sure to get the roots. The best way to dispose of Garlic Mustard is to burn the plants after pulling. If that is not an option, the garbage bags can be thrown in a dumpster with other trash. Do not put this plant in a compost pile, or it will reseed. Another less bulky option is to detach the flower, place the flower in a bag to take with you, and then pull the rest of the plants and disperse them at least 20 feet off the trail.
Check out Wisconsin's DNR website for information and photos to help you identify this plant. It is found in two different stages, so may not always look like the photo above. In the early stages, it looks like ground cover. Be sure to wear long-sleeves and gloves because some areas are also home to poison ivy and thorny brush.
MOWERS - With close to 20 miles of Trail that needs to be mowed several times during the Spring, Summer, and Fall months, we can always use some extra hands to help with the mowing duties. We supply the equipment, including the trailer, but a vehicle with a hitch is necessary. If you think you may enjoy running a brush mower and have a few hours to spare, please consider this volunteer opportunity. The time commitment depends on the weather, and how much rainfall we experience. Anyone who remembers the drought of 2012, knows that it was an exceptional year, but in most cases, the mowers go out several times a month. Training is provided, and we recommend going out with a partner for safety reasons. Plus, it's a lot more fun with someone to share the work with.
HIKE COORDINATORS AND LEADERS - We are in need of people who are willing to coordinate and lead hikes. We have seen a steady increase in the number of hiking participants recently. That means we could use help with organizing hikes, educating people on plantlife and geological formations along the Trail, and answering questions that may arise. Training will be provided. If you enjoy exploring the Southern Kettle Moraine area and sharing your knowledge of the great outdoors with others, please consider becoming a volunteer hike leader.
GREETERS AT MEETINGS - We recently started something new, and that is having a greeter at each meeting to hand out nametags, ask people to sign in, and answer any questions newcomers may have. This has been very successful.
Please contact us if you can help.
HAUSMANN NATURE CENTER OPPORTUNITIES
Volunteers are needed on weekends to have the Center open to the public on Saturday and Sunday from May 25th - October 31st. There will be two people on duty at all times. They offer self-scheduling via a Google spreadsheet. Duties include: greeting visitors, answering questions about the exhibits, overseeing the gift shop area, and assisting children in the Kids' Corner. Orientation will be provided with new sessions beginning in Apri. This is a great opportunity to meet people, learn new skills, and share with others all the wonderful features of this beautiful building and surrounding scenic views.
Please contact Louise Borzynski, Friends of Lapham Peak, email@example.com or 262-646-8583 if you are interested.
COMPANION GUIDE FIELD EDITORS NEEDED
If you are interested in helping with the writing of the Ice Age Trail Alliance's Companion Guide, please click here for more information.
We are working on putting together photo albums of the different sections of the Ice Age Trail in Waukesha County. All times of year are acceptable and encouraged. Please take your camera along with you on your hikes while you explore, and if you are willing to share your adventure through pictures with us, you can email them to Jane. Be specific on the location where they were taken so that everything references the correct segment. These photos may even make it into the Hausmann Nature Center at Lapham Peak, displayed for park visitors to view as well!
Please contact us if you are interested in any of these volunteer opportunites and your inquiry will be forwarded to the appropriate individual.
Thursday, June 20th - 6:30 pm (NEW LOCATION AND START TIME) Please note the earlier start time and change in location where we are meeting. We are accommodating our members who live in the Milwaukee area, by moving the meeting to a closer location. Watch for yellow and black Ice Age Trail Event signs.
Cheryl Nenn, from Milwaukee Riverkeeper, will be joining us at the Urban Ecology Center and presenting information on her organization. Milwaukee Riverkeeper serves as an advocate and voice for the Milwaukee, Menomonee, and Kinnickinnic Rivers.
Please bring a friend and stick around afterwards for refreshments and snacks. If you'd like to bring something to share, we won't turn you away!
See our events calendar for more information and driving directions. Come early and check out the grounds and facility. You will learn a lot about how the Urban Ecology Center serves our youth and others in an urban environment, through education about nature and the importance of protecting our limited resources.
Future Featured Speakers
Thursday, October 17th, - 6:30 pm (NEW LOCATION AND START TIME) We will be sponsoring a "Hikers Forum" at the West Allis Library, where we will be featuring local Thousand Milers, who have completed the Ice Age National Scenic Trail. Join us as they each share their own unique experiences.
Thursday, November 21st - 7:00 pm
Marlin Johnson, who has been the Resident Manager of UW Waukesha's 98-acre Field Station since 1970, will be doing a presentation on the glaciation in Waukesha County. This will be an extension of last year's presentation.
At this time, we do not have any hikes schedules, but please check back regularly. If you would like to lead a hike, let us know, and we'll provide the training.
Saturday, June 22nd, 8:00 pm Summer Solstice Moonlight Hike - This is one of our favorites to sponsor. There's nothing quite like having the nearly full moon guide you through the stillness and serenity that exists in the woods during the early evening summertime hours. Eagle is a favorite area for hikers, as it offers some spectacular views. In addition, the entire area has returned to its original condition and long-dormant plant species specific to the low prairie have dramatically reappeared. Please join us for this family-friendly peaceful journey. Don't forget your flashlight! Please check out our Chapter's calendar for more information.
If you are out on the Trail during the fall and winter months, please use caution when you are in areas where hunting is allowed. Be sure to wear bright colors, and if you take your dog with you, he must be leashed and under the owner's control at all times. Leashes can not exceed 8 feet in length. It is recommended that a bright colored scarf or other garment be placed on the dog as well.
NOTE: The state of Wisconsin enacted a new law (ACT 28) regarding hunting and trapping regulations in state parks beginning January 1, 2013. This does not affect Lapham Peak, as it is a unit and not a state park. There are many areas in Waukesha County and throughout the state of Wisconsin, where the Ice Age National Scenic Trails traverses, and hunting and trapping are permitted. Please click here for further information on hunting and trapping locations.
Saturday, September 21st, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm - We will be participating in the Retzer Nature Center's "Apple Harvest Festival" again this year, along with many other vendors. This is a very popular event and one that offers arts & crafts projects for the kids, live music, apple pie, and lots of other fun activities.
- Chapter Communication Coordinator - Kris Jensen
- Volunteer Coordinator - Yvonne Fort
- Public Outreach Coordinator - Jane Wester
- Finance & Hike Coordinator - Russ Evans
- Trail Coordinator & Thru-Hiker Liaison - Pat Witkowski (262-490-3515)
- Display Fundraising Coordinator - Jessica Woodward
- Secretary - Kevin Kuhlmann
- Membership Coordinator - Judy Rose
- Government & Community Relations Coordinator - Ken Neitzke
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