MILWAUKEE -- Riveredge Nature Center turns the big 50 today. It's been a jewel for half a century, and that's thanks in large part to the volunteers that help keep it up. Carl spent the morning getting in the work.
About Riveredge Nature Center (website)
The idea for establishing a nature center was originated by the Whitefish Bay Garden Club in the spring of 1965 during the presidency of Isabel Lillie. It was a “big dream” for such a small group, 25 women, who hoped in the beginning only to create a facility for environmental education for the children of Whitefish Bay. A committee first inspected the site that was to become Riveredge Nature Center in the fall of 1965. In January,1968, the Riveredge Foundation was formed. The immediate goal was to raise the funds necessary to purchase a parcel of land, which, with the aid of area scientists, was identified as filling the needs for a center. The land, the Grady tract, was located near Newburg on the Milwaukee River.
The following editorial appeared in the May 7, 1968 issue of the Milwaukee Journal describing the goal of the nature center: “One price of our galloping urbanization is the blotting out of little patches of untouched beauty and peace within the cities’ shadow-the marshes, the untrammeled river banks, the bits of wild land. There are fine public parks to be sure, manicured and cultivated. But how much wild land? Very little. That is why it is particularly important to set aside 72 acres of wild Ozaukee land along the Milwaukee River near Newburg. A private, non-profit group of citizens, the Riveredge Foundation, hopes to raise the monies to buy and preserve the land as a nature study center for the area’s school children.”