This 60 acre forest in the heart of urban Milwaukee is a natural place for community engagement and forest exploration.
The Woodland has been recognized by the Department of Natural Resources as an area of local significance as well as a Class II wildlife habitat within the southern Lake Michigan coastal ecological landscape and it is one of the largest wooded tracts remaining in Milwaukee County.
The maple-beech forest type was once extensive along this stretch of Lake Michigan. Within The Woodland, remnants of the maple-beech forest persist with an understory of wildflowers in spring such as bloodroot, trillium, spring beauties, may apple and trout lily.
Also within are remnants of the rich history of the land and people that once lived, worked and farmed here. Large oak “wolf trees” and barbed wire fence reflect a time of open lands and grazing cattle. Remnants still remain of a tree nursery that was once on site. These clusters of maple and spruce trees now become a chapter in the biography of this landscape.
The forest also contains a diversity of spring wildflowers and abundant wildlife. Existing trails cross all four forest stand types and parallel a wooded ravine with rich ground flora.
Teacher Allison Perry brings students to The Woodland as part of the Exploring Forests badge program
When improved with recreational trails and interpretive and educational opportunities, The Forest Exploration Center Woodland will bring to light the importance of forests and sustainable forestry with the goal to increase awareness and deepen understanding of Wisconsin’s rural and urban forest communities.
Within the forest are ephemeral ponds that dry up in summer. These wet areas are important components of forest ecology and provide breeding areas for amphibians and critical stopover spots for waterfowl and songbirds.
Remnants of the old tree nursery become a chapter in the biography of this landscape