Protected Land

Our protected preserves are two beautiful pieces of property in the Des Plaines River Basin. Through generous funding from North America Wetlands Conservation Act and WI-DNR Nelson-Knowles Stewardship Fund these properties will remain open space and are available for public use.

1. Spitzer Property (Jean MacGraw Nature Preserve)

mcgrawThis property is a 14.75 acre upland/wetland complex in Bristol. The preserve is located on the east frontage road of I-94 between Hwys C and 50. It is open to the public for recreation, such as hiking, canoeing, and birding. We welcome you to visit the property.

2. Coker Property

Coker PropertyThe Coker Property is a 9.5 acre parcel in Pleasant Prairie. The Des Plaines River runs through the property. The entire property is part of a large primary environmental corridor and contains hardwoods and wetlands. Acquisition of this property by K/RLT will save the hardwoods and help restore the Des Plaines shoreline. The preservation of this property will continue to provide potential habitat for Blanding’s Turtle and Waxleaf Meadowrue, a plant species of concern in Wisconsin. We welcome you to visit the property.

Dr. Elvira Seno Had a Vision for her Beloved “Slippery Slopes” Tree Farm

elvira1When she retired from her medical practice in 1974. Dr. Elvira Seno bought this farm near Slade Corners where she had grown up as a child. In fact, she had visited this farm many times and played with the children who lived here.

She restored the old fields and pastures to support trees and wildlife, as well as crops. She planted 49,000 maple, ash, walnut and oak tress on the pastured hillsides, renovated the crop land, built a pond, and purchased a 26 acre tamarack marsh, just to protect it. She dearly loved this farm and wanted it to always remain as it was. Her wish was to find someone to carry our her wishes and be used to show others, especially children, the value and importance of the forests and the natural world. In 1994 she turned to the Wisconsin Woodland Owners Association (WWOA) who created a non-profit educational foundation to accept the gift of the land.

Dr. Seno (L) with Rachel Jordan 1995
Dr. Seno (L) with Rachel Jordan at dedication of the property, June 17, 1995

Since 1996, the WWOA Foundation has managed the property according to Dr. Seno’s wishes. The Wisconsin DNR holds a perpetual easement on the property that ensures it will always be cared for as she intended. Staff, volunteers and friends have renovated the barn as an educational center; planted trees, controlled exotic species, improved young forests and wildlife habitat. Before her death, in 1996, Dr. Seno was pleased to see the first groups coming to visit her farm.

Now school classes and groups come to enjoy, learn, and appreciate this wonderful gift. And Dr. Seno’s beloved farm stands as a tribute to her deep conservation ethic.

Someone checking a nesting box
It almost seems that I was born with the “land ethic” already instilled in me. But that was probably because, among the things repeated in grown up talk, was my grandfather’s repeated remark to remember “we don’t own the land – it is only ours to take care of for a while.”
– Dr. Elvira Seno

Drumlin Farm
NOTE: Drumlin Farm is closed to the public.

Drumlin Farm Sign

4×3 foot cedar sign at property entrance.
Graphic design and construction by UW-Stevens Point Schmeekle Reserve sign shop.

Drumlin Farm is 82 acres of marsh, prairie and pine plantation that was donated to the WWOA Foundation in 2006 by Dr. Shirley Peterson. The land is under a conservation easement held by the Geneva Lakes Land Trust. It is located on Cranberry Road just two miles to the south and west of the Seno K/RLT Conservancy.

Dr. Peterson passed away on January 17, 2009. Her memory will endure with the gift of her farm.

Dr. Peterson, of Barrington, Illinois, was an avid conservationist who protected and improved the property over the years. She planted prairie and forest species and protected the marsh areas. She also built a one acre pond and a shallow water pond for wildlife.

There are 30 acres of mixed conifer plantings, 13 acres of prairie, 34 acres of wetland marsh and 3 acres of old crop field. Doctor Peterson planted and maintained the prairie. She planted 26 acres of the red pine, white pine and white spruce plantations in 1963. Then in 1971 she planted an additional 4 acres red pine on the south edge of the property. A second thinning in the oldest stands was conducted in 2007. The selective thinning produced some income, but the main purpose was to improve the health and vigor of the remaining trees which will grow to large tree size. The third conifer thinning harvest was completed in 2017.

The property has a small stream that wonders north through the marsh. The stream along with two small ponds on the south forty, provide expanded opportunities for water activities with students.

The entire property is in a designated primary environmental corridor as identified by the Southeast Regional Planning Commission. Dr. Peterson’s strong land ethic and philosophy of protecting and preserving the land is very similar to that of Dr. Seno. Ironically, the two doctors never met.