Posted by Bill Selzer on Nov 14, 2022

Rotarian Mark Thurner introduced Steven Siodlarz and Emily Hiller from the Waukesha County Park System. Steven is a senior landscape architect who plans, designs, plus manages the construction and development of the System’s lands and facilities. The WCPS is a passive recreation nature-based system comprised of:

· 9 Fee-Based Parks – 3000 + acres

· 12 Greenways/Park Land – 4000 +

· 4 Bike and Pedestrian recreation trails for hiking and nature watching – 41 miles

· 2 Golf Courses

· 2 Ice Arenas

· Retzer Nature Center – 477 acres

· 5 Lake Access Sites

· Expo Center for special events

Steven gave an overview of the facilities and recreation opportunities offered at each location. During the pandemic, the parks remained open and experienced an increase in attendance that has been sustained post pandemic. One of the most recent projects is the 3-mile Fox River Trail. The plan is to connect many of the trails, providing a continuum network through the county and beyond.

Emily is the Public Communication Coordinator for the System. She shared information on their collaborative Partnership Engagement Program with partners, stakeholders, sponsors, and volunteers. Emily explained the importance of communication between these partners to maintain a viable sustainable program where everyone involved is an “owner of the end result”. Volunteers are a key component in providing the parks with:

· The Adopt-a-Trail program

· General Park maintenance

· Tree planting at various sites

· Citizen Science Programs

· The Adopt-a-Drain program

· Habitat restoration workdays

· Special events assistance

· The Retzer Teaching Naturalist program

Emily thanked the Elmbrook Rotary Club for their 2023 Adopt-a-Trail Commitment, and the recent planting of 30 trees by Rotarians along the Fox River Trial.

For more information about the Waukesha County Park System, visit their website at to learn more about the recreational and volunteer opportunities available.