In 1965, the seed that would become Riveredge was first planted. That was when a group of visionary women in the Whitefish Bay Garden Club first had the dream of a place where all residents of metropolitan Milwaukee could experience and be transformed by the natural world and where a piece of wild Wisconsin could be established and preserved for generations to come. In 1968, that forward thinking and audacious seed first sprouted when early supporters, volunteers, and donors came together to raise the funds and purchase the land that would officially become Riveredge, the first nature center in Southeast Wisconsin.

In the years and decades to come, not only did degraded farmland grow wild into a sanctuary teeming with diverse and healthy habitats and wildlife, but so did hundreds of thousands of Riveredge Kids- both young and young-at-heart. For 50 years now, Riveredge has connected individuals, families, and classrooms with the outdoors around them- inspiring a passion, love, and respect for the natural world and healthier and happier communities. In 2018, we celebrate the incredible impact of the past 50 years and look forward to the next 50 to come. Join us!

Save The Dates

While we'll be building the 50th into all our special events throughout 2018 (we never miss an excuse for a party!), there are two big 50th celebrations coming up you'll want to be sure to save the date for!

June 3

Birthday Bash


We're celebrating Riveredge's past, present, and future with a special birthday bash chock full of free fun for all ages. Explore the Riveredge sanctuary on guided tours, participate in some of Riveredge favorite activities from tree climbing to river exploration, and reunite with others in the Riveredge family. (P.S. Don't miss the birthday cupcakes!)

Learn more and RSVP for this free day of fun here.

September 8

50th Gala


Our annual Farm-To-Table Dinner fundraiser is putting on it's finest clothes as we throw an elegant 50th Anniversary Gala at the beautiful West Bend Mutual Insurance Company Prairie Center. Expect a mouthwatering catered meal, a plethora of good drinks and good friends, and a chance to show your support for Riveredge's legacy and future!

Find all the details and save your seats for this special night here. 

We need a nature center - Whitefish Bay Garden Club

Making History

With a legacy of so many dedicated members and volunteers and of so many innovative projects and accomplishments, there's a lot to learn about the past 50 years! We'll be featuring Riverdge history flashbacks throughout the year on our social media channels and in special displays at the center, but for a small taste of some of that incredible history, check out a recent timeline of Riveredge's early years published in our print newsletter.

The Next 50 Years

Such a major anniversary is not only a chance to celebrate the incredible legacy of the past but a chance to re-commit to extending that legacy into the future. As Riveredge continues to expand our efforts not only on our own 379 acres but also with outreach partnerships and efforts in our communities, schools, and neighborhoods, we continue to count on the support of our Riveredge family to make it possible. If you're interested in helping us connect over 40,000 people each year to the great outdoors, please consider volunteering or making a donation today!