Conservation Announcement: Sandhill Lake Wildlife Sanctuary joins Riveredge!

Riveredge Nature Center is elated to announce the gift of a nearby 40-acre parcel of land entrusted to us to conserve and restore. Sandhill Lake Wildlife Sanctuary is near the main Riveredge property, though not connected, and has been donated by the Hepburn family of Cedarburg, longtime friends and supporters of Riveredge.

This property already holds a conservation easement and the location offers exciting opportunities to both conserve and improve habitat. The parcel boasts various habitats, including marshland, forest, riparian stream, agricultural land in production, post-agricultural prairie, and access to Sandhill Lake. In the upcoming years, it will be used as another education outpost for a variety of programs.

Riveredge conservation staff will conduct a thorough survey  of the property to develop a conservation restoration and management plan. Initial inspections have revealed badger dens, more than 50 species of birds, and excellent turtle breeding habitat.

From a programmatic use standpoint, we envision this location for various potential educational opportunities, including: summer camps, homeschool programs, field trips, academic partner research endeavors, and scout group outings.

When we think of real estate in the context of conservation, the funny thing about ownership titles, real estate deeds, shoreline easements is that Rusty-patched Bumble Bees, Pileated Woodpeckers, and Rainbow Trout all have no regard for such human declarations. This is why Riveredge’s conservation philosophy is to work alongside neighbors, farmers, land owners, and future environmentalists to expand how properties can become a both more beautiful and resplendent beacon for wildlife. We look forward to cultivating goodwill with our new neighbors at Sandhill Lake.

We look forward to conserving this robust habitat with efforts that will increase the native and migratory species seen on Sandhill Lake Wildlife Sanctuary, and will in turn have a positive ripple effect on the neighboring properties. With gratitude and purpose, we thank the Hepburn family for their longtime friendship and support, and for entrusting Riveredge with the earnest duty of caring for Sandhill Lake Wildlife Sanctuary.