Milwaukee, Wis., Aug. 4, 2015 – Experience the wonders of the natural world during a day of free access to sites in greater Milwaukee that advance environmental education, conservation, adventure and ecology. For its August Gift to the Community, the Greater Milwaukee Foundation is partnering with the Urban Ecology Center, Schlitz Audubon Nature Center, Riveredge Nature Center and Mequon Nature Preserve to offer free entry and an array of special programming across six different locations on Saturday, Aug. 22.

“Our partners for the August Gift to the Community all foster appreciation for our environment and community in distinct ways,” said Ellen M. Gilligan, president and CEO of the Greater Milwaukee Foundation. “The possibilities for fun and discovery on Aug. 22 are vast and will hopefully inspire our guests to learn more about the wonders of the living world around us.”

Each partner will offer a host of unique activities for visitors of all ages. Complete details can be found on their respective websites.

Opportunities include:

Mequon Nature Preserve

8200 W. County Line Road, Mequon, WI 53097
Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (trail access: dawn to dusk)


  • Nature’s obstacle course, geared for youth
  • Unique activity and enrichment stations
  • Up-close with critters, including Louise, the famous resident tortoise

Riveredge Nature Center

4458 County Road Y, Saukville, WI 53080
Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (trail access: dawn to dusk)


  • Recreational tree climbing
  • Geocaching
  • Fairy & gnome house building 

Schlitz Audubon Nature Center

1111 E. Brown Deer Road, Milwaukee, WI 53217
Hours: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (trail access: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.)


  • BioBlitz – observe and learn from scientists in action – in partnership with Milwaukee Public Museum
  • Ponding and guided nature hikes
  • Raptor meet and greet

Urban Ecology Center 

Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (all branches)

Menomonee Valley Branch, 3700 W. Pierce St., Milwaukee, WI 53215

    • Birding on the bridge
    • Hands-on beekeeping workshop
    • Reptile and amphibian feeding

Riverside Park Branch, 1500 E. Park Place, Milwaukee, WI 53211

    • Open climb on outdoor climbing wall
    • Kayak outing to Village Park for adults
    • Self-led science activities for kids

Washington Park Branch, 1859 N. 40th St., Milwaukee, WI 53208

    • Canoeing on the lagoon
    • Guided fishing lessons for kids and families
    • Water safety classes

Now in its eighth month, the Gifts to the Community program has reached nearly 200,000 people in providing access and celebrating the resources that make this region special. The Foundation has offered these opportunities in honor of its 100th year of service. New gifts are revealed each month on FOX 6 Milwaukee.

About the Greater Milwaukee Foundation

For a century, the Greater Milwaukee Foundation has helped individuals, families and organizations realize their philanthropic goals and make a difference in the community, during their lifetimes and for future generations. The Foundation consists of more than 1,200 individual charitable funds, each created by donors to serve the charitable causes of their choice. The Foundation also deploys both human and financial resources to address the most critical needs of the community and ensure the vitality of the region. Established in 1915, the Foundation was one of the first community foundations in the world. Ending 2014 with more than $841 million in assets, it is also among the largest.