III. Enhance Our Quality of Life Assets

Future State: County residents are proud of the natural, cultural and recreational assets of the County. We focus on environmental stewardship in everything we do.

Section III. A - Highlights:


1. Anticipate completing task through preservation of Clay Bluffs - 132 acres, River Oaks - 3 acres, and a few other smaller projects. Little Menomonee River Project - 56 acres added in 2021 deed transfer. Land & Water working with the Town of Grafton and have secured a grant for River Oaks from FEMA and the WI Division of Emergency Management. Anticipate securing funding, and closing on two additional properties in 2021 to add to River Oaks.

Sep - 2021 Update - Acquisition of the 132 acre Clay Bluffs Cedar Gorge Nature Preserve is ongoing. Little Menomonee River Fish and Wildlife Preserve is now a County Park in the Ozaukee County Park System (56 acres). Approximately 2.8 acres within four parcels at River Oaks County Park with funding from FEMA/WEM and WDNR closing in 2021. Landowner coordination for donation of 7 acre Ulao Gateway property in the Village of Grafton. Landowner coordination for donation of 8.5 acres of INRA along the OIT in the Town of Grafton.


April - 2022 Update - Acquisition of the 132 acre Clay Bluffs Cedar Gorge Nature Preserve is ongoing. The 56 acre Little Menomonee River Fish and Wildlife Preserve is now a County Park in the Ozaukee County Park System. Donation of the 7 acre Ulao Creek Nature Preserve completed in February 2022, is now a County Park in the Ozaukee County Park System. Approximately 2.8 acres within four parcels at River Oaks County Park are being acquired in 2022 (2 of 4 properties closing in April 2022, remainder to close in 2022) with funding from WDNR/WEM/FEMA. Landowner coordination continues for donation of 8.5 acres of INRA along the OIT in the Town of Grafton. Planning for acquisition of up to 67.2 acres as part of the County Highway W reconstruction and restoration project in the Village of Saukville.


2. Conversations have started with municipalities in 2021. Agreements to come in 2022.


April - 2022 Update - Conversations continuing with municipalities in 2022. Specific scope discussions with Town and Village of Belgium and coordination with SEWRPC.


3. Tentatively planning to reconstitute in December, 2021.

Sep - 2021 Update - Tentatively planning to reconstitute in December, 2021.


April - 2022 Update - Plans to reconstitute both both boards following recent elections in May 2022.


4. Engaged in a multi-county partnership, with MSSD serving as project manager to improve water quality through easements on farmland, cost-sharing with farmers, and implementing agricultural best practices.


Sep - 2021 Update - In process of approving Intergovernmental Cooperative Agreement with MMSD. Developing promotional materials. Establshed a 5 year Soil Health Assessment Program; working with 2 members of the Clean Farm Families.


April - 2022 Update - Engaging local farmers/landowners and ag community to implement agricultural best practice, that lead to more sustainable farmland, that reduce runoff pollution.


7. Closed an EPA grant in 2019. Additional ROW work done in partnership with Highway Department. Progress largely dependent on grants.


April - 2022 Update - Continued work on National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) Sustain Our Great Lakes (SOGL) invasive species grant County-wide. Continued ROW invasive species work in partnership with the Highway Department. Received additional competitive grant funding from Southeastern Wisconsin Invasive Species Consortium (SEWISC) for Hawthorne Hills County Park and Ulao Creek Nature Preserve. Recieved additional competitive grant funding from the Brookby Foundation for invasive species work. Received competitive WDNR Urban Forestry grant to manage EAB-infected ash trees.


8. Utilizing three large Forest Service grants, the intent is to plant two trees for every one ash tree taken down.


April - 2022 Update - 9 grants received in 2021 ($1,212,800) for habitat restoration inclusive of USFS grants noted below. Closed MeeKwon Phase III at end of 2021. Continuing work with Hawthorne Hills Project Area, and initiated work on Coastal Parks USFS grants. Received a NFWF National Coastal Resililency Foundation grant for restoration activities on Mineral Springs Creek in the City of Port Washington (2021). Received a WDNR Urban Forestry grant (2022) for native tree planting. Received Brookby Foundation grant for tree planting (2021). Continued tree planting at the Little Menomonee River Fish and Wildlife Preserve. Total of 4,083 trees planted in 2021.

County Indicators





Community Indicators TBD

Section III. B - Highlights:


1. Pursuing completion through the Soil Health Initiative. Clean Farm Families will be engaging the County Board in 2021, and also hosting a virtual conference in 2021.


April - 2022 Update - Budgeted $40,000 in 2022 for the Clean Farm Families Program, and purchasing Air Flow Seeder in 2022 and Tractor puchased in 2021, to be rented by farmers in Ozaukee County, for no-till and soil health initiatives.


2. Anticipate starting in late 2021, as a high priority of the Land & Water Department.


April - 2022 Update - Need to research/benchmark a model for Septic Replacement Program.


3. Land & Water Department engaging in assisting in engineering agricultural methods. Farmers required to comply only if funds are available.

Sep - 2021 Update - Land & Water Department targeting DNR and Dept. of Ag Funds to assist farmers with compliance. Projects under construction.


4. Planning & Parks engaging in stormwater design for Mee-Kwon County Park, developing TMDLs for Pigeon Creek and identifying projects. Land & Water Department targeting Department of Agriculture funds for farmers to utilize in the key areas identified in the nine key element plans.


Sep - 2021 Update - Funding has been secured for the Mee-Kwon County Park Storwmater and Green Infrastructure project in the Pigeon Creek watershed. Planning and Parks Department is also working to identify projects under the Fredonia Newburg 9-key Element Plan. Ongoing stream restoration on Mole Creek with continued water quality sampling. Land & Water Department obtained TRM funds for 2022.


April - 2022 Update - Ongoing modeling, engineering and design for the Mee-Kwon County Park Stormwater and Green Infrastructure project in the Pigeon Creek Watershed (construction planned for fall 2022). Planning and Parks Department is also working to identify projects under the Fredonia Newburg 9-key Element Plan, including project planning for stream and wetland restoration at Tendick Nature Park. Signficantly completed additional phase of stream restoration on Mole Creek in 2021 with continued water quality sampling. Land & Water Department targeting Department of Agriculture and DNR funds for farmers to utilize in the key areas identified in the nine key element plans. Obtained TRM Funds for 2022.


5. Sep - 2021 Update - Funding has been secured for the Mee-Kwon County Park Storwmater and Green Infrastructure project in the Pigeon Creek watershed, with solicitation of design and engineering proposals from consulting firms. Ongoing water quality monitoring.


April - 2022 Update - Funding has been secured for the Mee-Kwon County Park Storwmater and Green Infrastructure project in the Pigeon Creek watershed, with ongoing modeling, engineering and design from a consulting firm (construction planned for fall 2022). Ongoing water quality monitoring. Planning and Parks Department is also working to identify projects under the Fredonia Newburg 9-key Element Plan, including project planning for stream and wetland restoration at Tendick Nature Park.


6. Acquired and restoring Little Menomonee Park. Approximately, half-way through addressing the identified impediments in Ozaukee Fish Passage program.

Sep - 2021 Update - Acquired and restoring the Little Menomonee River Fish and Wildlife Preserve. Approximately half-way complete addressing identified fish and aquatic life passage impediments. Ongoing habitat restoration activities at Mole Creek, Ulao Creek, and Mineral Springs Creek. Ongoing fish passage impediment removal or remediation projects on Silver Beach Creek, Mole Creek, Tendick Creek, and Sucker Brook Creek. Ongoing habitat assessment for the Little Menomonee River. Ongoing reconstruction of the MT Fishway. Environmental monitoring at all active project locations.


April - 2022 Update - 5 grants recieved in 2021 ($837,121) for fish passage activities. Acquired and restoring the Little Menomonee River Fish and Wildlife Preserve. Approximately half-way complete addressing identified fish and aquatic life passage impediments. Ongoing habitat restoration activities at Mole Creek (signficantly completed recent phase in 2021), Ulao Creek (additional phases planned), and Mineral Springs Creek (construction and restoration planned for summer 2022). Completed fish passage removal or impediment remediation projects on Buser Creek. Ongoing fish passage impediment removal or remediation projects on Silver Beach Creek (project planning), Mole Creek (construction planned for summer 2022), Tendick Creek (several impediments remediated in 2021, ongoing work planned for 2023), and Sucker Brook Creek (construction planned for spring/summer 2022). Ongoing habitat assessment for the AOC Little Menomonee River project. Ongoing reconstruction of the MT Fishway (final completion anticipated summer 2022). Environmental monitoring at all active project locations.

County Indicators







Community Indicators

2019 South Branch - Milwaukee River Subwatershed Scorecard - Milwaukee Riverkeepers

South Branch - Milwaukee River Subwatershed recieved a D grade on the Milwaukee Riverkeepers Scorecard. A Milwaukee Riverkeepers D grade indicates that, "water quality indicators meet targets 60-69% of the time. Water quality and wildlife habitat of these waters tend to be poor."

South Branch Milwaukee River Subwatershed Map


Section III. C - Highlights:


1. Actively working towards reengaging OIT Advisory Council and meeting later in 2022.


2. Actively pursuing grants to re-pave the OIT. Secured funding that was became uncommitted to the County by the State. Worked with the Hwy Department in 2019/2020 to rate the trail's pavement condition.


April - 2022 Update - Actively pursuing grants to re-pave the OIT including State Tourism Capital Grant (not received), WisDOT TAP grant (pending), County Capital Fund grant (pending), and federal RAISE grant in conjunction with SEWRPC (pending).


3. Currently, no grant funding has been secured. Regional meetings on-going to determine the best east-west corridor, i.e. Hwy 60, or Mequon Road, or Freistadt Road are all possible east-west connections.


Sep - 2021 Update - Currently, no grant funding has been secured. Worked with SEWRPC and regional Route of the Badger coalition to apply for federal RAISE funding for planning East-West corridors. Regional meetings on-going to determine the best east-west corridor, i.e. Hwy 60, or Mequon Road, or Freistadt Road are all possible east-west connections.


April - 2022 Update - See above.


4. Secured and closed-out joint marketing effort grant with the Ozaukee Tourism Council. Pursuing additional marketing grants to continue joint marketing effort. Improvements are being made at Pioneer Village.

Sep - 2021 Update - Pursuing additional joint effort marketing grants (phase II 2022). Improvements to Pioneer Village completed including new mound system and OCHS is making improvements to the train depot.


April - 2022 Update - Pursuing additional joint effort marketing grants (phase II 2022). Improvements to Pioneer Village completed including signficant new tree planting.


5. An appropriate project site has not been identified yet. A 60 acre site is optimal.


6. Maintenance facility is in the engineering/design phase, and funding is secured.


April - 2022 Update - Contract awarded for construction of the maintenance facility (construction planned for 2022). Grant funding (WDNR Stewardship)pending for public bathrooms/showers at the facility. Ongoing planning for future campground.


7. Project is halfway built, and funding secured. Tentatively scheduled to complete in 2021.


April - 2022 Update - Staircase nearing signficant completion, with ongoing bluff stability analysis and project planning for full public access to Lake Michigan. Ongoing fundraising.


8. Funding secured to complete ADA improvements in 2021 at Hawthorne Hills Golf Course clubhouse, and HH Peters Youth Camp through CDBG-Close grant. Maintenance facility costs came in high.

Sep - 2021 Update - Ongoing solicitation of engineering and design proposals for ADA access.


April - 2022 Update - ADA funding could not support improvements to the Hawthorne Hills Clubhouse (public bids rejected due to high costs/insufficient funds). HH Peters Youth Camp ADA improvements ongoing (expected completion May 2022). Ongoing engineering and design for loft construction at MeeKwon Golf Course Maintenance Facility.

County Indicators











Community Indicators