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Badertscher Preserve

Admission Fee



  1. Parking
  2. Walking Trails


One of the most important land areas in Little Muskego Lake’s watershed has been preserved!  In 2012, the City of Muskego purchased 104 acres of land just north of Field Drive. It was named Badertscher Preserve in commemoration of the family who farmed there for many years.  This purchase utilized a portion of the city’s landfill settlement funds earmarked for conservation and was leveraged with a Stewardship grant from the State of Wisconsin.  The Little Muskego Lake Association also generously donated $50,000 toward acquisition and development.
May 2012 - Land Purchased

Site Description
Badertscher Preserve is located in the northwestern portion of the city immediately north of Field Drive. It also lies south of and adjacent to the city-owned Ridges Conservation site making it collectively over 130 of contiguous acres of conservancy. The physical geography of the site covers rolling glacial topography and has wetlands and artesian springs which give rise to Spring Creek, the highest quality stream in the city and a major tributary to Little Muskego Lake. Land restoration objectives include restoring native vegetation that existed before European settlement and invasive species management. 
Oak Savanna
Oak savannas once dominated southern Wisconsin’s landscape. They are characterized by widely-spaced oak trees growing amid prairie grasses and wildflowers.

A 12-acre wooded area dominated by large, formerly open-grown oak trees lies in the middle of Badertscher Preserve. An extensive brush removal project was completed in late 2012 to control invasive Honeysuckle and Buckthorn shrubs in the under-story of this historic oak savanna. These openings have been seeded with appropriate oak savanna plant species. Periodic controlled burns will help control re-invasion of shrubs and maintain openings.

The wetlands at Badertscher Preserve include a relatively rare calcareous fen plant community. Native wetland plant species were reintroduced through hand seeding. In addition to providing wildlife habitat, these wetlands will help naturally manage storm water resulting in a cleaner, more consistent flow of water to Little Muskego Lake.

A nine-acre woodland on the northwest part of the property has a mixture of hardwood tree species. Extensive removal of invasive species such as Buckthorn and Garlic Mustard begun in 2013 and will be an ongoing management objective. 

What were formally agricultural fields were seeded with over 70 native prairie species in the winter of 2013-2014. Since 2014, it has taken form and continues to be a beautiful natural landscape year after year. Invasive species control and periodic prescribed burning aid in making the prairies of Badertcher as diverse as they are. These prairies also provide plenty of space for local critters to live. 

March 2014 - Dormant Seeding Badertscher

Hiking for nature appreciation and public education is a foremost use for Badertscher Preserve. A network of trails allows foot travel to all portions of the property and connect to the Ridges conservation site. Trails can be used for cross country skiing and snowshoeing in times of snow cover. The site will also be open for archery hunting. Trail Map


Education, Outreach, & Volunteerism
Eagle Scout, Nick Berger, planted 100 oak trees throughout the prairies as his capstone project. Eagle Scout, Paul Rapp, constructed a parking lot fence consisting of stone pillars and repurposed telephone poles as his capstone project in August 2014. 

Badertscher Preserve will periodically host workshops, tours, and special events. We look to sustain our partnership with local scout groups, school groups, and volunteers who have been so instrumental in the development and use of other conservation areas throughout Muskego!