More than 25,000 visitors per year, over 450 acres of prairie and forest, a planetarium, a learning center – and one goal.

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We seek to secure the natural environment and learning center at Retzer Nature Center for the enjoyment of future generations of young and old throughout Waukesha County and Southeastern Wisconsin.

Annually, more than 25,000 people visit the Retzer Nature Center to hike the 450+ acres, visit the learning center, and participate in environmental education programs. Through project funding support and volunteer initiatives, we proudly embrace the crowning achievements and continued goal of restoring Retzer’s natural setting to its former state.


The Friends of Retzer Nature Center, Inc. is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to encouraging, perpetuating, and promoting the work of conservation and natural resource education. Our team of volunteers seek the involvement of the community in the form of financial and volunteer support to work toward the continued growth and improvement of Retzer Nature Center.

Some of our current projects include:

  • Local and International Field Trips
  • Prairie Underground Exhibit
  • Skywatch Platform and Fire Pit
  • Teaching Pond Restoration
  • Support of Apple Harvest Fest
  • Other Special Events
  • New Educational Trail Signage
  • Educational Material

About the Retzer Nature Center

The nature center site was originally the retirement home of John & Florence Retzer. It was the wish of Florence Retzer that the Waukesha County Park System develop the land as a nature center. Shortly after Florence passed in 1973, work began to fulfill her dream. The Retzer Nature Center is now part of the Waukesha County Parks system.