Joan M. Pick Nature Preserve
The Joan M. Pick Nature Preserve stands on a moraine formed in the last Ice Age that slopes down to wetlands on the north and west.
When settlers built roads heading westward from the City of West Bend to Allenton in the late 1800s, they cut through this farmland to avoid the hills and wetlands. The crossroads were named Obermeyer Corners after the farmer who bought the property in 1861 and built the stone gate pillars.
Joan M. Pick’s father Andrew purchased the property in 1937, which “Jo” ultimately inherited. Jo grew to be a woman with strong connections to the land, to art, to learning, and to the community. She lived on the farm for more than 60 years.
Her philanthropic efforts and sense of humor became the qualities she was best known for when she passed away a month before her 97th birthday in 2013.
Her wish was to give the Cedar Lakes Conservation Foundation the opportunity to create a refuge on this land for all living things, where people could come and enjoy the beauty of nature as she had.
The Cedar Lakes Conservation Foundation planted the farm fields with a prairie flower mix in 2014. Sketches from Jo’s book are incorporated in the signs at the entrance and at this kiosk.
As you walk the prairie paths alongside woodland and wetland, perhaps you’ll discover treasures of simple beauty for your sketchbook, your photo album, your memories. Look for the colors of an artist’s palette. Listen for the crane’s bugle. Feel the sun’s energy.
Enjoy your walk!