The Thoma Preserve. On the eastern side of Little Cedar Lake is Washington County’s Ackerman’s Grove County Park, encompassing over 60 acres of land. When in 2017, Washington County decided to sell the northernmost field of Ackerman’s Grove County Park as part of its Fiscal Sustainability Plan. CLCF was eager to ensure that the 12-acre property remained open and natural. In 2018, the Washington County Board approved the sale of the parcel to CLCF and the Thoma Parcel (now part of the Thoma Preserve), came permanently under the protection of CLCF.
Just north of the Thoma parcel on the other side of Birchview Road, CLCF acquired this 13-acre parcel of pine forest habitat in May 2020. The parcel drains directly into Little Cedar Lake. Protection of this wooded habitat promotes healthy hydrology of the soils and mitigates runoff into the lake, thereby helping to preserve water quality. CLCF partnered with the Greenseams Program of the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD )in the purchase of this property. As part of CLCF’s purchase, MMSD acquired a conservation easement that will ensure that the natural, scenic and open space values of the property will be retained in perpetuity.
Following CLCF’s purchase of the 13-acre parcel, CLCF’s Volunteer Stew Crew quickly got to work establishing walking trails. There is now nearly a mile of walking trails between the woods and the prairie of what is now the 25-acre Thoma Preserve at 4935 Highway Z, West Bend, WI. With parking available along Thoma Park Drive, we hope that you will come out to enjoy a hike sometime soon!