Joan Pick Property
In 2013, the Cedar Lakes Conservation Foundation acquired the Pick Property, a parcel of nearly 56 acres. The property was donated in two segments, the first given to CLCF by long time supporter Ms. Joan Pick as a gift in her will when she passed away in April of 2013. Adjacent to this piece of former farmland was Ms. Picks’ residence and grounds. In Ms. Pick’s will, she bequeathed her personal residence, a caretaker’s house, and 17 acres to her two nieces, Loraine Budke and Andrea Sellinger. Loraine and Andrea, in turn, also gifted this property to CLCF with the intention that the organization would create a memorial to Ms. Pick and her love of nature.
Part of the CLCF Statement of Purpose reads: “To facilitate serious study and research in ecology and other natural sciences as they pertain to the Cedar Lakes area.” To move forward with our natural history educational effort, CLCF responded with a vision proposal to the heirs for a potential “Joan Pick Nature Preserve” which would also house the CLCF offices. This proposal preserves the entire 56-acre Pick property, which contains a composition of uplands, forest, wetlands, grassland fields and a pond.
In December of 2014, CLCF, working with Eco-Resource Consulting (ERC), began a prairie restoration on the Pick property. This planting is a “Native Pollinator Mix” that encompasses 8.5 acres of wet-mestic and 15.5 acres of mesic seed mixes for a total of a 24-acre restoration. According to Clay Frazer, the project ecologist, “The primary objective is to maximize species diversity while offering a wide spectrum of bloom periods, bloom colors, and successional stages in order to maximize ecological value for invertebrates, particularly pollinator species.”
It will take a few years and careful maintenance for the prairie to become established. As it develops there will eventually be trails to walk among these fields of native wildflowers. The prairie restoration was made possible because of a generous grant from the Melitta and Joan Pick Charitable Trust and additional financial assistance from the NRCS and the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
Additionally, CLCF and the Pick Foundation had embarked on a collaboration with the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design (MIAD) during the 2014-2015 school year as Joan Pick was a supporter of the school. This creative exercise yielded many interesting ideas and generated informative feedback. Further collaborations with design ideas and community response were planned for 2017. The Joan M. Pick Nature Preserve will be officially opened to the public on September 7, 2019.
Visit the Pick Nature Preserve page to learn more.