A Refuge for All Living Things

The Joan M. Pick Nature Preserve is a 53-acre preserve on a moraine formed in the last Ice Age that slopes down to wetlands on the north and west. The preserve is great for viewing wildlife, from white-tailed deer, mated sandhill cranes, bluebirds and even turtles from the surrounding wetlands. Being home to such precious wildlife species, as well as plant species, is just a few reasons why the Cedar Lakes Conservation Foundation (CLCF) will continue to preserve this cherished location.

The preserve contains 1 mile of prairie paths for hiking and snowshoeing. The trails are surrounded by an exquisite selection of native prairies species, as well as wooded and wetland areas, creating a diverse ecological community.

During the early spring, the prairie is a wave of yellow and purple with the first blooming species of the season being golden alexander and pale purple coneflowers. As the summer progresses, an array of milkweed, yellow coneflower, mountain mint and blazing stars cover the property. The variety of species and colors are incredible. When fall comes, the goldenrod and asters take over and provide a colorful palette to balance out the changing color of the leaves.


Joan M. Pick’s father, Andrew Pick, purchased the land in 1937, which Joan “Jo” ultimately inherited. Jo grew to be a woman with strong connections to the land, art, learning, and 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 CLCF the opportunity to create a refuge on her land for all living things, where people could come and enjoy the beauty of nature much as she had.

CLCF planted the farm fields with a prairie flower mix in 2014. Sketches from Jo’s book are incorporated into the signs at the entrance to the preserve as well as at the kiosk. CLCF’s office is located in Joan’s former home on the preserve.


Parking is available at 5975 County Road Z West Bend, WI 53095.

As you walk the prairie paths alongside the woodlands and wetlands, perhaps you’ll discover treasures of simple beauty for your sketchbook, photo album, or memories. Look for the colors of an artist’s palette, listen for the crane’s bugle, and feel the sun’s energy.  Enjoy your hike!

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Your gift will help us sustain the abundant natural beauty, clean water, and biodiversity of the Cedar Lakes region for generations to come.