Pine Forest Habitat
The Thoma Preserve is a 25-acre preserve, located north of Washington County’s Ackerman’s Grove County Park. The Thoma Preserve contains two parcels of land, with Birchview Road separating in between. To the north of Birchview is a 13-acre pine habitat that drains directly into Little Cedar Lake. To the south of Birchview is a 12-acre area of open meadowland surrounded by trees and shrubs.
Thoma Preserve has 1 mile of hiking and snowshoe trails through the forest habitat and meadowland. While hiking through the Preserve, you can find a variety of fern species within the woods, as well as native grasses and wildflowers spread throughout.
As the summer ends and fall slides in, fungi friends begin to coat the forest floors. Walking among the lady ferns and moss, you can spot stump puffballs and jelly fungus. When winter arrives, the majority of the woods stays green, covered by a variety of coniferous species. The pines, spruces, and junipers generate a green landscape with the glistening snow creating a perfect winter wonderland for snowshoeing
The Cedar Lakes Conservation Foundation (CLCF) acquired the southern parcel of the Thoma Preserve in 2018, which had been owned by Washington County as open space since 1999. To the north, on the other side of Birchview Road, CLCF acquired the 13-acre parcel of pine forest habitat in 2020. 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.
Street parking is available along Thoma Park Drive.
Thoma Preserve can be utilized year-round and provides you with a chance to walk through different landscapes and see plant species you may not have seen before. CLCF would like to thank our Stew Crew volunteers for helping to clear and establish trails on this property. We hope that you will come out and enjoy a hike!
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