a wildlife area by name.
Search all DNR lands
for a great place to recreate.
a map and plan your visit.
Contact information
For information about Horicon Marsh Wildlife Area, contact:
Horicon Marsh Wildlife Area
N7725 Hwy 28
Horicon, WI 53032

Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center

Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center

Horicon Marsh has been formally recognized as a Wetland of International Importance by the Ramsar Convention of the United Nations. This renowned marsh is now home to the Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center. The Wildlife Education Program has been conducted at the marsh since the mid-1980s. This program focuses on the abundant wildlife resources of the marsh, their ecology and applied management. The program relies on the diverse wildlife to develop a wide range of educational programs aimed at introducing and sharing our native wildlife with a broad audience. The Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center, which was completed in 2009, brings a new modern design and provides for enhanced visitor services. For more information about the center please visit Friends of Horicon Marsh [exit DNR].

Construction update

Construction of the new educational displays and hands-on exhibits will take over the center's main level on June 1 and continue in phases through August 2015. The exhibits will occupy portions of both the first floor and lower level, which opens onto a trail system winding through the 11,000 acre state marsh.rooms.

Learn more about this exciting project!

We are working hard planning the exhibits. Here is a peek.

sketch sketch sketch


The audience for these programs is as diverse as the subject matter. They include:

  • Tourists and marsh visitors
  • School children and university students
  • Teachers training through development of a field trip guide and workshops to train teachers in their use.
  • Outdoor Skills workshops for hunter and trapper education and bird watching.
  • Professional training in resource management and ecology for DNR staff including the Warden Waterfowl Training Course, plus personnel from county, state and federal agencies staff.
  • Other professionals from the International Scientific Community. This includes a total of 57 delegations from 36 foreign countries.


In the development of educational efforts at Horicon Marsh, we first built an Education Program, and have now built an appropriate and comprehensive Education Center to house these programs and services. The goal of our education program is this:

To encourage visitors to develop a better understanding and appreciation of wildlife, the ecology of the natural systems that support them and the management practices conducted to benefit all wildlife.

This program will strive to instill a "Land Ethic" in the minds of many people it comes in contact with.

Fifty years ago, one of Wisconsin's great ecologists and educators, Aldo Leopold, first proposed the concept of a Land Ethic. Ethics are rules of conduct for a society. We have developed ethics regarding how we treat other people, but have yet to develop an ethic of how we should treat land. As land use today becomes an ever-increasingly important issue, this Education Center and its program provides the focus for wise decisions about resource use.

We abuse land because we see it as a commodity belonging to us. When we begin to see land as a community to which we belong we may begin to treat it with love and respect. - Aldo Leopold

The goal of this Education Program then is to work with our neighbors - those who live throughout the Rock River watershed which surrounds this marsh - to develop a sustainable land use policy and practices which protect the marsh and its wildlife while maintaining the human community and economy that lies within the watershed and the Horicon neighborhood.

Aldo Leopold

This grand goal and the necessary relationship which we will strive to develop among our visitors and neighbors will result in long-term benefits to this marsh and those who live by it - as it has always provided for the people who depend on the marsh. It will also benefit the millions of people who come here to visit and learn about the marsh and its management programs.

Additionally, if we should succeed in developing and defining a "Land Ethic" which sustains ourselves and the land on which we live, our work will serves as a model from which others can learn to sustain their own portions of the global environment which we all share.


In developing and conducting the education program, this effort cooperates with many partners. They include:


Spring/Summer 2015

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and Friends of Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center are excited to offer a variety of fun, exciting and family friendly programs for the Spring and Summer of 2015.

Download calendar [PDF]

Last revised: Tuesday May 19 2015