- 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
Notice: Work on new interactive exhibits at the Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center will temporarily close the DNR service center there starting June 1. The building will remain partially open during construction including access to the restrooms.
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 .
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.
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 build more than a nature center that just tells people about the marsh and its wildlife. We are the means by which people can understand the natural resources which they are responsible for and the ecosystem which we are all a part of.
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.
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:
- Other DNR programs and staff
- Conservation and environmental groups
- Local communities and organizations, including:
- National Park Service
- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
- Universities and UW-Extension Office
- Dodge County Tourism Council
- Local civic organizations
- Area radio stations and newspapers which inform the public on local resources and important issues.
- Elementary school programs overview
- Avian Adaptations
- Birding Basics
- Exploration Wild
- Hunt for Habitats
- Intro to Insects
- Mammals of Wisconsin
- Pond Exploratory
- Tricky Tracks
- Web of Wonder
- Middle school programs
- Animal Habitats and Their Management
- Avian Adaptations
- Birding Basics
- History of Horicon
- Insect Biodiversity
- Pond Investigation
- The Story of Wildlife Management
- Tracking in Wisconsin
- Wisconsin Mammals
- High school programs
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 2014.