The History of FLVNC

 The origins of the Friends of Ledge View Nature Center began with the vision and hope of just a few individuals who saw the potential of Ledge View as a nature center. Spurred by threats of quarrying the site, this small group organized the Friends of Ledge Park in 1979. Through their efforts the site was saved from quarrying and became part of the Calumet County Park System.

 Rita Burns and Dan Clausen holding a Calumet Nature Studies Certificate

  In May 1981 the Friends of Ledge Park changed into Calumet Nature Studies, developed a newsletter, appointed officers and applied for non-profit 501(c)3 status. It defined its mission as the promotion of the study and appreciation of nature in Calumet County.


 Working with Calumet County Parks, Calumet Nature Studies helped provide labor and material for trail development, prairie planting, enclosing the original nature center pod and funded the building of the observation tower. 

To better clarify its relationship to Ledge View Nature Center, the Calumet Nature Studies board changed its name formally to the Friends of Ledge View Nature Center in April of 2007. Its mission being an organization dedicated to the study, appreciation and protection of the natural environment through the support of Ledge View Nature Center.

A unique partnership between the Friends of Ledge View Nature Center and Calumet County Parks has been able to achieve a lot through the years....

exhibit hall0001

The front exhibit hall was constructed in 1998. 

Funds from the county and from fundraising efforts by the FLVNC were used to pay for this.

An indoor rock structure with a waterfall and pond. There are taxidermed animals on the rocks.

As you walk in the front door the first thing you will see is the Escarpment Display with a waterfall completed in 1999.  

A 60 foot wooden observation tower shown from above.

The Tracy Wagner Memorial Tower was installed in 1993 with the help of the Marine Corp. of Engineers and WPS.  

A red wooden wall that has a sign that says Bat barn on it. There is a large black cutout of a bat o

The Bat Display was completed in 2002 to help the public understand the importance of bats in Wisconsin.  

A stone and wood kiosk with information on it for park visitors.A kiosk to provide interpretation to park visitors was constructed in 2009.

A large tank with sturgeon  in itThe Sturgeon Display was completed in 2003, with a new tank installed in February 2016 with the help of Sturgeons for Tomorrow and other donors.  

Two men standing under a solar panel looking up. One man is on the ground and the other is on yellow

In 2010 a solar panel was installed to generate electricity that helps to offset the cost of powering the building.

pavilion with prairie flowers near by

The Ruth Boll Pavilion was finished in 2012 to provide a covered picnic area for schools and the public.

A trail through an arboretum. There are wooden edged garden beds, trees and a wooden benchAn arboretum of Wisconsin trees and wildflowers was begun in 1994 and is added to every year.

Two gray tree frogs sitting on a leaf. They are face to face and look like they are kissing.

The FLVNC provide ongoing support to feed and house live animals that are kept at the nature center. These animals are used in animal discovery and adaptations programs, as well as forming part of engaging displays. 

Pink prairie smoke flowers