Planning & Parks
Job Positions Open
Interested in working for the Ozaukee County Planning and Parks Department? There are two job positions open! Read more here:
Bathrooms Now Closed for Winter
All indoor bathrooms at Ozaukee County Parks are now closed for the 2022-2023 winter season. Portable bathrooms will still be available at Lion’s Den Gorge Nature Preserve, Tendick Nature Park, Virmond Park, and Covered Bridge Park.
Clay Bluffs Cedar Gorge Nature Preserve - Community Forest Plan Virtual Public Meeting 12/08/2022 - Recording
Please submit any written comments to the Department in person or via email by January 4th, 2023 for consideration by the Ozaukee County Natural Resources Committee.
Ozaukee Interurban Trail Re-Paving
The Ozaukee County Planning and Parks Department has been awarded close to $1,000,000 from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation's Transportation Alternative Program to re-pave and re-shoulder approximately 13 miles of the Ozaukee Interurban Trail. The re-paving will occur in 2024 on county-managed portions of off-road trail from County Highway O, north to County Road K.
The trail sections that will be re-paved and re-shouldered can be seen in bold on this map:
Celebration for the New Clay Bluffs Cedar Gorge Nature Preserve
On October 20th, 2022 the Ozaukee County Planning and Parks Department hosted a public event to celebrate the acquisition and inclusion of Clay Bluffs Cedar Gorge Nature Preserve into the Ozaukee County Park System.
The celebration formally recognized the Department’s federal, state, local and private funding partners who made the acquisition possible, including the US Forest Service (USFS) Community Forest Program, the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Joint Venture Program and National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Program, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) through the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program, the US Environmental Protection Agency Great Lakes Restoration Initiative through the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Office of Great Waters, Ozaukee County (Board of Supervisors) and the Ozaukee Washington Land Trust (OWLT) through its members.
Thank you to all who joined the celebration!
Donate to Our Causes
The New Clay Bluff Cedar Gorge Nature Preserve County Park
Donate to help restore the 132-acre Clay Bluffs Cedar Gorge Nature Preserve in Port Washington, Wisconsin!
Ozaukee Interurban Trail Improvement Projects
Donate to help make improvements to the Ozaukee Interurban Trail, a paved 30-mile multi-use trail that runs through Ozaukee County.
As we celebrate 20 years of the Ozaukee Interurban Trail, please consider donating $20 to help us maintain the trail for current and future users!
Virmond County Park Staircase Construction
Donate to help complete the construction of a unique, ecologically sensitive, low impact public access staircase to Lake Michigan at Virmond County Park in Mequon, Wisconsin. This is a critical project that will create and conserve public access to Lake Michigan!
If you would prefer to donate by check, please make the check payable to "Ozaukee County Planning and Parks Department" with "Donation - Virmond County Park Stairway Project" in the note line.
Mail checks to:
Ozaukee County Planning and Parks Department
Attn: Andrew Struck
121 W. Main Street, P.O. Box 994
Port Washington, WI 53074
Donors who give $100 or more may choose to have a brick engraved with a message of their choice as a permanent part of the path leading to the stairway. Visit our Donations & Gifts Page for more details!
Temporary Road Closure at Hawthorne Hills County Park
Hiking Trail Reports
Visit the Wisconsin Trail Report website to see updated trail reports for some of our popular parks, as well as other trails across the state! This Trail Report is created through a collaborative effort between Travel Wisconsin and the Office of Outdoor Recreation.
Construction Update: H.H. Peters Youth Camp
The Planning and Parks Department recently completed a project at HH Peters Youth Camp to improve ADA accessibility and update aging infrastructure. Specifically, this included renovations to the men's and women's bathrooms, construction of an additional, ADA accessible bathroom, and modifications to the kitchen and safety room areas.
Construction Update: Virmond Lake Access Staircase
At this time, the staircase at Virmond County Park is NOT open. Construction on this unique public access stairway to Lake Michigan is approximately 85% complete. To date, this work was largely completed during the winter months. A phased construction schedule has been necessary due to grant funding timelines and suitable site conditions. Department staff, contractors, and other partners have been continually observing site conditions throughout for suitable, safe access to continue project activities. Due to recent toe erosion on the bluff, the Department recently completed revised design and engineering plans that will assist in completing the stairway to the beach. The Department is seeking additional donations to complete this final phase. The remaining construction work has resumed and will go through the winter, with final completion in spring/summer 2023!
Watch a video about the project here.
More information can be found here.
The Ozaukee County Planning and Parks Department (Department) is constructing a new pavilion building at Lion’s Den Gorge Nature Preserve. The building includes indoor bathrooms and an open-air picnic shelter designed by Kueny Architects, LLC and constructed by Mike Koenig Construction Co, Inc. Lion’s Den Gorge Nature Preserve is the most visited park in the Ozaukee County Park System and until now, the park has been serviced by rental portable toilets, which have been inadequate due to increased park usage. This project is expected to greatly enhance the Park user experience.
Construction activities are scheduled to be significantly complete by Summer 2022. For additional project information, please contact the Department office at 262-238-8257. More info about the park can be found here.
Progress on the Pavilion,
The Department and its consultant completed the design, engineering, and public bidding for a new multi-purpose building at Covered Bridge Park, which includes bathrooms, a picnic shelter, and a storage area for equipment and supplies. Construction of the building, by a private contractor, was recently completed. The new building is located at the southwest corner of the Park near Covered Bridge Road and Cedar Creek Road. The building design and exterior colors have been selected to complement the architecture and colors of the historic Covered Bridge. Covered Bridge Park is a highly visited site in the Ozaukee Park system and routinely is the location for large groups and events, including weddings. This project will improve Park user experience and alleviate the need for staff to bring in equipment and supplies for Parks maintenance from offsite.
More information about the park can be found here.
Photo Taken September 2022
Construction Update: Hawthorne Hills Building
Public hearing scheduled during the Ozaukee County Natural Resources Committee meeting Thursday, December 2nd, 8:00AM in the Auditorium of the Ozaukee County Administration Center, 121 W. Main Street, Port Washington, WI 53074.
Important COVID-19 Update:
At this time, all Ozaukee County Parks and facilities remain open. If you chose to visit one of the parks, please remember CDC guidelines.
Information about Department staff availability: To mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus and to protect the health and safety of our communities, a majority of Ozaukee County Planning and Parks Department staff are transitioning to telecommuting and will not be available in person. This move is consistent with public health guidance to limit exposure. Our staff who are able to work remotely will do so and will be able to respond to inquiries through email and Facebook. We are working with staff who cannot work remotely to accommodate their situations. Social distancing and preventing potential infections are key areas we can help with to hopefully curtail the impacts of this outbreak.
To contact Department Staff please reference the following list:
- Andrew Struck, Director – Email
- Matt Aho, Program Manager - Email
- Jon Stahl, Golf Course Superintendent - Email
- Tom Sheppard, Parks Superintendent - Email
- Natalie Cotter, Senior Planner - Email
- Kristina (Tina) Kroening, Conservation Biologist - Email
- Ryan Miller, FP/Ecological Program Assistant II - Email
- Brittany Whyte, Natural Resources and GIS Technician - Email
- Evan Hewes, Golf Courses Pro Shop Supervisor - Email
- Ryan Mueller, Park Caretaker Waubedonia - Email
- Troy Curd, Park Caretaker Mee-Kwon - Email
The Department phone number is still active and being monitored for calls: 262-284-8257
With an increase in the prevalence of COVID-19 in and around Ozaukee County, we are using the best information we have to take proactive steps to protect the health of our community. We know that outdoor spaces are critical to the mental and physical health of our community, now more than ever. We are doing our best to maintain the current level of services. Park visitors may want to bring hand sanitizer with them as they go out to our parks, just to be safe. At this time we are not able to wipe down playground equipment, tables, or other surfaces at the parks.
For more information on COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin, please visit the Wisconsin Department of Health page: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/outbreaks/index.htm
"To provide opportunities for Ozaukee County residents and visitors of Ozaukee County to appreciate and enjoy the natural and cultural resources, local ecology, recreational experiences, well planned sustainable growth and improved quality of life in Ozaukee County through the preservation, restoration and management of natural resources, increased awareness and education, stewardship, promotion of tourism, comprehensive planning, and the acquisition, development, enhancement and operation of large scale, intergovernmental recreational opportunities including exceptionally well-maintained golf courses, multi-use trails and parks."