Welcome to Heckrodt Wetland Reserve

enhance • restore • preserve • educate

Urban Nature Reserve

Heckrodt Wetland Reserve is a 91-acre urban nature reserve with habitats including forested wetland, cattail marsh, open water, created prairie, open field, and upland forest. Persisting despite the urbanization that continues to grow around it, the Reserve is home to numerous species of reptiles, amphibians, and mammals. Migrating songbirds and waterfowl nest and feed in its protection.

Our unique and convenient location allows visitors an easy day trip within city limits that makes them feel as though they have traveled much further from home.

Close up of monarch butterfly on flower

The Nature Center

Explore environmental exhibits in the 4,000-square-foot Nature Center at Heckrodt Wetland Reserve. Learn about the importance of local wetlands; find aquariums that are home to local fishes, frogs, turtles, and snakes; and experience hands-on activities. The Nature Center facilities feature an interpretive gallery, restrooms, kitchen, solarium, and classroom/rental space.

Trail System

Heckrodt has a large trail system throughout the Reserve offering spectacular views throughout of various natural habitats and wildlife. Interpretive areas are located throughout the trail system to provide information on the different environments through the Reserve. Find different trail options for your preferred length of walk for the day.

Programs & Events

Educational programs offer a variety of topics that are of interest to a broad age range from youth to adults. Heckrodt Wetland Reserve programs are developed by trained naturalists and focus on our local  environment.  These programs are intensely hands-on and designed to foster an ethic of environmental appreciation and stewardship.

Making Nature Accessible

Help us make nature more accessible!

We believe that nature belongs to everyone, and it has the power to heal, inspire, and transform lives. Our commitment to accessibility and inclusivity has been unwavering, and we’ve made great strides in ensuring that the wonders of our Reserve are open to people of all abilities and backgrounds.

But we cannot continue this trend without your support.  Our year end goal of $50,000 will allow us to continue doing mission driven work in our community.  Please join us once again in our mission to make nature accessible and inclusive for all. Your end of year contribution will help us:

  • Maintain and improve our accessible infrastructure.
  • Expand educational programs and outreach efforts.
  • Ensure the long-term preservation of our natural habitats.
  • Foster a sense of belonging and stewardship among our diverse community.

Thank you for being a vital part of the Heckrodt Wetland Reserve family.

Have Questions?

Looking for information on our location and hours? Want to learn more about the habitats our reserve offers or seeking to find answers on the native and invasive species that may be in your neighborhood? Visit our frequently asked questions for these and other answers.

Heckrodt Wetland Reserve Community Partners

Heckrodt Wetland Reserve is a private non-profit organization. We depend on donations from individuals, corporations, and foundations for our operations. Thank you to our generous community partners!

Community Partner in Habitat Protection & Enhancement

Community Partner in Wellness

Community Partner in Sustainability

Community Partner in Education