Located in Menasha, WI, Heckrodt Wetland Reserve is a 91-acre non-profit 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 Mission

The mission of Heckrodt Wetland Reserve is to enhance, restore, and preserve the Reserve and educate all people on the importance of conserving our natural resources while promoting the Reserve’s many recreational opportunities.

Our Vision

The vision of Heckrodt Wetland Reserve is to help all people enjoy and learn from nature today and always.

The Nature Center & Trails

The Reserve’s Nature Center features an indoor exhibit with live wetland and aquariums that are home to local fish and turtles — all surrounded by a display of mounted Wisconsin mammals and birds. Three miles of trails, including nearly 4,000 feet of elevated boardwalks, provide access to the wetland habitat for all visitors to explore and enjoy bird watching, walking, photography, and snowshoeing in winter. Learn more about all that Heckrodt Wetland Reserve has to offer its visitors.

Staff Photos
Taken By:
Lacy Haedt

Heckrodt Wetland Reserve Staff

Luke Schiller

Executive Director

Luke started his career with Heckrodt in March 2008. Luke is a graduate of Iowa State University where he earned a B.S. in Animal Ecology with an Interpretation option. He has been working in the field of environmental education since 2003 in a variety of settings in the U.S. and abroad. Luke provides strategic and operational leadership for Heckrodt Wetland Reserve. He is responsible for overseeing the administration, programs, and strategic plan of the organization as well as fundraising, marketing, and community outreach.

Heather Weigelt

Administrative Coordinator / Naturalist

Heather has been with Heckrodt Wetland Reserve since October 1998, first as a volunteer and then as a part-time educator. She became the full-time Education Coordinator in May 1999. Heather is a graduate of Northland College with a B.S. in Outdoor Education with a natural history emphasis and has worked at several environmental facilities in the Midwest.  Heather became the Administrative Coordinator in April 2023.  She is responsible for visitor services, including program scheduling (schools, childcare, senior groups, and HWR summer camps), public program registrations, room rentals, brick and picnic table sponsorships, and volunteering requests.  She is also responsible for Boy Scout/Cub Scout programming.

Andrea Bierbrauer

Naturalist/Early Childhood Program Manager

Andrea joined Heckrodt Wetland Reserve’s staff in June 2011. Andrea is a graduate of UW-Stout (B.S. Early Childhood Education) and the University of Minnesota-Duluth (M. Ed. Environmental Education). Andrea has worked in nature education in many settings, including resident nature camps, girl scout camps, and Great Lakes Aquarium. Andrea is responsible for the development of early childhood and girl scout programming, educating the public through environmental education, and volunteer coordination for events and education.

Kelsey Parry

Site Manager

Kelsey joined the staff at Heckrodt Wetland Reserve in January 2013. Kelsey has an Associate Degree in Automotive Technology from Fox Valley Technical College. He has experience in construction and maintenance, along with land and property management. Kelsey is responsible for all aspects of property management, including buildings and trails.

Emma Neuman

Habitat Manager

Emma joined Heckrodt Wetland Reserve’s staff in July 2016. She holds an Associate Degree in Natural Resources from Fox Valley Technical College. Emma served as Heckrodt Wetland Reserve’s habitat management intern for two-and-a-half years before becoming a full-time employee in July 2016. Emma is responsible for developing and implementing the Reserve’s habitat management plan.

Maddie Jenks

Naturalist Educator

Maddie joined Heckrodt Wetland Reserve’s staff in May 2023.  Maddie is a graduate of UW- Stevens Point with a B.S. in Environmental Education and Interpretation. Maddie served as Heckrodt Wetland Reserve’s Environmental Program Assistant Intern for a year before becoming a full-time employee in May 2023. Maddie is responsible for the development of public programs and educating the public through environmental education.


The Heckrodt Wetland Reserve Board of Directors consists of volunteers who are members of our community with interest in the environment and education. A list of 2023 members of the Board of Directors follows.

2024 Board of Director Members

Jesse Nelson — Chair

Partner, Investment Advisor, Copper Harbor Investment Advisors, LLC

Eric Glad

Educator, Menasha Joint School District

Samantha Uitenbroek– Vice Chair

Customer Experience, Secura Insurance

Jared Petersen

Director, Strategic Development, JLG Industries

William Skarie— Secretary

Retired DDS

Nick Pretasky

Director of Listening & Learning, Humanistic Leadership LLC             

Jeremy Gritton – Treasurer

Senior Manager, Audit WIPFLI                            

Rebecca Mick 

R&D Sustainability Manager, Amcor

Bret Gerrits

Director Of Support Services, Gundersen Health System

Melanie Simon

HR Manager, Essity

Dave Radford

Director of Storytelling, ThedaCare

Kevin Tubbs

VP, Chief Ethics, Compliance and Sustainability Officer, Oshkosh Corporation

Carla Heckrodt 

Retired Educator

Sarah Kons

Partner, Attorney at Law, Hooper Law Office

Laura Kemps

Manager Volunteer Services, ThedaCare

Would you like to become an HWR Board member?  Contact: Luke Schiller at [email protected]

HWR Board Member Application revised 10-2023 (2)