Waukesha accessible trail project begins new phase

Insect Exploration Station Concept Illustration

The Waukesha County Park System announced Monday, July 12 the start of the second phase of the Discovery Trail Project, as well as opportunities to help support future trail additions. 

According to a press release, this multi-phase project is revitalizing and expanding the accessibility of the paved trail at Retzer Nature Center. Contributions from the Waukesha Rotary Club and the Friends of Retzer Nature Center made this accessible trail project possible.  

Waukesha Discovery Trail

Waukesha Discovery Trail boulder scramble 

Phase two of the project, which began this week, will construct a gateway feature at the entrance and create a series of ‘Exploration Stations’ along the trail for outdoor education, sensory-based play experiences, and STEM activities for families and school groups. 

The trail will also include an area for outdoor classes and events to fully immerse attendees of all abilities in nature. This phase is expected to be completed in mid-autumn. 

New paved Discovery Trail

New paved Discovery Trail

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Phase one of the project constructed a connector path to meet the new accessible boardwalk trail. Trees were harvested on-site for reuse in the design, climbing boulders were placed and site restoration was completed with native trees, shrubs, and plants. The project was awarded Community Development Block Grant funding to reconstruct the old trail to ensure ADA accessibility. Phase one was completed in May, according to a press release. 

Discovery Park ADA Trail

New paved ADA trail connection to new ADA boardwalk

Future phases will continue to add additional ‘Exploration Stations’ along the trail. The Park System has launched an online donation campaign is funded through contributions from the Waukesha Rotary Club, the Friends of Retzer Nature Center Fundraising, sponsors and donors. 

To learn more about the second phase or to donate to the project, visit: waukeshacounty.gov/discoverytrail. 

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