Wisconsin

ADA Accessibility at Our Nature Preserves

The Nature Conservancy completed an assessment of its nature preserves in Wisconsin in accordance with the Department of Justice’s amended regulation implementing Title III of the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regarding "Other Power‐Driven Mobility Devices” (OPDMDs). While some types of OPDMDs can be accommodated at Conservancy preserves, there are necessary restrictions on their use. 

Please scroll down for a list of OPDMD use at Nature Conservancy preserves in Wisconsin.

OPDMD USE GUIDELINES

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations address the use of wheelchairs and “Other Power Driven Mobility Devices” (OPDMDs) by persons with mobility disabilities. These rules apply to “public accommodations” which include Nature Conservancy (TNC) properties that are open to the public. The regulations provide that with regard to “public accommodations” persons with mobility disabilities are entitled to:

  • Use wheelchairs and manually-powered mobility aids (canes, walkers, etc.) in areas that are open to pedestrian use. A “wheelchair” includes a manually-operated or power-driven device designed primarily for use by an individual with a mobility disability for the main purpose of indoor or both indoor and outdoor locomotion.
  • Use OPDMDs if the landowner can make “reasonable modifications to its practices to accommodate them.”

Those preserves that we feel are most well-suited to a quality nature experiences for those visitors who need to use OPDMDs for mobility are listed below. On those properties where OPDMDs are permitted, please note that there are use guidelines as outlined here:

  • The maximum speed limit on all preserves is 5 mph.
  • All OPDMDs must be cleaned prior to visitation to ensure there is no mud or other material attached to the OPDMD to ensure that invasive weed seeds are not inadvertently transported to the preserve.
  • Be aware that most of our preserves have other visitation guidelines about use and visitation which must be adhered to. We encourage all visitors to seek preserve information on the web.
  • Be aware that some preserves may be used by staff, contractors and researchers who may be using OPDMDs but that, in general, OPDMD use at preserves is not allowed by the general public.
  • A person using an OPDMD on TNC property may be asked to provide credible assurance that the OPDMD is required because of the person’s disability. TNC will accept the presentation of a valid, state-issued, disability parking placard or card, or other state-issued proof of disability as a credible assurance that the use of the OPDMD is for the person’s mobility disability. In lieu of such evidence, TNC shall accept as a credible assurance a verbal representation, not contradicted by observable fact, that the OPDMD is being used for a mobility disability. A “valid” disability placard or card is one that is presented by the person to whom it was issued and is otherwise in compliance with the State of issuance’s requirements for disability placards or cards. TNC does not accept responsibility for storage of OPDMDs.
  • TNC does not accept liability for damage to OPDMDs or injury to the operator, whether caused by the operator, another visitor to the property, or any other circumstance.
  • The person operating the OPDMD cannot carry another person or object that would cause the OPDMD to tip or become unstable or cause harm to the driver or others on the trail.
  • TNC does not accept liability for damage caused by the operator of the OPDMD or injury to others caused by the operator of such device.
  • TNC reserves the right to suspend the use of OPDMDs or change, modify or amend its OPDMD policies at any time.
  • TNC does not represent that the TNC property is safe for use by an OPDMD. Certain risks are inherent in the use of natural areas, including rough surfaces and features such as snow, mud, vegetation, tree roots, and water crossings; all users must exercise reasonable care and judgment.
WISCONSIN PRESERVES WHERE OPDMDS ARE PERMITTED WITH SOME RESTRICTIONS

Cedarburg Bog, Ozaukee County (Map)

  • Use is permitted on all roads where motorized vehicles are permitted.
  • Many of these are grassed lanes or two-track dirt roads, but not all OPDMDs would work on some portions of the roads.

CENTRAL WISCONSIN

Page Creek Marsh (Map)

  • OPDMDs shall be permitted on the existing established road that starts at N3444 on Hwy K and goes to into the preserve.
  • OPDMDs are prohibited on temporary fire breaks and foot trails.
  • The preserve gate is locked with a combination lock. ADA visitors who would like access may call the local project office, 608-251-8140, during regular business hours to request the combination of the gate.

Summerton Bog (Map)

  • OPDMD use is prohibited except for the short stretch of land that runs with the Gas company Right of Way.
  • OPDMDs may use this short stretch, but it is only a few hundred yards before the property boundary. It would afford a hunting opportunity for an ADA user.

DOOR PENINSULA

Kangaroo Lake (Map)

  • Allow OPDMDs up to three feet wide on the identified trail off of Highland Road at the Judy Abert Meissner Memorial Wetland Preserve.
  • If trail conditions are such that rutting or soil disturbance might occur, operator will refrain from use until conditions improve.

Mink River Estuary (Map)

  • Allow OPDMDs up to 5 feet wide on the trail from the east parking lot to the river and from the Juice Mill entrance to the research station.
  • A maximum speed of 5mph must be adhered to.
  • If trail conditions are such that rutting or soil disturbance might occur, operator will refrain from use until conditions improve.
  • ADA visitors who would like access may call the local project office, 920-743-8695, during regular business hours to request the gate lock combination, which changes periodically.

MILITARY RIDGE PRAIRIE HERITAGE AREA

Barneveld Prairie (Map)

  • ATVs and UTVs are allowed on established farm lanes and maintained mowed path per map.
  • If road conditions are such that damage or rutting will occur, operator will refrain from use until conditions improve.

Thomson Memorial Prairie (Map)

  • ATVs and UTVs are allowed on established farm lanes and maintained mowed path per map.
  • If road conditions are such that damage or rutting will occur, operator will refrain from use until conditions improve.

MUKWONAGO RIVER WATERSHED

Lulu Lake Preserve (Map)

  • OPDMDs shall be permitted on the existing gravel road that starts at the preserve entrance on Nature Road and goes to the Mukwonago River lookout and to the lake.
  • OPDMDs are prohibited on other maintenance roads, fire breaks, and foot trails.
  • ADA visitors who would like access may call the local project office, 262-642-7276, during regular business hours to request the combination of the gate, which changes monthly and also condition of the trails.

Newell and Ann Meyer Nature Preserve (Map)

  • OPDMDs shall be permitted on the preserve driveway and established trails (the marked Priebe Family trail). Vehicles may drive on the driveway up to the buildings.
  • OPDMDs are prohibited off the identified trails.
  • On the trails, OPDMDs will be restricted to a maximum width of a standard ATV.
  • ADA visitors who would like access may call the local project office, 262-642-7276, during regular business hours to request the combination of the gate and also condition of the trails.

Pickerel Lake Fen Preserve (Map)

  • OPDMDs shall be permitted on existing gravel roads on the tract.
  • Conditions must be dry on the roads so as to not cause damage to roads.
  • ADA visitors who would like access may call the local project office, 262-642-7276, during regular business hours to request the combination of the gate and also condition of the trails.

NORTHERN WISCONSIN

Bass Lake (Map)

  • OPDMDs may be used on the established forest woods road but not on foot trails or undeveloped areas of the property.

Caroline Lake (Map)

  • OPDMDs shall be permitted on the public Caroline Lake Road, which goes through the property, and on Caroline Lake.
  • Use of OPDMDs is prohibited on all trails and interior of preserve due to safety and environmental impacts of OPDMDs.

Catherine Wolter Wilderness Area (Map)

  • OPDMD use is allowed on established old logging roads but prohibited in the undeveloped areas.
  • The parking lot has a gated combination lock at the trail head. ADA visitors who would like access may call the local project office, 715-358-6305, during regular business hours to obtain the gate combination.

 

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