Places We Protect

Newell and Ann Meyer Nature Preserve


Oak trees near wetland area.
Newell and Ann Meyer Preserve. Oak trees at the Newell and Ann Meyer Nature Preserve, Mukwonago River watershed. Eagle, Wisconsin. © Chris Anderson/TNC

The Newell and Ann Meyer Nature Preserve is an oasis of quiet beauty in southeast Wisconsin.



Why You Should Visit

The Newell and Ann Meyer Nature Preserve encompasses oak savanna and woodlands, wetlands and former agricultural land near Eagle, Wisconsin.

It is where sandhill cranes raucously call from the wetlands in spring, where turkey vultures silently circle over the edge of the oak woods, where a red fox pounces on unsuspecting prey hidden beneath the snow.

A major portion of the headwaters of the Mukwonago River, the most pristine small river system in southeast Wisconsin, rises from springs on the property. The river is home to 59 species of fish, including five that are threatened or endangered, and 14 species of mussels.

Why TNC Selected This Site

In 2006, Newell and Ann Meyer donated 374 acres of land to The Nature Conservancy through their estate. The Meyers’ dream was to create a nature sanctuary, an oasis of quiet beauty amidst the hustle and bustle of southeast Wisconsin.

Lifelong Milwaukee residents, the Meyers bought the first 80 acres in 1976 as a summer retreat. In Eagle, they were artists—Newell a sculptor and Ann a painter—and spent time at the property pursuing their art and enjoying wildlife. Theirs is the largest gift of land and assets ever made in Wisconsin for conservation.

The preserve is adjacent to the southern unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest and is located about three miles northwest of the Conservancy’s Lulu Lake and Crooked Creek preserves.

The Newell and Ann Meyer Nature Preserve is located within the Mukwonago River Watershed project area. The Conservancy has an office and staff in the East Troy area, and we are working cooperatively with many different public and private partners to accomplish the following:

  • Protect the water quality of and natural areas within the Mukwonago River Watershed.
  • Manage our preserves to maintain rare natural communities and provide habitat for fish, mussels, amphibians and reptiles.
  • Work with individuals and organizations concerned with the health of the watershed to help balance watershed protection with human needs and economic health.




Open year-round, dawn to dusk


652 acres

Explore our work in Wisconsin

Explore the Meyer Nature Preserve

Take a walk at the Meyer Nature Preserve and enjoy the woodlands, waters, and prairies and the many plants and animals that call them home.

Close-up of hot pink and white blossoms of a milkweed plant
View from a small hill through the trees down to people walking along the shore of a stream with a small grassy island in the middle.
Close-up of a small bird with a black head and beak and a straw-colored patch on back of head that is mostly concealed by vegetation in the foreground.
Large grassland area filled with pink and white prairie wildflowers with trees in the distance.
Brown and white fox with bushy tail reaches from the shore of a lake to take a drink of water.

What TNC Has Done/Is Doing

The Meyers’ generous gift of land and other financial assets allowed the Conservancy to establish the nature preserve, open it to the public in 2009 and begin restoration efforts. It has also given the Conservancy the opportunity to expand its project boundary and begin to think about connections between the state forest, Conservancy preserves and other protected areas.

Prior to the Meyers’ acquisition of the land, about two-thirds of it was in agricultural production. We have restored 205 acres to prairie and are currently working to restore another 70 acres.

Prairies and other grasslands are invaluable in the protection of bird species that nest only in these wide open, grassy landscapes. They include bobolinks, which arrive at the preserve each year after a migration of some 5,000 miles from South America.

Forty-two acres of oak woods on the property are being enhanced by the removal of invasive plants including buckthorn, honeysuckle and garlic mustard. We are also improving the health of the wetlands at the preserve by removing purple loosestrife, phragmites and other wetland invaders.

In the coming years, visitors to the preserve will be able to see—and assist with—this remarkable transformation as TNC and its dedicated volunteers help ‘put nature back together.’

What to See: Habitats

Oak woodland, oak savanna, wetlands, agricultural lands to be restored to native prairie

What to See: Wildlife

Red fox, sandhill cranes, bobolinks, marsh wrens, yellow warblers and myriad other bird species


For more information about the preserve, contact the Conservancy’s local office:

N8740 Pickeral Lake Rd.
East Troy WI 53120-1836
Tel: 262-642-7276


For more information about visiting the preserve, please follow the links below:

All of our preserve maps are now georeferenced. You can download an app on your Apple or Android device, and it will allow you to view your location, record GPS tracks, add placemarks and find places.