Accessibility Capital Project

A major goal of Friends of Wehr and the Wehr Nature Center is to become the most accessible nature space in South-eastern Wisconsin. Inspired by the well-received Accessible Viewing Deck donated by the Todd Wehr Foundation, the Friends want to continue to improve access to the Center and its natural areas for our visitors with limited mobility.

Accessibility Capital Project Timeline & Budget

To meet this goal, donations and sponsors are needed for the following objectives to be completed.

2013 – Community Research & Project Description

2014 – Fundraising & Engineering Specifications

2015-2017 – Construction


2014/2015 Objective 1: Building Renovation $70,000

Objective 1a – Restroom Renovation

One of the most important aspects of our efforts to improve accessibility at WNC is renovating our restrooms. Although they have been sufficient for the general public since the building was opened in 1974, they were not constructed to accommodate wheelchairs and walkers. Our objective is to improve these facilities to create a seamless and effortless entry, use, and exit.

Objective 1b – Front Doors Automation

Coinciding with the renovation of the restrooms is automation of the two sets of adjacent front entrance doors. The current entrance width is sufficient for wheelchair but the doors need to be automated.  An improved entrance will allow persons with mobility challenges to independently access the building.
Objective 1c – Door Entrance Leveling

Widening multiple doorways, installing new door hardware to facilitate the opening of doors, and leveling thresholds. This will create multiple doorways that are accessible to enter or exit the Nature Center.

2014/2015 Objective 2: Leveling of Amphitheater Accessible Area $85,000
($7,500 – 2013) Jerome J. and Dorothy H. Holz Family Foundation


Jerome J. and Dorothy H. Holz Family Foundation

Jerome J. and Dorothy H. Holz Family Foundation


Objective 2 – Leveling of Amphitheater Accessible Area

Level a section of the seating area to accommodate wheelchair access. Currently, those visitors who would like to enjoy and participate in amphitheater programs and who use wheelchairs and walkers are required to navigate the sloped crushed limestone area. The asphalt path which curves around the back of the seating area has a six-inch drop off to the crushed stone area, limiting access.

2014/2015 Objective 3: Asphalt Walkways Replacement with Permeable Pavers $100,000

Objective 3 – Asphalt Walkways Replacement with Permeable Pavers

Replacement of the existing asphalt paths with permeable pavers will not only create a level surface but will also create safer walking surfaces with improved drainage. This will also reduce run off into Mallard Lake and Root River allowing for improved water quality. This will positively impact the environment by improving the water quality at WNC.

2014/2015 Objective 4: Boardwalk Connection from Amphitheater to Existing Boardwalk $30,000
(Fully funded – 2014 – Under Construction)
Nancy Sellars Memorial Foundation / James E. Dutton Foundation, Inc.

Nancy Sellars Memorial Foundation

Nancy Sellars Memorial Foundation


James E. Dutton Foundation, Inc.

James E. Dutton Foundation, Inc.


2016/2017 Objective 5: Construction of Accessible Pavilion $85,000

Objective 5 – Construction of Accessible Pavilion

Part of our improved accessibility plan is to create spaces where individuals with mobility challenges can enjoy nature surrounding them. The anticipated pavilion will be located beyond the existing Visitor Center and amphitheater connected by an accessible boardwalk and located in a woody area with an overview of Mallard Lake. From the pavilion, visitors with mobility challenges will be able to enjoy the healthful benefits of being “out in nature”. The pavilion will serve as an outdoor classroom area for groups on field trips. It will also connect to accessible trails that will lead through a wetland area and to the lake shore and pier.

Total project budget = $370,000 ($37,500 funded)


Make a Difference, Make a Donation

To learn more or donate please call Deb McRae at 414-425-8550