Who owns/operates Brillion Nature Center?

The Brillion Nature Center Association, Inc. is a non-profit, classified by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) organization. Brillion Nature Center is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors which typically has 9 members. The Brillion Nature Center is NOT owned or operated by the WDNR or the Brillion School District. The land consists of 40 acres leased from the WI Department of Natural Resources and located on the Brillion Wildlife Area (approximately 5,000 acres in size). The Brillion School District is the fiscal agent (not the employer) for the BNCA, Inc.

What is the mission of Brillion Nature Center?

The mission of the Brillion Nature Center is to provide environmental education opportunities and outdoor experiences for schools and the general public in Calumet County and the surrounding area by working jointly with the Department of Natural Resources, public and private organizations, and individuals.

How does the Brillion Nature Center implement its mission?

Our primary initiative is environmental education for preschool through 6th grade students. Visitors to Brillion Nature Center come from schools, child care centers, community groups, scouts and other youth organizations. Public programs; restoration activities; educational opportunities for older children; and collaborations with the DNR, UW-extension, and other nature centers round out our offerings.

How is Brillion Nature Center funded?

As a 501(c)(3) non-profit, Brillion Nature Center receives most of its support from businesses and private donors during our annual fundraising banquet in the spring of each year. Other sources of income come from grants, membership and program fees.

How many acres is Brillion Nature Center?

Brillion Nature Center consists of 40 acres of land leased from the WDNR and located on the 5,000 acre Brillion Wildlife Area.

How many miles of trails does Brillion Nature Center have?

Nearly seven miles of hiking trails wind through the woodland, prairie, and wetland habitats that make up the Brillion Wildlife Area. The Cottonwood Trail is the only improved trail, consisting of crushed limestone. Other trails are unimproved dirt, woodchip, and mowed grass surfaces.

Are the trails open to the general public?

Trails are open for hiking daily from dawn until dusk.

What kind of nest is visible from the marsh overlook?

An osprey nesting platform was erected in the fall of 2000 directly across from the marsh overlook. A nesting pair of ospreys has returned each year to raise their young.

What kind of snakes live at Brillion Nature Center?

The visitors of BNC usually see one of three kinds of snakes. The fox snake (sometimes called pine snake) is yellow/brown with dark spots. It can get to be approximately 6 feet long. The garter snake (mistakenly referred to by many as a grass snake) is green to brown with dark stripes down the length of its body. The red-bellied snake is a small brown snake with a bright red underside that gets to be about the size of a night crawler.

Can I walk my dog or ride my bike at Brillion Nature Center?

Dogs are permitted on the trails of Brillion Wildlife Area as long as the owner is in control of the dog at all times. The DNR defines “in control” as “on a leash”. Furthermore, it is state law that dogs must be leashed when using state wildlife areas during the nesting season between April 15 and July 31st.

Bicycles are not allowed on the trails of the Brillion Wildlife Area.

Are fees charged for Brillion Nature Center Programs?

While many of our public programs are free to members, there is a fee for non-members or groups to attend naturalist let programs. See Program Guide for further information on group programs and rates.

When is the Nature Center building open?

The naturalist hours are 8:30 – 3:30 on Monday - Friday and occasional Saturdays according to the program schedule.

Does the Nature Center accept orphaned or injured wildlife?

No. Brillion Nature Center is not licensed to accept orphaned or injured wildlife. We recommend contacting Wildlife of Wisconsin, Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary or the DNR if you have concerns about injured, sick, orphaned, or nuisance wildlife.

What are the cost and benefits of a BNC membership?

Family membership: $20.00 per household
Individual membership: $15.00
Senior Citizen membership: $8.00 per person
Benefits include quarterly Nature Notes newsletter, free or reduced price on public programs, voting privileges, invitation to annual spring banquet.

What are the animals in the nature center aquariums?

Blue-spotted Salamander: Acquired in 2011 from the nature center compost pile.
Red-eared Slider: Donated in fall of 2008 by the Konen family.
Snapping Turtle: Confiscated by WDNR and donated to BNC in summer of 2011 from the WDNR.
Painted turtle: Confiscated by WDNR and donated to BNC in summer of 2011 from the WDNR.
Green Frog: Acquired in summer of 2011 from Jason's Pond.
American Toad: Acquired in summer of 2011 from BNC property.
Common Garter Snake:  Acquired in Spring of 2012 from BNC property.