1000 Islands Environmental Center

Debra Nowak
Phone: 920-766-4733
Fax: 920-766-6321

Business Coordinator
Sally Kenney
Phone: 920-766-4733
Fax: 920-766-6321

1000 Islands Environmental Center
1000 Beaulieu Court
Kaukauna, WI 54130
Phone: 920-766-4733
Fax: 920-766-6321

Hours of Operation
Mon-Fri: 8:00am - 4:00pm
Saturday: 10:00am - 3:30pm
Sunday: 10:00am - 3:30pm

Mission Statement
The 1000 Islands Environmental Center provides the public a place to enjoy our natural resources. Recreation is provided by the many miles of trails which can be used for hiking, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Year-round educational programs teach children and adults the importance of the inter-relationship between them and our natural environment. Overall ,the Center enhances the quality of life for everyone who visits us.


Cub Scout Clinic Registration Form
Fill out and return this form to register for any of the 1000 Islands Scout Clinics!

About 1000 Islands
1000 Islands Conservancy Zone was established in 1969, by the Common Council of the City of Kaukauna. The purpose of this Conservancy Zone is to preserve the land in a natural state for the benefit of all citizens, with the idea of teaching good conservation practices and preservation of natural resources. The Conservancy Zone now encompasses 350 acres.

In 1976 the initial building was dedicated as a Bicentennial remembrance established by the City. Building was added to in stages up through 2001.

The naturalist was hired in 1978.

The Environmental Center is administered by the 1000 Islands Environmental Center Committee - consists of 9 Kaukauna citizens appointed by the Mayor and Common Council.

The Center is staffed by the Naturalist and a part-time Business Coordinator. They are aided by many volunteers. In 1997 the volunteers worked 3,500 hours. The core of the volunteer group comes from the Friends of the 1000 Islands, a support group whose primary goal is to provide assistance and funding for special projects and items necessary for the efficient operation of the Center. Being a Friend makes you a part of the Center's efforts to preserve this part of our natural heritage.

Original funding was through donations from private citizens, businesses and organizations, and the City of Kaukauna.
The Center is now funded through the Kaukauna School District, City and Outagamie County. Also much support comes from the Friends of the Center, private donors and local industry. Thilmany has been a large donor and supports the Center in many ways, including our recycling program. All building additions were funded through donations from both public and private sector through fund drives, grants, bequests, and memorials. Endowment program was started in 1983 with a bequest of $25,000 from former teacher Evelyn Handran.

Other donations include birdseed and all kinds of food for Animals and birds. Donations of furniture and fixtures to complete finishing of rooms and buildings. Donations of materials, trees and plants to renew tree areas, wild flowers, etc. Donations of labor for building, maintenance and general upkeep and control of buildings and property.

Major mounted animal collections are donations of Joe Van Daalwyk - North American and Asian/African mounts including many full mounts of species. Other collections that have been added to our collection are donations of Asian/African and North American mounts from John Barlow and Bob Juneau. Collections are housed in the two last major building additions. There are also, displays of arrowhead collections found along the Fox River.

Live bird displays include a talking parrot and cockatiel, snakes, turtles, a trantula, gecko and live fish.
The conservancy zone now has 7.2 miles of trails. One mile of trail along the river. It also has 2000 feet of barrier free boardwalk. The hiking trails along the river have benches with wonderful views to enjoy as you rest and relax. Cross country ski trails are in the upper woods of the conservancy and provide recreation for hundreds of skiers each winter. While walking, you may see eagles, deer and a great variety of waterfowl and many birds of all kinds.

The number of visitors at the Center have gone from less than 10,000 in 1978 to the present count of 55,000 to 60,000 visitors each year. 18,000 school children make this their field trip each year. Programs for school groups led by the Naturalist consist of Sugar Bush - making maple syrup: paper making program, Earth week activities, spring wildflower hikes, birding hikes, eagle viewing, and fall hikes in lower and upper woods. Scouts, senior citizen groups and general public can enjoy any of these programs and more. Canoe launch aids canoeing along the lower Fox.

Summer programs are organized for children of all ages, hikes, picnics, and birdhouse building, fishing, crawfish and critter hunts. Winter snow offers snowshoeing for all ages.

The Friends of the 1000 Islands sponsor an Art Fair each May and many other fund raising programs to aid the programs at the Center.

New projects and additions include a 4,000 ft. blacktop trail which will make the wooded area more accessible to all, an observation deck for eagle watching and more land as it becomes available.

About 1000 Islands ( Handout )
Appreciation of our natural environment is the primary reason for the existence of the 1000 Islands Environmental Center. The Center is here for students of all ages to enjoy passive and active experiences while gaining new and ongoing appraisals of our local treasures.
The lower Fox River Valley is rich in Native American and European American history. People were attracted to this region eons ago because of its forests, abundand wildlife and fruitful rivers and streams.

The 1000 Islands of the Fox River is a small but vital reminder of northeastern Wisconsin's natural and historical heritage. We lie within a major corridor of bird migrations that is known as the Mississippi flyway. These traditional movements of birds which have been taking place twice annually for thousands of years still occur. From this vantage point bird watchers often monitor population fluctuations of waterfowl, songbirds and predatory birds as they travel north and south with the changing seasons.

Our location in Wisconsin, which is approximately at 46 degrees north latitude, in addition to our relative location to the Great Lakes, places the 1000 Islands within another significant occurance called the tension zone. This is evident as an irregular band across the north central tier of states in which northern and more southernly species of plants and animals co-mingle. Within this ten to twently mile-wide band certain species reach their normal limits of existence.

Center activities involve all ages and occur throughout the year. A full-time naturalist is present to provide guidance for students at all levels.

Formed by the Fox River and molded by time the 1000 Islands area was home to several bands of Indians, who found fish, game and shelter in abundance.

In 1969, the City of Kaukauna officially created the 1000 Islands Conservancy Zone by setting aside 240 acres of woodland and river area.

The 1000 Islands Environmental Center was established adjacent to the zone in 1976 as part of the City's celebration of the nations bicentennial.

In 1978, a full time naturalist was hired to conduct programs and supervise development of the center.

The center continues to grow both in quality and services. Miles of boardwalk trails have been constructed to provide access for all individuals. Some of the trails follow deer paths and others wander along the shores of the river.

1000 Islands offers many opportunities to enjoy nature:

  • Hiking Cross country skiing
  • Snowshoeing Canoeing
  • Great blue herons, owls, bitterns, teal coot, ducks and many migratory song birds Hundreds of acres of waterfowl nesting area
  • Nature Studies Butterfly Garden
  • Chinquapin Oaks Whitetail deer herd
  • Mink, muskrat, raccoon, and woodchuck
  • Scenic overlooks
  • Large display of North American, Asian and African mounted animals
  • Spring Art Fair
  • Pair of nesting eagles
  • Fishing piers

Drop-In Nature Crafts
February 16th - 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM. Stop by the Environmental Center for some fun take-home projects! Free for all ages. Please call to register at least one week in advance.

Friends of 1000 Islands
The "Friends of the Center" is a non-profit organization whose main objective is to provide assistance to the 1000 Islands Environmental Center. This assistance comes through fund raising projects, membership dues and volunteers who donate time and skills to the Center. The purpose of the Environmental Center is to promote the appreciation of and involvement in nature by people of all ages.

Some of the benefits offered to members of the "Friends" are:

  • The newsletter called Cat-Tales which features articles of interest to the whole family
  • Special programs for members with visits to interesting nature spots
  • Free use of snowshoes
  • As a member, you are welcome to attend the "Friends" meetings which are held the second Wednesday of the month at 7:00 p.m. at the Center
  • Members names are listed on the "Friends" plaque located in the Center.
  • Membership fees are:
    • Adult $20.00 per year
    • Family $30.00 per year
    • Student $10.00 per year
    • Senior Citizen $10.00 per year
    • Benefactor $100.00
    • Lifetime $100.00 per person

Friends Application
Please print, complete and mail this application or stop into the Center for a paper copy of the application.

Enroll me as a "Friend of the 1000 Islands."
Here is my $ __________ for a _____________ membership.

____This is a new membership
____This is a renewal

City :______________________ State:______ Zip:_____

The Friends of the 1000 Islands Environmental Center
1000 Islands Environmental Center
1000 Beaulieu Court
Kaukauna, WI 54130

Moonlit Snowshoe Hike
February 7th - 6:00 PM. Enjoy the (almost) full moon while hiking the trails. Snowshoes will be provided. Please arrive 1/2 hour early if you will need assistance puttin gon snowshoes or for a quick lesson. Free program for all ages. Please call to register at least one week in advance.

Spring Clean-Up
April 25th - 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM. Wrap up your Earth Day celebrations by helping to beautify the 1000 Islands Conservancy Zone. Clean up litter, bark trails or help battle the invasive species. Bring work gloves if you have them. Lunch will be provided after the clean-up! Free program for all ages. Please call to register at least one week in advance.

Webelos Scout Clinic
April 4 - 1:00 - 3:00 PM. Learn about forests and the outdoors as you earn your Naturalist and Forester activity pins! Pre-registration and $5/scout fee is required.

Wildlife New Year's Bash
December 31 - 10:00 AM. Help ring in the New Year with nature. Will include games, crafts and lots of fun! Free for all ages. Please call to register at least one week in advance.

Are dogs allowed on the trails?
No, dogs are not allowed in any area of the 1000 Islands Conservancy Zone. Thank you for you cooperation!

Do you take in injured or orphaned wildlife?
No, we are not a wildlife rehab facility. For injured birds of prey contact the Wind River Wildlife Rehabilitation and Release Center in New London at 920-982-6825 or The Feather at 920-982-6578. For other animals, call the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary in Green Bay at 920-391-3671. For critically injured animals that require emergency attention, please call the Animal Medical Center at 920-749-1717.

How do I get to 1000 Islands from Hwy 41?
Take Hwy 41 to Hwy 55 exit in Kaukauna
From the South:Take a right onto Hwy 55
From the North:Take a left onto Hwy 55
Take Hwy 55 to your 1st Stop & Go lights
Turn left onto Catherine Street
Follow Catherine Street down the bridge to Hwy Z or Dodge Street
Turn left onto Dodge Street
At stop sign go straight
Take the 1st left after the stop sign
We are located behind the football field and baseball diamonds.

How do I get to 1000 Islands from Hwy 441?
Take 441 to College Ave/CE exit
Take CE East to Hwy 55 in Kaukauna
Turn left onto Hwy 55
Take Hwy 55 to Hwy Z or Dodge St
Turn right onto Hwy Z
At stop sign go straight
Take the 1st left after the stop sign
We are located behind the football field and baseball diamonds.