Frequently Asked Questions


What are your operating hours?
Trails are open 6 AM – 9 PM every day.  The Nature Center is open 8 Am – 4:30 PM Tuesday – Friday, 11 Am – 4 PM Saturday.  Nature Center is closed on Sunday and Monday.  The Nature Center is closed all  major holidays.

What are your operating hours?
Trails are open 6 AM – 9 PM every day.  The Nature Center is open 8 Am – 4:30 PM Tuesday – Friday, 11 Am – 4 PM Saturday.  Nature Center is closed on Sunday and Monday.  The Nature Center is closed all  major holidays.

Are you a City Park?
No , Heckrodt is a private nonprofit organization.  We operate independently from the City of Menasha.

How are you funded?
Heckrodt relies on donations from individuals, corporations, and foundations for our operations.  Grants support development and operation of education programs.  We do not charge general admission, but a drop box is located in the gallery of the Nature Center to collect free-will contributions by visitors.

How many people visit Heckrodt each year?
You might be surprised to learn that HWR welcomes more than 50,000 visitors to the Reserve each year. We teach more than 10,000 people in naturalist-led education programs.  The balance are general public visitors.

Are dogs allowed on your trails?
No.  Pets are not permitted on the trails.  “Uniformed” assistance animals are welcome.  The police department may have their uniformed K-9 unit on the trail from time to time.

Can we ride our bikes through the Reserve?
No, bikes are not permitted on the trails.  Foot traffic only please.  Strollers, wheelchairs, and motorized medical aids are permitted. Joggers are welcome.

Are drones permitted on the Reserve?
No. Visitors are not permitted to use drones on the property.  Drones are highly disruptive to wildlife and to other visitors.

Do you have mosquitoes?
Yes.  At certain times of the year we have mosquitoes.  No, we don’t spray to control them as they are an important part of the food chain.  We encourage you to spray to protect yourself from them though.

When do you feed the animals in the Nature Center?
Our critters are typically fed on Tuesday and Friday.  Due to the small size of staff and our busy teaching schedule, we cannot set a specific time for feeding.  We feed as we have time to do it.  Usually we feed in the afternoon.    Birds are also fed on Tuesday and Friday, but feeding time is unpredictable.

If we’re there when you are feeding, can we feed the animals?
We’ll leave that to the professionals.  You are welcome to watch.

Can we hold the live animals?
Only professional staff and trained volunteers handle our live animals.

Do you feed the deer?
No, we don’t feed the deer.  However, they do know where our birdfeeders are and when we fill them.

Can we bring food for the animals outside?
Please do not bring food for our native critters.  This makes them dependent upon us, and is not healthy. Feeding of animals by visitors is prohibited.

I caught a squirrel (groundhog, chipmunk, skunk, or any other critter) in my yard and I don’t want it there.  Can I bring it to Heckrodt and let it go?
No.  Release of any animal on the Reserve is prohibited and will result in a fine if you are caught.

Can I catch frogs, turtles, snakes, etc at Heckrodt to take home?  Can I pick the pretty flowers?
All animals and plants on Heckrodt property are protected.  Anyone caught removing critters or plants from our property will be fined. All plants and animals should be observed with eyes only and not harassed during your visit.

I found an injured or orphaned critter.  Will you take care of it?
Heckrodt is not a licensed wildlife rehabilitation facility and we cannot accept injured or orphaned wildlife. We also cannot come to your house, place of business, etc. to pick up injured or orphaned wildlife. We will be happy to give you the name of licensed rehabilitators in our area that you can contact.

Do you rent your facilities?
The Presentation Room of the Nature Center is available for public rental during our regular operating hours – there is no evening rental.  HWR’s education programs have first priority in room usage.  Room rental fees apply to all rentals.  Special rates are available to registered nonprofit organizations.  Expect a level of noise consistent with regular Nature Center operations during any rental – large education groups, families with excited children, etc.  Renters are expected to clean up after their rental or deposit fees will be retained.   Rental of our outbuildings may also be available depending on education needs.

Who is the Heckrodt Staff?

HWR Staff

Tracey Koenig
Executive Director

Tracey has been with Heckrodt Wetland Reserve since March 1998, first as a volunteer, then as Site Restoration Manager.  Tracey became Executive Director in June 1999. She earned a BS in Biology/Geology from Bowling Green State University and an MS in biology/aquatic ecology from the University of Mississippi. Tracey is responsible for all executive operations at the Reserve as well as scout programs and adult tour groups.   She is also responsible for site restoration and management.

Email Tracey

Chris Langenfeld
Director of Fund Development

Chris joined the staff at Heckrodt in October 2018.  Chris is a graduate of UW Stevens Point where he earned a B.S. in Natural Resource Management.  Chris has worked in many related positions throughout Wisconsin.Chris is responsible for managing the comprehensive fundraising program for the Reserve, all donor support programs, and implementation of the strategic plan for the organization.

Email Chris

Luke Schiller
Director of Education

Luke started his career with Heckrodt in March 2008. Luke is a graduate of Iowa State University where he earned a B.S. in Animal Ecology with an Interpretation option. Luke has been working in the field of environmental education since 2003 in a variety of settings in the US and abroad. Luke is responsible for overseeing the entire education department and its day-to-day functions including leading the development and implementation of education, goals, and objective that advance the HWR mission.

Email Luke


Heather Weigelt
Naturalist/Education Coordinator

Heather has been with Heckrodt Wetland Reserve since October 1998 first as a volunteer and then as a part-time educator. She became the full time Education Coordinator in May 1999. Heather is a graduate of Northland College with a BS in Outdoor Education with a natural history emphasis and has worked at several environmental facilities in the Midwest. She is responsible for all curriculum education programs at the Reserve including school and daycare programming, and HWR summer camps.

Email Heather


Andrea Bierbrauer
Naturalist / Early Childhood Specialist / Volunteer Coordinator

Andrea joined HWR’s staff  in June 2011.  Andrea is a graduate of University of Wisconsin – Stout (B. S. Early Childhood Education) and University of Minnesota- Duluth (M. Ed. Environmental Education).  Andrea has worked in nature education in many settings including resident nature camps, girl scout camps, and Great Lakes Aquarium.  Andrea is responsible for the early childhood and girl scout programming, supporting in-house environmental education, and all volunteer coordination.

Email Andrea

Kelsey Parry
Site Manager

Kelsey joined the staff at HWR in January 2013.  Kelsey has an Associate Degree in Automotive Technology from Fox Valley Technical College and experience in construction and maintenance, and land and property management.  Kesley is responsible for all aspects of property management including buildings and trails.

Email Kelsey

Emma Neuman
Natural  Resource Associate

Emma joined HWR’s staff in July 2016.  Emma holds an Associate Degree in Natural Resources from Fox Valley Technical College.  She served as HWR’s habitat management intern for 2.5 years before becoming a full time employee in July 2016.  Emma is responsible for developing and implementing the Reserve’s habitat management plan.

Email Emma

Menasha WI Weather

Menasha Wisconsin
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Trail Map

Trail Map