Genesee Oak Opening & Fen, SNA #153 (125/675)

Genesee Oak Opening & Fen is well-described by its name.  An bur oak opening and fen are found at the site, just north of North Prairie.  An access lane leads west from STH 59 to a small pull-off for parking.  Continue walking west into the site.

I have visited Genesee Oak Opening & Fen twice, almost exactly 4 years apart.  The first was on my own and the second was as part of a field trip, where I always tend to learn a lot.  The oak opening is a beautiful natural community to behold with its stately oaks and open air over dry prairie remnants.  This site has been subject to restoration efforts in recent years.  Left to its own, these openings tend to fill in with shrubs and eventually other trees.  The fen lies to the east and sits amongst a degraded wetland.  Fens typically are home to unusual collections of species due to their soil and pH characteristics and here the fen area was noticeably different in its constituent species compared to the surrounding wetland.  The species of note was the yellow lady’s slipper, which is always a treat to see.  One could spend several hours here traversing the land and perhaps someday I will return to do just that.

More of my photos (and full-res) from Genesee Oak Opening & Fen can be viewed here.

Additional Information

SNA # 153
County Waukesha
Natural Communities / Geology Oak Opening, Fen
Size (Acres)  50
Parking Parking Area (gravel)
Trails Partial, access lane
Easy to Find Yes
Best Seen By Foot
Marked Boundaries No
Ownership Wisconsin DNR
Located Within n/a
Dates Visited 5.29.10

Waukesha County

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