Havenwoods State Forest, a 237-acre (960,000 m2) is a property managed by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources within the city limits of Milwaukee.The forest was created to provide an urban green space and environmental education center.
The land includes grasslands, woods, wetlands, Lincoln Creek, an urban arboretum, and education gardens. The Environmental Awareness Center includes an auditorium, classrooms, displays, and a resource center. There are trails for nature study, hiking, biking, and cross-country skiing. Schoenecker Park abuts the property on the northeast.Havenwoods is open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. A state park vehicle admission sticker is not required to use the park.
Havenwoods is a triangle of land that has almost come full circle. In the early 19th century, the land was a swampy forest. Wild animals trekked though the tall trees, followed occasionally by Native Americans in search of food.In 1836, surveyors walked the land, measuring out a grid that opened this area to settlement. Early settlers included the Zautkes, Pipkorns, Douglases, Bourkes and Schalocks. Being farmers, they cut down the trees, drained the land, and planted crops.
During this time, a small group of citizens and politicians began to talk about green space and nature and a place to learn about the environment. They were a persistent group, who ultimately carried the day. Many of the people in this group went on to form the Friends of Havenwoods.Today, Havenwoods is a place where people can hike, see migrating birds, attend nature programs, and volunteer their time and energy to ensure that Havenwoods remains a haven for people and wild things.