Friends of Horicon Marsh

Who We Are

The Friends of Horicon Marsh are volunteers who believe in the importance of connecting people and wildlife by preserving this 33,000-acre wetland in northern Dodge County and southern Fond du Lac County in Wisconsin — a true Natural Wonder of the World!

What We Do

We treasure the natural beauty of Horicon Marsh and take pride in sharing our knowledge and resources with Wisconsin residents and visitors from around the world.

Working hand-in-hand with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR), we provide educational programming and an Education & Visitor Center equipped with rentals to better enjoy the marsh as well as the Explorium, a narrated, interactive exhibit that takes visitors on a journey through time.

Our History

The WDNR Wildlife Education Program has been conducted at the marsh since the mid-1980s. This program focuses on the abundant wildlife resources of the marsh, their ecology and applied management. Public naturalist programs, special events and school education programs aim to connect people with wildlife and their environment by providing outdoor education programs.

In 1992, the WDNR purchased the former Flyway Clinic, a 16,000-sq.-ft. building located along Highway 28 near Horicon, with the intent of developing this as an education center. The building had been abandoned, and only the upper floor had been developed. This served as the DNR’s staff office in the Horicon area and tentative plans were drawn up to expand this to also serve as an education facility.

A nonprofit Friends Group was established in 1994 as a fundraising organization to support this amazing educational opportunity at the marsh. The Friends have provided countless hours of volunteer assistance to the education program. Following a long campaign, sufficient funds were raised to allow hiring of an architect to develop the final construction plans.

In the end, the Friends of Horicon Marsh Education & Visitor Center reached its goal of raising $1.9 million towards construction of the Center. The State of Wisconsin matched this through the Building Commission, and additional funds were provided to the WDNR to renovate the office area to house its staff, creating a $4.8 million project. After 18 months of construction, the new education center was completed in late March 2009.

In August 2015, the Explorium opened in the lower level of the center. The Explorium offers a hands-on experience of Horicon Marsh life through the ages. All of these amenities serve to enhance the visitor experience at Horicon Marsh.

More on the Marsh

Horicon Marsh is home to two other visitor centers: Horicon National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center and Marsh Haven Nature Center.

Learn more about the Friends of Friends.