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City of Kaukauna

What’s new at 1000 Islands Environmental Center?

Posted on Mar 22, 2024 by

KAUKAUNA, Wis. – The City of Kaukauna is pleased to share some new faces and new developments coming to 1000 Islands Environmental Center in 2024.

In 2023 1000 Islands Environmental Center announced a two-year strategic plan outlining goals to increase its full-time staff, increase financial support, address building needs, and improve its trails. Now, in 2024, 1000 Islands is already taking significant strides toward realizing these objectives.

Welcoming New Team Members:

Following the retirement of Maureen Feldt, Cassandra Kohls joined 1000 Islands in February as its new Administrative Assistant. Kohls has worked in municipal and county government for the past six years, most recently as an Administrative Assistant for the Outagamie County Land Conservation Department.

“Finding fulfillment in nature has ultimately brought me here,” Kohls expressed. “I’m looking forward to fostering connections between the community and the environment.”

The city also recently welcomed a new Naturalist to 1000 Islands in February. Nathaniel Blood received a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Illinois – Springfield and a master’s degree in environmental education from the University of Minnesota – Duluth. Blood has held prior naturalist positions, including those for Brown County Parks and Bay Beach. Before joining 1000 Islands, Blood worked at Neenah High School as a biology teacher.

“After working as a teacher for eight years, I am really excited to get back to working in nature again and continue to educate individuals of all ages about the importance of our environment,” Blood said.

Improvements to Infrastructure:

As part of its ongoing efforts to enhance accessibility and safety, 1000 Islands Environmental Center will be replacing the boardwalk connecting the Environmental Center to the Nelson Overlook. The updated path, scheduled for completion in two phases with the first starting this fall, will provide a wider and flatter route for visitors.

Last year the Nature Center received a much-needed flooring update. This year, the Nature Center will undergo exterior renovations including the installation of a new façade by the City of Kaukauna Street Department. This upgrade will replace the original wood siding with a lower maintenance product that will better withstand the elements. Additionally, several windows will be replaced over the next couple of years. These updates will lower building maintenance and make the center more energy efficient, while giving the 50-year-old structure a fresh look.

Upcoming Events:

1000 Islands Environmental Center offers many educational programming and opportunities to get the community outdoors. A few events coming in the next couple of weeks include a Storybook Walk and Adventure, Famous Women in Natural Resources program, and a Solar Eclipse viewing. Next month 1000 Islands is hosting an event to celebrate World Migratory Bird Day. From 11 am to 12:30 pm on May 11, attendees will learn how bird migration is tracked and will take a stroll outside to identify migrating birds.

Additionally, the center hosts fundraising events like their Pancake and Porkie Breakfast, which saw over 350 attendees in March. The next big event 1000 Islands is hosting is their 40th Annual Spring Arts & Craft Fair on May 19. The event will include 50 art and craft vendors with original work, a raffle, food stands, bake sale, Carnival Popcorn food truck and live music. This event is free to the public.

About 1000 Islands Environmental Center:

Established in 1969, 1000 Islands Environmental Center has been a cherished space for residents of the Heart of the Valley and the Fox Cities to connect with nature. Spanning 350 acres of natural resources and featuring over seven miles of trails, the center remains open year-round for public enjoyment.

1000 Islands Environmental Center is located at 1000 Beaulieu Ct. in Kaukauna. For more information about 1000 Islands Environmental Center and its upcoming events, please visit