Maywood fosters environmental stewardship through educational and outdoor experiences designed to connect our community with the natural world.
Maywood Environmental Park is open to the public year-round and offers environmental education opportunities, outdoor recreation, and hands-on experiences.
We foster environmental stewardship by providing opportunities for community members to explore, learn, and enjoy Maywood’s facilities, natural landscape, and programming;
We build community awareness of the value of Maywood to Sheboygan and surrounding regions through outreach and promotional materials;
We strive to connect our community to the natural world and to be a targeted destination for visitors and community members across all generations.
From Farm to Forests...The History of Maywood
The land now known as Maywood was gifted to the City of Sheboygan in 1973 by Mr. and Mrs. Ellwood H. May who owned Mayline Furniture in Sheboygan. In the 1950s, the Mays built a house and hobby farm on the park’s original 120-acres. The land was used for raising black angus cattle. After extensive study for potential uses of the land, including the development of a golf course, it was decided to use the acreage for an environmental park. In 1983, that park became the Ellwood H. May Environmental Park – or more commonly known as – Maywood.
Work began to restore and create habitat throughout the park. As native species were introduced, signs of the farm were replaced with forests, wetlands, prairie, and ponds. Over the years additional acreage was added to the park to provide the 135-acres our community enjoys today.
A Timeline of Maywood’s Restoration and Major Events
1973 – Property for Maywood is donated to the City of Sheboygan
1983 – The City of Sheboygan officially designates Maywood as an environmental park and the Maywood Association and Trusts are formed to support the mission of the park.
1983-1986 – First trails developed in the park. The Wisconsin Conservation Corps assists with developing park features and Ecology Center.
1984 – Trees are planted along Mueller Road to create pine and mixed forest areas.
1984-1989 – Prairie is planted. Native grasses and flowers are seeded over 21 acres.
1986 – a Suspension Bridge is constructed over the Pigeon River, providing park visitors with an easy way to access the southern areas of the park.
1988 – Two ponds are constructed southwest of the Ecology Center. The ponds are filled by springs on the adjacent hillsides.
1993 – Restoration of the wetlands south of the Pigeon River begins. Tile lines that had been part of the farm fields are removed.
1995 – The Prairie Overlook is constructed to provide visitors an elevated view of the prairie and create additional space for public programs. This same year the Early Bird Rotary Club helps convert the garage of the May home into an Environmental Lab to host school programs.
1998 – Park Director Dave Kuckuk participates in the Maywood CYBERHIKE – a thru-hike of the Ice Age Trail – to help raise funds for an Ecology Center addition. The hike makes use of the internet to share progress with students and supporters throughout the area.
2001 – The Arboretum is established at Maywood by the Town & Country Garden Club. The 5.5 acre site east of the Ecology Center features native trees and shrubs and serves as an educational resource for the community.
2005 – The Garton Family gifts the 35-acre Bur Oak site to the City of Sheboygan. The site is designated as a land conservancy and will be overseen by Glacial Lakes Conservancy with stewardship provided by Maywood.
2006 – The Ecology Center addition is completed. The addition includes a new lobby area, large pavilion, and basement field lab that greatly increase the capacity to host public and school programs.
2006 – The Rain Garden is established just west of the newly expanded Ecology Center. Using run-off from the Ecology Center roof and near-by driveway, the garden features water-loving native species and helps prevent erosion along the adjacent hillside.
2010 – Solar Panels are installed in the parking lot and on part of the Ecology Center roof. The panels provide at least 20% of the Center’s electrical needs.
2010 – The Hummingbird Garden is established by Lake Shore Garden Club. Featuring native flowers and shrubs, the garden provides an oasis for bees, butterflies, birds, and insects. The garden is easily accessible near the east parking lot.
2014 – An observation bee hive is installed inside the Ecology Center.
2016 – A life-sized demonstration eagle’s nest is added to the south deck of the Ecology Center.
2018 – The Generational Forest is established between the prairie and Arboretum. Over the next several years invasive species are removed, native trees and shrubs are planted, and an archway sign is installed. The forest serves as a reminder that environmental education is important at every age.
2018 – Y-koda Nature School at Maywood is established. It is a 4k charter preschool option and a partnership between the Sheboygan YMCA Camp Y-koda, Maywood, and the Sheboygan Area School District. It is the first nature-based preschool in Sheboygan County.
2020 – Maywood participates in a USDA study of the invasive emerald ash borer. Affected ash trees are removed from the park and taken to a lab in Michigan for research.
2021 – A new evaporator for maple sugaring is installed in the Dave Kuckuk Sugar House. The modernized equipment streamlines the process of turning sap from Maywood’s maple sugar trees into maple syrup.