There are a variety of wetlands at Gabis Arboretum. West of the Meyer Pavilion along the Owl Trail is the Buttonbush Swamp, dominated by buttonbush shrubs. This swamp changes through the seasons, heralding the arrival of spring with the distinctive blooms of skunk cabbage and the unique sounds of spring peepers. In summer bald cypress trees and ferns play a prominent role in this wet environment. Whitetail deer frequently bed in the tall grasses that offer protection and cover.
The Heron Pond, located to the south of the Meyer Memorial Pavilion, is a natural wetland area that has a small dam to maintain the water level throughout the year. Home to kingfishers, herons, turtles, muskrat, and bats, this pond serves as an aquatic backdrop to weddings and other events held at the Meyer Pavilion.
The Savanna Wetland is the largest body of water at Gabis Arboretum. Totaling six surface acres it is comprised of extensive shallows in the northwest portion and deep, open water in the southeast. Home to a beaver family, ducks, geese, swallows, crayfish, turtles and frequented by most other wildlife that feed and drink here, this wetland always has something exceptional to see.
Windows on the Wetland is situated along the north bank and allows visitors to rest and watch the cycle of life that occurs here. It’s a place to sit and watch what’s happening in the lives of the wildlife that call Gabis Arboretum home. The open structure frames the view and allows for a 360° prairie and wetland experience.