The Grounds

Our mission is to be a catalyst for positive and lasting change leading to healthier environments and communities.
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The GroundsThe grounds of The Johnson Foundation at Wingspread lie near the base of the Wind Point peninsula, a roughly triangular piece of land extending about a half mile into Lake Michigan. The grounds feature 36 acres of forests, walking trails and streams.

Plant Life

Before southeastern Wisconsin was developed for agricultural, residential and industrial uses, the region was inhabited by several types of plant communities. Remnants of these communities can still be found on the grounds, including tallgrass prairie, paper birch, ash, cottonwood and black willow. Also found on the grounds are white pine, white and Colorado blue spruce, arbor vitae and junipers. Additionally, small apple orchards lie south and north of the building.

Common shrubs include the speckled alder, redosier dogwood, elderberry, sumac, honeysuckle and multiflora rose.


The pond is stocked with pan fish and is home to painted and snapping turtles. Small mammals, including cottontail rabbits, squirrels and chipmunks can be seen running around the grounds. From time to time, coyotes, opossums, raccoons, woodchucks, fox, muskrat, field mice, skunks and white-tail deer are also seen.

Additionally, the birdlife is abundant, especially during the spring and fall migrations. The spring birds include 30 species of warbler, vireos, kinglets, woodpeckers, sparrows, northern oriole, rose-breasted grosbeak, scarlet tanager, wrens, thrushes, cuckoos, swallows, flycatchers, rails and herons.

On the pond and lagoons near Wingspread, more than 20 duck species, as well as sandpipers and plovers, can be seen. Occasionally, hawks and owls are also spotted.

Bird species that have been seen over the last 50-years include ring-necked pheasants, mourning doves, robins, chickadees, cedar waxwings, cardinals, mallards, Canada geese, house sparrows and starlings.


Walking through The Johnson Foundation at Wingspread grounds, you’ll see several sculptures donated by members of the Johnson Family.

View the Sculpture Gallery  View Photos of The Grounds