The Oak Road Nature Preserve is situated northeast of Carlsville where Sunnyslope and Oak Roads converge in a picturesque valley. Included in the preserve are rolling hills, fields bordered by woodlands, and views of an occasional barn and farm house, but the major feature of the preserve is an extensive vernal wetland. Each spring it fills with water and becomes an annual stopping point for migrating waterfowl and breeding amphibians. When the marsh fills with water, spring peepers (frogs) are so abundant and loud that neighbors find it hard to sleep at night, resulting in the local name “Frog Town.” Water from this marsh drains west off the preserve into nearby Plum Bottom, and from there down the escarpment bluff and eventually into Green Bay.
The Oak Road Nature Preserve was once the farmstead of August and Lillian Gabert. The Gaberts raised their 12 children here, tended an orchard, milked cows, and worked the land. Today, it is the site of a major ecological restoration project. In an effort to enhance the preserve’s wetland ecosystem, the Land Trust has planted tens of thousands of oaks, pines and shrubs and established a 30-acre prairie.