Born in West Allis in 1965 my parents moved the family to their home areas in Door and Brown Counties in Northeast Wisconsin. I am 1/4 Belgian (Jeanquart) , 1/4 Bohemian (Tlachac) and 1/2 Native American-Oneida (Webster). Growing up I was surrounded by farming and nature. My first real job was in high school in 1983 working for the WDNR- Youth Conservation Corps-YCC at the Kettle Moraine Youth Camp KMYC. Over the years I worked my way up the ladder to become the superintendent of the YCC Camp Ernie Swift in 1990. This hard work along with great memories and contacts lead me to enrolled in 1984 at UW-Stevens Point. With a passion in nature art I entered in the College of Natural Resources and in 1990 received my B.S. Degree in Resource Management and Environmental Education with minors in Environmental Law Enforcement and Biology in 1991. Point is where I met my wife Julie Zoromski(Polish) and a graduate of UW-Madison School of Pharmacy. We decided to call Stevens Point home.
I worked for various resource and wildlife agencies and in 1995 joined the Portage County Parks Department while working for the Central Wisconsin Wildlife Center. I enjoyed working for the Portage County Parks at the Jordan Nature Center as their Schools Naturalist providing fun, outdoor, interpretive programs from night hikes to education characters.
While working at the CWWC as their Education Coordinator is where many of my school programs took wing. I presented many hawk and owl programs that helped raise awareness to the plight of injured animals and the issue of habitat loss. I realized that there was an even greater need to make the connection to tropical rain-forests because most birds, bats, and butterflies who migrate to our backyards are from those regions. At the center we also received many non-native or exotic animals each year who found themselves without a home and the local humane society was often forced to destroy them. In 1995, "Remnants of the Rain forest"(tm) was created to teach about the pet trade, exotic animals, rain forest conservation, consumer purchase power and cultural impacts! "Scales & Tails"(tm) was also created to shed light on native reptiles and their plight related to habitat loss, over collecting, illegal trade, highway deaths, genetic pool loss and cultural misconceptions impacting local populations.
With the over whelming response for education programs and need for foster homes to exotic animals I began Nature's Niche LLC Environmental Education Services in 1999. Today we continue to give foster care, transport, and funds to local wildlife hospitals and humane societies. We also assist police, WI DNR, UWSP Herp Society and local parks departments with exotic and native wildlife calls.
Nature Treks is a branch of Nature's Niche LLC Environmental Education Services and is designed to bring visitors and the community into our natural areas and experience it first hand. In doing this we hope to instill a sense of value which will create local community support and the funds needed for conservation projects. I hope that my love for the outdoors and familiarity with the local area and its natural inhabitants will enhance your stay in our recreational areas!
Dennis "Dino" Tlachac