Headwaters of Eagle Harbor Protected!

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Gibraltar-Ephraim Swamp Natural Area

The Door County Land Trust is pleased to announce a wetland property containing portions of the headwaters of Ephraim Creeks and Hidden Springs in the Gibraltar-Ephraim Swamp State Natural Area is now protected! The property was purchased from a local landowner who wished for the property to remain conserved in its natural state.

The property lies within the Gibraltar-Ephraim Swamp State Natural Area, an area recognized by the state for its high ecological value. Stretching from the northern edge of Ephraim limits south to Peninsula State Park and east to Townline Road, the Gibraltar-Ephraim swamp contains some of the best remaining coastal wetland habitat in northern Door County. Door County Land Trust continues to work to expand the protected areas within the swamp, safeguarding water quality and providing an undisturbed habitat for wildlife for generations to come.

The property consists primarily of mature white cedar swamp—a fragile and vital ecosystem that supports many rare or endangered plant and animal species, such as the dwarf-lake iris, red-shouldered hawk and bald eagle. Portions of the headwaters of the Hidden Springs and Ephraim Creeks are within the wetlands found here. Protecting these wetlands protects the quality of water which drains into Green Bay and provides habitat for migrating birds and spawning fish.

The acquisition of the 40-acre property brings the total area of land protected by the Door County Land Trust to nearly 8,200 acres. According to Door County Land Trust Director of Land Program Julie Schartner, “This project is an exciting addition in the heart of the Gibraltar-Ephraim Swamp Natural Area. Because it is adjacent to other protected properties, it creates a corridor of wild habitat and is especially important for migratory and nesting birds. The cedar swamp naturally filters water before flowing into Eagle Harbor and the bay of Green Bay.”

Funding for this purchase was provided by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and Wisconsin’s Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program. Door County Land Trust seeks to raise $10,000 towards endowment contributions for the long-term care of the property, and additional funds to underwrite other costs of acquiring the property. Contributions from members and individual donors make a difference.

Access to nature doesn’t happen by accident! It takes a community to make the vision of protected healthy lands and waters a reality. Whether you hike, birdwatch, hunt, fish or enjoy a walk with your family, Door County Land Trust is here to Protect What You Love. The community is invited to join the effort to protect special places throughout the county by making a donation online.

For more information about giving to protect what you love, please contact Door County Land Trust Development Director Cinnamon Rossman, (920) 746-1359 or info@doorcountylandtrust.org. Follow Door County Land Trust on Facebook and Instagram.

Gibraltar-Ephraim Swamp Natural Area and Eagle Harbor beyond, Photo by Dan Eggert

About the Door County Land Trust

The Door County Land Trust’s mission is “To protect Door County’s exceptional lands and waters…forever.”

Door County Land Trust protects 8,200 acres of open space, scenic beauty, and ecological integrity. Door County Land Trust nature preserves are open to the public at no charge for hiking, cross-country skiing, wildlife observation, some forms of hunting, and other low-impact, non-motorized recreational activities.

Door County Land Trust is accredited by the Land Trust Alliance Accreditation Commission and is a local, member supported, non-profit, community service organization.

Trail maps and more information may be found at www.doorcountylandtrust.org. Questions? Call (920)746-1359.

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