“The Grand View Scenic Overlook and Park is a shining example of the passion of this community to protect its most precious resource—the land. ” This was the message from executive director Tom Clay on August 20 as he spoke to a crowd of more than 300 people who were gathered at the Liberty Grove Historic Society property overlooking the Grand View Scenic Overlook and Park in Ellison Bay for the Land Trust’s Annual Gathering.
Supporters of the Land Trust celebrated the successful protection of the land completed in 2012, as well as surpassing the recent milestone of 8,000 acres of land protection since its inception in 1986. President of the Land Trust’s board of directors Jeff Ottum spoke about the importance of the land and water connection, saying “Much of our work at the Land Trust is—and needs to be—focused on stewarding the watersheds that pour water into the bay. Our collaborations with other environmental organizations and communities must help to reverse the distress and keep the waters surrounding Door County as exceptional as the land is.”
Town of Liberty Grove supervisor Nancy Goss said, “This crested land […] with its breathtaking vista of the waters of Green Bay and the bluffs of the Niagara Escarpment, could so easily have slipped through the fingers of our community. It could so easily have become a lovely great room view…for only a private few. Thanks to the vision and dedication of the Door County Land Trust, and with the support and help of the Town and community, Grand View Park is here for the child to play, explore, learn and enjoy a sense of place.”
Clay gave special thanks to the community for their continued support of the land protection efforts that will protect Door County’s vistas, healthy lands and vital water resources for the community now and for generations to come. He said, “We must remain vigilant – safeguarding against threats to the landscape of this amazing place. From foreign plant invaders to climate change and threats to fresh water, we must remain eyes wide open, prepared to address the conservation needs of tomorrow. And like following range lights into safe harbor, we must use sound science to inform our work.”
Clay ended by thanking the crowd and conservation partners for working together to complete the recent land acquisitions of 120 acres at Gibraltar Ephraim Swamp and 218 acres on Chambers Island, as well as several other new projects underway.
In a final closing message, committee members Rob Watson and Gretchen Schmelzer and more than 60 volunteers were thanked for their contribution to the success of the event. Special thanks was given to the site host Liberty Grove Historic Society, bluegrass musicians from the local band Highland Road, Hinterland Brewery for their contribution of Packerland Pilsner beer, and Main Street Market for the wine selection.
During the event, guests toured the Grand View property, the Liberty Grove Historic Society Museum, and watched artist paint the view en plein air. Artists Liz Maltman, Lynn Gilchrist, Emmett Johns, Rick Risch, Mary White and Mark Zelten donated their artwork to raise funds for the land protection efforts.