Successful Bird Migration: Timing IS Everything


  The success of each year’s spring migration comes down to timing—and climate change is tampering with the clock.     Climate change is having a direct effect on the availability of food sources (predominantly insects) from the beginning to the end of the migration route. This nourishment is necessary to fuel the flight of…

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Discovering Common Ground in Land Protection


  Mike Schmitz took a date to the Land Trust’s 2022 Annual Gathering and ended up with a conservation easement. At the Gathering, he discovered that his date, Ginny Bolger, shared a passion for conservation equal to his own. Bolger influenced Schmitz’s timing for entering into a conservation easement agreement with the Land Trust this…

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Trio of Land Projects Expand Land Protection

Hibbard Creek photo by Julie Schartner   With the recent addition of three land projects, DCLT now protects more than 9,400 acres across Door County and its surrounding islands. The three projects are an addition to the Hibbard Creek Natural Area, the creation of the new Oak Bluff Natural Area, and a new conservation easement.…

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Oak Bluff Natural Area: Land Protection by the Bay 

  Door County Land Trust’s portfolio of protected properties includes a variety of ecologically sensitive lands protected for the plant and animal inhabitants. The latest land protection project, completed on December 6, 2023, is a perfect example of why some lands are best protected for wildlife.  When it comes to the Land Trust’s recent creation…

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Hibbard Creek: Extending an Important Wildlife Corridor

Hibbard Creek. Photo by Julie Schartner   The recent purchase of 77 acres near the Hibbard Creek Natural Area aligns with the Land Trust’s goal to extend protection in wildlife corridors that provide for movement across the landscape. These corridors are crucial for the survival of animal species as they provide new home territories for…

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Southern Door Ecological Gem to Become 15th Land Trust Preserve

An exceptionally scenic and ecologically significant 75 acres in the Town of Clay Banks has recently been added to Door County Land Trust’s roster of protected properties. The former dairy farm features a half-mile of Bear Creek that flows into Lake Michigan that supports coldwater fish. Within its eye-catching landscape of open fields, wetlands, native…

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Three Springs Nature Preserve: A Native Forest for Breeding Birds

Three Springs Nature Preserve

With pine needles underfoot, and silvery raindrops clinging to flat cedar needles and spider webs, the walk along the forested path of Three Springs Nature Preserve gains a soundtrack with the calls and trills of Pine Warblers, American Crows, and Purple Finch. Further exploration of the preserve demonstrates why there is an avian chorus: The…

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Kellner Fen Natural Area Addition Expands Land Protection

Sandhill Crane

Sand Hill Cranes are one of many species that will be protected on the new acreage. The success of Door County Land Trust’s (DCLT) most recent land purchase is the direct result of the generosity of the Fischer family. The new addition of 63 acres extends the protection of water quality and wildlife surrounding the…

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Now Streaming: Water Protection

Three springs

Below the still surface of Door County’s landscape, under and through the bedrock, water moves rapidly—a mixture of rainwater, snow melt, and dissolved particles collected from life above. In many areas, both nutrients and pollutants find their way quickly into the county’s waterways—as well as Lake Michigan and Green Bay—at a rate that can overwhelm…

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Land Donation Protects Water Quality on Washington Island


A long-time Washington Island naturalist has recently donated a 10-acre white cedar forest adjacent to the Coffey Swamp State Natural Area on Washington Island. The newly protected property is key to providing water quality protection for Coffey Swamp and Lake Michigan. With the forest ideally situated on the rim of the area’s wetland basin, it…

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Kellner Fen Addition Extends Protection of Rare Species

Dragon's mouth orchids.

The Door County Land Trust recently purchased 63 acres that will extend the protection of water quality and wildlife surrounding the organization’s Kellner Fen Natural Area, located near the Lake Michigan shoreline north of Sturgeon Bay. Kellner Fen is a unique type of wetland that features a large expanse of open water and an extensive,…

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Conservation Easement a Gift to Southern Door Water Quality


Water quality in Southern Door has been handed a rare gift through a conservation easement agreement recently donated to Door County Land Trust. Owned by Patricia A. Nell, of Sturgeon Bay, the 158-acre property contains a portion of the headwaters of the Ahnapee River and surrounding wetlands that slow down water runoff and filter sediments…

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Chambers Island Landowners Purchase Additional Retreat Center Property for Preserve

Through a generous outpouring of private donations from Chambers Island landowners, The Door County Land Trust has acquired a 22.75-acre ecological gem that fits perfectly into the original 830-acre plan for the Chambers Island Nature Preserve. Formerly part of the grounds that hosted the Green Bay Catholic Diocese Holy Name Retreat Center, the parcel is…

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The Big Plant: Native Tree and Plant Give-Away 2023

Native Plant and Tree Give-Away Aims to Improve Wildlife Habitat Throughout Door County Upcoming tree and plant giveaway events: 2023 Dates to be announced *** How to Plant Trees and Perennials: How to plant The native tree and plant give-away is a part of The Big Plant coordinated by the Climate Change Coalition of Door…

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Can You Spare 6 Minutes to Protect More Land?


This note is a request for six minutes of your time in the next few days. Your six minutes will help protect more of Door County’s exceptional lands and waters. Your six minutes can protect the the things you love about Door County! Please take six minutes (three minutes per call) to call our two…

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High-quality forest and wetland habitat protected on Washington Island

Door County’s Newest Conservation Project: High-quality forest and wetland habitat protected on Washington Island Washington Island, WI – Door County Land Trust is excited to announce the protection of 20 acres on Washington Island as part of the Big and Little Marsh State Natural Area. This property is home to a northern hardwood forest with…

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Pollinator Garden at Bayshore Blufflands Nature Preserve

An oasis for butterflies, birds, bees, and other pollinators The three-year community conservation effort to battle buckthorn and other invasive shrubs at the Bay Shore Blufflands Nature Preserve has begun a new chapter as Door County Land Trust installed a new planting of native species this past summer. The lower trailhead now is home to…

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Love the Land…Leave it Wild

  We are thrilled to see new and familiar faces walking the trails and enjoying the outdoors. Thank you to everyone who is taking time to love the land! ⁣ Here are a few reminders, so the nature preserves you love can stay open, healthy, and protected.

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Big and Little Susie Islands Donated into Permanent Conservation


Sturgeon Bay, WI – Door County Land Trust is pleased to announce Big and Little Susie Islands have been donated into permanent conservation with the Door County Land Trust. The islands were owned by brothers Paul and Arni Richter and were passed on to family. The Richter family owned the Washington Island Ferry Line, with…

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Celebrate the Protection of Pebble Beach at Little Sister Bay

Ribbon-Cutting-Pebble Beach

The Village of Sister Bay, with assistance from the Door County Land Trust, completed the purchase of an iconic 17-acre gem along Little Sister Bay, expanding the former 40-feet of public beach with an additional 600 feet of shoreline. To celebrate the completion of the purchase of the property, Door County Land Trust and the…

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Join the Work Crew;
Oak Road Nature Preserve


Itching to get your hands dirty and really connect with the land? Discover the rewarding feel of restoration work in the field! Join the upcoming work party and help with invasive species removal, trail maintenance, and overall land stewardship. The day will include exploring Oak Road Nature Preserve through the lens of land stewardship and…

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Announcing Pebble Beach


 Door County Land Trust and Village of Sister Bay Announce Partnership to Protect Pebble Beach Sister Bay, WI – The Door County Land Trust and the Village of Sister Bay are pleased to announce a partnership to protect 600 feet of shoreline and 17 acres of land as a publicly accessible recreation and natural…

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Headwater Wetlands Protected at Gibraltar-Ephraim Swamp


Gibraltar-Ephraim Swamp Natural Area is a large coastal wetland corridor in Ephraim that is the focus of a multi-year land protection effort by Door County Land Trust. In May 2019 key headwater wetlands, springs, and stream corridors of two creeks flowing into Eagle Harbor and Green Bay were protected with two purchases totaling 120 acres.…

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9 Acres Donated at Chambers Island Nature Preserve

Door County Land Trust is pleased to announce the donation of 9 acres of land at the Chambers Island Nature Preserve. The donation of land, made by Pete and Fawn Rogers, long-time summer visitors on the island, is the fifth conservation project to be completed on Chambers Island during 2018. The donated land connects other…

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Chambers Island Nature Preserve Expands with 50 Newly Protected Acres!

We are pleased to announce that Thursday, December 13, the Door County Land Trust completed two more land acquisitions on Chambers Island!  These two additional projects are the third and fourth of five planned land protection projects on the island this December! The two properties, one a 10-acre hardwood and hemlock forest and the other…

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Calling All Volunteers!

Heins Creek

Looking to stay active this fall? We’ve got the solution! Join us for a work day at our beautiful Heins Creek Nature Preserve. First-time volunteers are welcome! The Door County Land Trust is hosting a Door Stewardship Alliance work day at Heins Creek Nature Preserve on Tuesday, October 30th from 9:00am to 12:00pm. We will…

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Volunteer Work Day at Oak Road Nature Preserve

Tuesday, September 25 9:00am – 12:00 pm 6391 Oak Road Join the Door County Land Trust for a morning of work at Oak Road Nature Preserve. We will be enhancing restoration efforts by continuing the control of non-native honeysuckle and autumn olive. Please meet at the Oak Road Nature Preserve parking area located at 6391…

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Volunteer Work Day at Detroit Harbor Nature Preserve

Detroit Harbor Dan Eggert

*RSVP Required* Tuesday, September 11 10:30am – 1:30pm (depending on ferry schedule and timing) 600 Lobdell Point Road, Washington Island We are continuing our efforts to better establish the new trail at Detroit Harbor Nature Preserve. Please meet at 600 Lobdell Point Road at 10:30am on Tuesday, September 11. We need help clearing vegetation from…

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Participate in the Chambers Island BioBlitz!


Door County Land Trust will hold a joint effort to research the ecology of Chambers Island over a four day period August 5-8. This project, called the Chambers Island BioBlitz, will be led by staff, researchers and volunteers from Door County Land Trust, Milwaukee’s Urban Ecology Center, UW-Green Bay and the Chambers Island Nature Preserve…

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Bay Shore Blufflands Buckthorn Blast


We are pleased to announce the completion of the first round of invasive shrub removal in the Bay Shore Blufflands Buckthorn Blast! The project is a community conservation effort designed to enhance the nature preserve and encourage the neighborhood and greater community to participate in the effort. Jason Wilke, of Nature Care Ecological Consulting and…

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New 2018 Acquisitions Underway at the Chambers Island Nature Preserve

Chambers Island

For the 171 species of birds migrating annually on the 2,000 mile journey along the Mississippi flyway, Chambers Island is a haven, a rest stop, and a much needed place to refuel. The Door County Land Trust Chambers Island Nature Preserve has grown to 600 acres and our 2018 plan continues efforts to acquire several…

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New Acquisitions Underway at the Gibraltar-Ephraim Swamp Natural Area


The Gibraltar-Ephraim Swamp Natural Area is comprised of cedar forest and ephemeral wetlands—two components contributing to Door County’s most unique environments. In 2017, the Land Trust completed a 120-acre purchase in the heart of the swamp. Landowners in the neighborhood are helping the Land Trust acquire several more key parcels within the natural area, which…

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Habitat Restoration Planned for Grand View Scenic Overlook

When the opportunity to protect the Grand View Scenic Overlook arose, the community stepped forward to complete the seemingly impossible task of raising the funds for such prime real-estate. Within the protected view, lay two small ponds and surrounding lands in need of special care. Recently, the Door County Land Trust implemented two initial landscape…

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Grants Received for Restoration Project at Bay Shore Blufflands Nature Preserve


Door County Land Trust and Bay Shore Property Owners Association continue to battle invasive plants with a new multi-year community conservation project to eradicate non-native common and glossy buckthorn (Rhamnus spp.) and exotic honeysuckle (Lonicera spp.) at the Bay Shore Blufflands Nature Preserve. The project, known as the Bay Shore Blufflands Buckthorn Blast, began last…

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Investments in Stewardship Endowment Fund are Working for Our Land

Peil Creek

Thanks to the many thoughtful Legacy Circle donors who have included the Land Trust in their will or bequest, the Stewardship Endowment Fund will be carefully put to use beginning this year. The Board of Directors and the Endowment Trustees have calculated a sustainable draw from the fund which will be applied toward the Land…

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Volunteer Work Day at Solitude Natural Area

three springs

Tuesday, March 27th, 2018 10:00 am -12:00 pm Solitude Natural Area 6759 Logerquist Road We are continuing our efforts to control pesky Scots Pine (Pinus sylvestris) at Solitude Natural Area. Scots Pine is a non-native pine tree that grows more aggressively than other species, crowding out other trees and preventing desirable native species from growing.…

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Newly Protected! 17 Acres Adjacent to Bay Shore Blufflands Nature Preserve

Conservation Easements Protect Homes for The Wildest Things Short-tailed weasel at Aten-Collins Conservation Easement. Photo by Nancy Aten Visionary landowners Nancy Aten and Dan Collins completed the donation of a 17-acre conservation easement to the Door County Land Trust this fall. The property, located near the 274-acre Bay Shore Blufflands Nature Preserve, adds to a…

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Gift Exchange

Gift Exchange By Francha Barnard, Door County poet and volunteer As for me, on a trail hike, you wouldn’t want me to lead; can’t identify the ten different mushrooms or four or five ferns we’d see. Can’t tell the various orchids apart or the birdsong we’d hear nearby; can’t even find the bird in the…

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Mapping Guides 2018 Restoration Work

This four-person crew spent part of their summer mapping invasive species in preparation for a restoration project to begin in 2018.  Door County Land Trust’s Three Springs Nature Preserve is one of several sites prioritized in this partner project to map, monitor and reduce invasive species within Wisconsin’s Door Peninsula Coastal Wetlands Ramsar site, an…

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Restoring Balance to an Interconnected Ecosystem

Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal Nature Preserve ridge and swale wetland.  Photo by Jason Wilke, restoration and invasive species removal contractor   399 acres at the Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal Nature Preserve and 50 acres at Heins Creek Nature Preserve are being restored, thanks to funding from the North American Wetland Conservation Act Grant. The project,…

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Door County Land Trust Protects 37 Acres Near Rowleys Bay

Bruce and Joan Pikas at their new conservation easement near Rowleys Bay

Door County Land Trust Protects 37 Acres near Rowleys Bay In late August, landowners Bruce and Joan Pikas donated a 37-acre conservation easement on their boreal forest tract to the Door County Land Trust. The conservation easement adds to existing protected land in the area which includes several other conservation easements, The Nature Conservancy’s Mink…

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Join us at the Bay Shore Blufflands Buckthorn Blast Kick-off Event!

You are invited to join us for a community gathering to kick-off the Bay Shore Blufflands Buckthorn Blast project September 1, 9:30-11:30 a.m.! Learn about the invasive species and unique ecology of the Bay Shore Blufflands Nature Preserve. Take a hike with staff experts and meet stewardship volunteers committed to the Buckthorn Blast. Sign up…

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8,000 Acre Milestone!

The Door County Land Trust announced today that in its 30th year, we have now surpassed 8,000 Door County acres protected from development through the addition of 106 acres to the Chambers Island Nature Preserve. We are pleased that with this most recent acquisition we surpassed two milestones—8,000 acres protected in perpetuity and at 593…

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We need your vote to purchase the islands!

Town of Gibraltar voters – We need your vote to purchase the islands in Lake Mackaysee on Chambers Island! Wednesday, August 2, 6 pm, Town of Gibraltar Special Agenda The two islands in Mackaysee Lake on Chambers Island owned by the Wisconsin Board of Commissioners of Public Lands are being sold. The islands can be…

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Door County Land Trust Surpasses 8,000 Acres Protected

106 Acres Added to Chambers Island Nature Preserve The Door County Land Trust announces today that it has now surpassed 8,000 acres protected from development through the addition of 106 acres to the Chambers Island Nature Preserve. Door County Land Trust Executive Director Tom Clay says, “We are pleased that with this most recent acquisition…

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Volunteer at Bay Shore Blufflands Nature Preserve!

Join the fun at our next Door Stewardship Alliance work day  at Door County Land Trust’s Bay Shore Blufflands Nature Preserve on Tuesday, July 11th. The work will consist of clearing vegetation encroaching into the trail corridor as well as replacing parking area posts. We will meet at the preserve parking area located at 5519…

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Students with Shovels: A Tree Planting Story

In pre-settlement times, Door County was covered shore to shore in dense forests. Our native plant communities and wildlife habitat depend on quality contiguous forests. Last week, at Lautenbach Woods Nature Preserve, students from Sturgeon Bay High School worked alongside staff and volunteers to plant more than 2,500 trees, including white pine, white cedar, chokecherry,…

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Volunteers working to inventory invasive species

Mapping and inventorying invasive species not only tells us what is present, but allows us to be strategic and prioritize our efforts going forward. Volunteers worked to inventory and map invasive species at Oak Road Nature Preserve in 2016 so treatments could begin this spring, in June of 2017. Now, volunteers are following these maps…

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Plant Surveys, Species Inventories, Bird Counts and more!

The Door County Land Trust relies on volunteers to gather vital pieces of information in the field. Projects include spring bird counts, identifying invasive plants and more. The information gathered through these projects helps to show the value of land protection and restoration efforts. To volunteer for citizen monitoring projects, please contact  [email protected].

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Help Us Plant Trees at Lautenbach Woods Nature Preserve

Thursday, April 27, 2017 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm Lautenbach Woods Nature Preserve 6749 County G, South of Egg Harbor Join us for an afternoon of tree planting to celebrate Earth Week! We are continuing our efforts to plant native seedlings at our Lautenbach Woods Nature Preserve. Please meet just north of the preserve parking…

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Native Landscaping “Spruce”-Up

Tuesday, April 18, 2017 9:00 am to 12:00 pm 23 North 5th Avenue, Sturgeon Bay Are you looking for fun, fresh air and the opportunity to dig in to some wildness right here in the middle of the city? Join us to help “spruce” up the native woodland landscape at the Door County Land Trust’s…

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Native Tree Planting Creates a Resilient Landscape

Lautenbach Woods Nature Preserve

  In April 2016, the Door County Land Trust’s volunteer group, the “Stew Crew,” planted more than 1000 native tree and shrub species after controlling non-native honeysuckle at Lautenbach Woods. The Stew Crew continued their efforts at Three Springs and planted 800 native tree and shrub species after controlling non-native Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris). The tree…

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