Chambers Island Nature Preserve Committee to Receive Conservationist of the Year Award

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Chambers Island, WI – Door County Land Trust is pleased to announce that four Chambers Island Committee leaders, Mary Brevard, Suzanne Fletcher, Barbara Frank, and Mary Jane Rintelman, will be awarded Conservationists of the Year by Gathering Waters, Wisconsin’s Alliance for Land Trusts. This honor is awarded by Gathering Waters at their Land Conservation Leadership Awards dinner ceremony to be held in Madison on September 26. Door County Land Trust is proud to have their members’ work highlighted and to be able to recognize the five years of work resulting in the protection of the interior of Chambers Island.

Island homeowners and environmental stewards, Mary Brevard, Suzanne Fletcher, Barbara Frank, and Mary Jane Rintelman are committed to protecting the ecologically diverse island.

Already established through previous preservation efforts to protect 20 acres of Chambers Island forestland, Door County Land Trust embraced the partnership to expand protection work on the island. The Land Trust worked with the group to identify conservation targets and set the ambitious goal to protect over 800 acres. Through the partnership, the thirteen page “Proposal to Create a Nature Preserve on Chambers Island” was created and put into action. In 2013, the four island leaders began their nearly five-year endeavor to protect the interior forest of the island.

Chambers Island Nature Preserve protects key habitats and landscapes vital to Door County’s conservation, providing vital stopover habitat for nearly 200 migratory bird species. The island is dominated by hardwood and cedar forests with contiguous canopy, an inland lake called Mackaysee, and wetlands including a leather-leaf muskeg (bog), the only one of its kind in Door County. Protecting Chambers Island was recognized as a priority during joint conservation planning sessions with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, The Nature Conservancy and others.

Over the course of the past five years, the four Chambers Island Committee leaders worked with Door County Land Trust to make the island vision a reality. This ambitious group of women has overcome incredible challenges to protect the island. To match federal and state grants secured by Door County Land Trust, they have raised more than $1.8 million in private donations to acquire lands now designated as the Chambers Island Nature Preserve. By the year-end, nearly 800 acres will be permanently protected from development and will receive ongoing care from Door County Land Trust. The Chambers Island Nature Preserve creates corridors of conserved lands benefitting native plant and wildlife species.

The Chambers Island Nature Preserve Committee’s leadership, vision and accomplishments are an inspiring tale of extraordinary commitment to protecting the lands, waters, wildlife, and ways of life that make Wisconsin so very special. Door County Land Trust thanks Mary Brevard, Suzanne Fletcher, Barbara Frank, and Mary Jane Rintelman for their significant contributions and effort to protect Chambers Island for generations to enjoy.

Executive Director Tom Clay says, “We look forward to honoring their incredible work through the Conservationists of the Year award. The partnership and vision of the committee leaders was invaluable in conserving the island.”

Chambers Island Nature Preserve is the epitome of community conservation success. As a member-supported organization, Door County Land Trust is pleased to have the hard work of these individuals recognized on a state-wide scale. If you have a place you love and want to see protected or to make a contribution of support, please visit or call the Door County Land Trust office at (920)746-1359.

For more information on the honorees or Land Conservation Leadership Awards, please visit

About the Door County Land Trust

Protecting Door County’s Exceptional Lands and Waters…Forever. Door County Land Trust protects the wild places, scenic beauty, and ecological integrity that make the peninsula and islands so special. 14 featured nature preserves are open for hiking, and other low-impact, non-motorized recreational activities–all at no charge to the public. Trail maps and more information may be found at

About Gathering Waters

Gathering Waters: Wisconsin’s Alliance for Land Trusts mission is to help land trusts, landowners, and communities protect the places that make Wisconsin special. We are here to help you protect Wisconsin’s land, water, wildlife, and way of life. We do this by strengthening over 40 member land trusts throughout the state. More information may be found at

>> Click here for the press release.


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