Donated Land Extends Legacy Nature Preserve at Clay Banks

Donated shoreline property at Legacy Nature Preserve at Clay Banks

The Bogdanowicz family’s land donation features 150 feet of undeveloped Lake Michigan shoreline. Door County Land Trust photo.

A generous land donation by the Bogdanowicz family that includes 150 feet of Lake Michigan shoreline was recently accepted by the Door County Land Trust (DCLT). Located in the Town of Clay Banks, this land is directly to the south of the Land Trust’s Legacy Nature Preserve at Clay Banks. The donation extends the preserve’s boundary, which will provide additional protection for amphibians, waterfowl, and shore birds.

According to DCLT Land Program Director Jesse Koyen, the donation of Lake Michigan shoreline property is a rare and significant asset to Door County’s ecology and the planet overall.

“The coastlines of Green Bay and Lake Michigan are within a major bird migratory route between North and South America,” Koyen says. “The protection of these shorelines directly affects the survival of songbird and waterfowl species, as well as the future of water quality in Door County.”

The fact that the donated land is adjacent to a preserve named Legacy is fitting as the three lots that make up the donation were meant as a legacy gift to the three Bogdanowicz siblings—Kathryn, Luke, and Marta—from their maternal grandfather. In turn, the siblings wanted the wild acreage to be a legacy for future generations that would visit the nature preserve.

According to Marta, the land, which was purchased in 1980, was never meant to be developed. “Its purpose was for camping,” she says. “We grew up spending summers on the water. The land is completely untouched. The natural beauty was the same as it was then. We’re happy to donate it to preserve it.”

Marta describes an “idyllic childhood” spent along the shore. “When we were little, we’d look for wild strawberries and walk along the beach and skip rocks,” she says. “We’re all outdoorsy people…it’s in our DNA.”

Marta and her siblings agree that their time spent on the Lake Michigan shore in their youth influenced their appreciation of nature and the importance of protecting it as adults. “In some small way we want to leave the earth better than we found it,” she says.

DCLT’s acceptance of land donations relies upon financial support from the community. To complete the Bogdanowicz family land donation, DCLT will raise approximately $25,000 for the future care and management of the property. The funds will be reserved in DCLT’s Stewardship Endowment Fund for the purpose of creating an annual disbursement to be used for the ongoing care of the property.

Join the effort to protect Door County’s vital lands and waters by making a contribution online at

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