Land at Heart of Kellner Fen Donated into Permanent Conservation


Land at Heart of Kellner Fen Donated into Permanent Conservation

Sturgeon Bay, WI – Door County Land Trust is excited to announce the recent acquisition and protection of a 40-acre property at the center of the Kellner Fen wetland complex located north of Sturgeon Bay near Lake Michigan. The property was donated by Jim and Donna Janning, long-time supporters of Door County Land Trust, to protect this important wetland habitat and add to nearby protected lands within Kellner Fen.

Kellner Fen is an unusually rare type of wetland. The fen features a large expanse of open water and an extensive, fragile sedge mat that floats on top of the underlying water. It is  surrounded by dense forests. The fen provides habitat for rare and unusual species of wetland insects, and is a breeding ground for the federally-endangered Hine’s Emerald Dragonfly. The fen is also home to a number of rare orchids and carnivorous plants including sundews and pitcher plants. Migratory waterfowl and Sandhill Cranes are common visitors and nest on the edges of the fen.

Donna and Jim Janning have a remarkable history with this Kellner Fen property. While Jim served on Door County Land Trust’s Board of Directors in 2005, the Land Trust had the opportunity to protect several parcels within Kellner Fen, but didn’t have the resources at the time. The Jannings offered to purchase two properties and hold them until the Land Trust was in a position to purchase them. In 2012, the Jannings sold one property at a greatly reduced price to the Land Trust as a partial donation. Over the years, as their love of Door County and respect for the Land Trust have grown, they came to the decision to donate the second property.

Jim’s love of the land is clear when describing the fen saying, “I have always thought that Kellner Fen is a special place for many reasons. Ecologically its outstanding, filled with rare habitat for the federally-endangered Hine’s Emerald Dragonfly and an expansive sedge mat. Truly it is just a beautiful, incredible place.”

Door County Land Trust wishes to thank Donna and Jim Janning for their extraordinary contribution to the preservation and legacy of Door County. Their role as conservation buyers and Land Trust supporters is a marvelous example of how a love for Door County inspires generosity.

Land protection efforts for Kellner Fen are ongoing. More land within the area is yet to be protected. And, the Land Trust must raise the funding necessary to maintain and care for the land once it is protected.

Door County Land Trust will continue land protection efforts in the area, an important step towards preserving the wetlands, dense shrub layers, and thick cedar forests that comprise Kellner Fen. The Land Trust must raise an additional $200,000 prior to the end of this year to fund remaining conservation costs and long-term care of the full slate of 2020 land protection efforts. When you make a special gift to Door County Land Trust this year, your gift helps to care for properties like this wonderful donation of land at Kellner Fen and will help to protect more land in the future. To donate to land protection efforts or watch stunning videos of current land protection efforts from the air, please visit

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