A key land parcel is added to the Door County Land Trust’s Bay Shore Blufflands Nature Preserve.
The property is located at the base of the Niagara Escarpment approximately 10 miles north of Sturgeon Bay just inland of the shores of Green Bay. It is surrounded on the north, east and west by lands already protected by the Land Trust and hosts a large colony of the state threatened Ram’s head Lady’s-slipper orchid.
“We’re very excited about the acquisition of this property,” states Terrie Cooper, land program director for the Door County Land Trust. “Although it’s a small tract, it connects land that is already preserved and creates a corridor of specialized habitat. The Land Trust’s Bay Shore Blufflands Nature Preserve is home to one of the largest colonies of Ram’s head Lady-slippers in the state of Wisconsin and this acquisition expands that territory. Open lands in this area also help filter the water that runs off the escarpment into our ground water and the bay.”
The Door County Land Trust was able to purchase and protect this latest addition to the Bay Shore Blufflands Nature Preserve with the help of Land Trust supporters and a grant from Wisconsin’s Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Fund.
The Land Trust’s work at the Bay Shore Blufflands began modestly in 1995 when the discovery of Ram’s-head Lady’s-slipper orchids inspired the purchase of a two-acre tract. What began as a small purchase has now grown into one of the most impressive nature preserves in northeast Wisconsin and encompasses nearly 500 acres. In 2002, the state of Wisconsin designated the Bay Shore Blufflands Nature Preserve a State Natural Area. State Natural Areas are lands recognized for their high ecological value that support native biological communities.
The Bay Shore Blufflands Nature Preserve offers panoramic views of Green Bay and is open to the public for hiking, cross-country skiing, birding, hunting and other recreational uses. Marked trails, kiosks and parking areas are maintained by the Door County Land Trust. The Blufflands is one of three Door County Land Trust preserves in the area that encompass high quality habitat along the Niagara Escarpment bluffs. The Lautenbach Woods Nature Preserve and the Woods at Monument Point Preserve are located just a few miles north of the Bay Shore Blufflands.
Dan Burke, executive director of the Door County Land Trust explains, “We are continually finding out more about the unique ecological attributes of the Niagara Escarpment. The Escarpment is a micro-climate. The steep bluffs keep it cold, shady and damp. In addition to being home to many rare wildflowers and plant species, it is also home to a species of land snail that’s survived here since the last ice age. 2010 has been named the “Year of the Escarpment,” and the Land Trust is pleased to contribute to the celebration by protecting another part of this special place.”
The Door County Land Trust is a local, non-profit organization supported by over 2,000 donors. Since its inception in 1986, it has permanently protected over 5,000 acres throughout Door County. To find out more about the work of the Door County Land Trust and for maps and directions to its nature preserves or to make a contribution, visit www.doorcountylandtrust.org.