Inside This Issue
Lakeshore Currents - Reflections from Chris Goebel, LNRP Board President
Chris Goebel will be resigning as LNRP President later this year to move to Virginia where family and grandchildren eagerly await. We asked Chris to reflect on his tenure with LNRP on its past, present and future.
Reflections from Chris Goebel, LNRP Board President
In my six years serving on LNRP’s board – four as president – I have witnessed the organization’s extensive growth and maturation, which point, promisingly, to its ongoing health and vitality.
A great deal of credit for this maturation goes to Don Pirrung, my predecessor, who began a process of monthly meetings, usually over lunch, among the organization’s leadership – president (Don), vice president (me) and executive director (Jim) – focusing on the business of LNRP. We discussed a wide range of topics including what’s currently going on, the agenda for the next board meeting, and any unresolved issues, providing mutual guidance, feedback and support.
That process continues to this day, even as the participants have evolved. These free ranging conversations help guide both board and staff, and everyone involved has a picture of where we’re headed. LNRP has a set of guiding principles and values in our vision and mission statements which are regularly revisited, and revised from time to time as we encounter new challenges and opportunities. For example, we recently changed the LNRP mission statement to be more geographically inclusive of the area we serve: “Cultivating Community & Stewardship from the Ledge to the Lakeshore.” (It probably takes a local to appreciate that the “Ledge” is the Niagara Escarpment. Do your own on-line research to learn more.)
We are called to give back to our communities, and fully understand that serving in a non-profit organization means putting in sweat equity, as opposed to merely opening our wallets. The triple bottom line of economic, social and environmental stewardship of and for this region serves as the underpinning of all that we do.
LNRP has many outstanding assets, but as with all organizations, success begins with people. We are blessed with a dedicated and committed staff and a board composed of high quality persons with varying backgrounds and interests. We have a strong and unique organizational structure that empowers eleven (and growing) local friend groups and smaller watershed organizations who are encouraged to create their own stewardship projects and programs, supported by individual development plans tailored to their needs. All of these efforts and people, combined, help us fulfill our mission.
Development/fundraising is always a challenge for non-profits, and a “must” for sustainability. I thank the River Alliance of Wisconsin for its generous support this year, providing staffer Allison Werner’s experience and guidance to help LNRP grow and become even more effective, strengthening our friend groups at the grassroots level, building and maintaining a sound financial base, and delivering on our stewardship and community commitments.
LNRP’s challenges include succession planning - creating an orderly transition when, as he has indicated, Jim steps down as executive director in a few years. When I depart, John Kirsch will become president, and Chris Olson is slated to be vice president. Both are eminently qualified to lead the board in taking LNRP to the next plateau. What model do we want to create? Our strategic plan must be visionary.
I am encouraged by the youthfulness of several of our newest board members and the meaningful ways in which each has rolled up sleeves and pitched in. Amy Fettes, Michaeleen Golay and Chris Olson (as well as Marne Kaeske, who recently left the board for a career opportunity out of state) have been most impressive. LNRP also has new associations with the Climate Change Coalition of Door County and Friends of Crescent Beach in Algoma, and welcomes their representatives to the board.
John, the next LNRP president, is my friend and a most valued colleague. An accomplished professional in his own right, he’s had plenty of experience in local governance and brings to the position an abundance of common sense, courtesy and vision. He needs no guidance from me; the board’s in great hands.
Long ago, the LNRP board established the practice of “breaking bread” after each meeting. By now, it’s part ritual and all tradition, something we’ve all come to enjoy. I’ll miss that extra bit of camaraderie where we all learned something else about each other, and grew to be friends, not just acquaintances.
LNRP’s future, in my opinion, is infinitely bright. Thanks to all who have contributed to my journey!
Climate Change Coalition Hosts Second Annual Forum
The Climate Change Coalition of Door County will present its second annual Climate Change Forum, Saturday, May 9, at Stone Harbor Resort, 107 N. First Ave., Sturgeon Bay. Molly Jahn, Ph.D., professor and former dean of the University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, will be the keynote speaker; joined by Lee E. Frelich, Ph.D., director of the University of Minnesota Center for Forest Ecology; Todd Ambs, director of Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition; and Matt Reetz, Ph.D., Madison Audubon Society executive director. These leading authorities will share their most current findings about climate change impacts in Door County — our agriculture, forests, waters and birds — and lead discussions about cooperative action to address those impacts.
Registration begins at 8 a.m. and the program runs until 2:30 p.m., including a locavore lunch. Advance registration is necessary; the $25 registration fee covers the cost of materials, lunch and the facility. To register, download the form at climatechangedoorcounty.com. For more information, visit the website, call 920-854-3330, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Clean Water Action Council of Northeast Wisconsin and the Lakeshore Natural Resource Partnership are sponsoring the forum, with support from the Door County Environmental Council, Door Property Owners, Inc., League of Women Voters, Peninsula Pulse, Sustain Door, and the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Door County.
Lake Michigan Champions of Conservation Awards
The Lakeshore Natural Resource Partnership (LNRP) and the Lake Michigan Stakeholders (LMS) are pleased to sponsor once again the 2015 Lake Michigan Champions of Conservation Awards.
Nominations are open to any group, program, organization, business, or individual located and working on the restoration, improvement or enhancement of Lake Michigan or any of the watersheds that flow into the lake as part of the Lake Michigan basin. (see website below for nomination forms)
This year, the nomination process has been simplified to a web-based nomination form that asks for specific information on the nominee and his/her outstanding contributions. Additional information may be sought by the selection committee as the process moves forward.
Nominations using our web-based form are due May 1. Awardees will be notified in June and invited to the annual Lake Michigan Day event at UW-Manitowoc. The event details will be shared in the upcoming months on the Lake Michigan Stakeholder website at www.lakemichiganstakeholders.org. Lake Michigan is an annual event on the second Friday of August with this year’s event scheduled for Friday, August 14, 2015.
Sustainable Living Fair to Celebrate Niagara Escarpment, Ontario-Wisconsin Ties
Mark your calendars for the 2015 Sustainable Living Fair, June 5-6, at Crossroads at Big Creek. Eric Fowle, director of the East Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission and co-founder of the Niagara Escarpment Resource Network, will be the featured speaker at Friday night’s kick-off event, from 6:30-9:00 p.m.
Fowle will share stories, insights, recommendations, and facts from an international Sources of Knowledge Forum, “The Great Arc: Life on the (L)Edge,” taking place in Tobermory, Ontario, on May 8-10. Its goal is to build bridges to other communities which, like the Bruce Peninsula, lie on the rim of the Michigan Basin.
This geological dolostone bedrock structure, often referred to as the “Great Arc”, includes Door County and extends from the Niagara Peninsula northward through the Bruce Peninsula of Ontario, across Manitoulin Island and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and then southward through the Door Peninsula of Wisconsin to Green Bay, Lake Winnebago and beyond. Communities situated on this Arc, while different in many ways, have this escarpment in common, sometimes submerged or buried, but especially evident in areas such as the Bruce and Door peninsulas. We share thin and rocky soils and a similar biodiversity.
This escarpment exploration will carry over to the popular fair itself from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. on Saturday. Dozens of ‘green’ energy and sustainable lifestyle enthusiasts will share their knowledge and goods with participants, with product demonstrations and mini-workshops.
The Fair is being sponsored by the Climate Change Coalition of Door County, Sustain Door, Clean Water Action Council, Door Property Owners, Door County Environmental Council, and Lakeshore Natural Resource Partnership. Contact Jenn Hansmann, (920) 627-1799, Jenn@LNRP.org, if you’d like to reserve a booth or for more information.
Small but Mighty: Inaugural Waters of the Ledge Tour at Killsnake Marsh
Rock Anderson, Chilton native and aficionado of the natural world, guided four of us on a rescheduled hike of the Killsnake Marsh in Calumet County on Sunday, March 15. Originally set for Valentine’s Day, the brutal sub-zero temperatures and dangerous wind chills turned our snowshoe adventure into a hike by foot a month later.
The wait was worth it! We traded winter’s quiet blanketing the marsh with Earth’s spring awakening. We trudged through thick canary grass, listening to the cries of Sandhill Cranes and Canadian Geese and shared what we’d seen in our own backyards. Shoots of vibrant green quietly peered out of the damp groundcover, giving us hope. Thanks to a DNR permit, we made a nourishing hot meal over a campfire.
Anderson, on the board of the Lakeshore Natural Resource Partnership, shared stories about this favorite preserve of his. As a boy growing up in Chilton, he often wended his canoe through its diverse nooks and crannies and went fishing. Native Americans once inhabited these lands and we could all sense the deep quiet of the Earth and the rhythm of the abundant life force beneath its skin.
Watch for future tour announcements. Anderson is planning another canoe-kayak paddle of the Killsnake in the coming months. Over the last three years we have explored delightful places to experience a deeper connection to our rich land and waterscapes: Fonferek Glen, Wequiock Falls and Bay Shore Park in Brown County, Washington Island, Bayshore Blufflands, the Northern Unit of the Kettle Moraine, Plum and Pilot Islands, all with knowledgeable and engaging leaders. We hope you can join us!
Carl Giessel Joins LNRP Board
Please welcome Carl Giessel to the LNRP Board! Carl was formally elected to the Board at our February meeting.
Carl was raised in Freeport, Illinois and graduated from UW-Madison, where his parents had graduated and where he met his wife Judy. She and Carl and their four daughters have spent part of each of the last 46 years on the northeast side of Door County along the shore of a small bay.
After Madison, Carl was further educated at the University of Geneva, Switzerland and University of Chicago, settling down in Chicago and its suburbs. His career was in commercial banking and large ticket equipment leasing. His last employer was Bank of America. He served his community as a member and president of the local school board.
Since retirement, Carl has served as a director of Willowbrook Wildlife Foundation and The Ridges Sanctuary. He is an Illinois Master Gardener and a guide at Frank Lloyd Wright’s home and studio in suburban Chicago and at Wright's light court in the Rookery in downtown Chicago. He also is informally qualified as a Wisconsin Naturalist. Most recently, Carl has become a Rotary member and a member of the Action Committee of the Climate Change Coalition of Door County.
Farewell to Marne Kaeske
Marne left Wisconsin for an opportunity in Minnesota in March. She aptly served as our board treasurer and on the steering committee for the Niagara Escarpment Resource Network. We know with her ebullient personality and willingness to learn new skills, Marne will thrive on her life journey and we wish her the very best.
Friends of Crescent Beach Joins LNRP
Community members have created a new friend group under the program umbrella of LNRP. The Friends of Crescent Beach will focus on showcasing the beautiful beach in downtown Algoma to raise awareness of the threats to the health of the beach and to enhance this wonderful community asset.
The LNRP Board is encouraged that the group drew together such diverse people of varied backgrounds and interests to provide hands on support and engage with local officials, organizations, businesses and the public about beach related issues. A stable group of volunteers could serve as strong advocates for the protection, appreciation and use of the beach.
LNRP also feels the timing is right, as we sense a growing optimism and sense of pride about the City of Algoma that is shared by long-term residents and many newcomers eager to get involved with community activities. Cathy Pabich will serve as the LNRP Board liaison to the group. Stay tuned as the group will begin to develop an action plan this spring with activities already being planned for the summer and fall of 2015!
Hika Park Updates
Hika Shores Restoration
The final steps in the construction of a community similar to a ridge swale ecosystem will be completed at the Hika Shores property this spring. The constructed berm was planted with trees last year along with treatment for invasive species. This spring the berm was planted with a clover-rye mix and will be overlaid later this spring with a mix of wildflowers. The swale was excavated last fall and will be planted this spring with a sedge meadow mix.
Pedestrian Bridge, Viewing Platform, and Interpretive Trails
Bids will be going out this spring for the construction of a pedestrian bridge that will link the southern and northern parcels of Hika Park. The bridge will create safe passage from the boat landing to the Hika Shore property. The project will provide better access to the Hika Shores natural area and more Lake Michigan frontage than is currently available.
The project emerges from a successful restoration of the abandoned millpond on Centerville Creek that is adjacent to Hika Park. The Village of Cleveland expanded Hika Park to include the restored stream channel and an adjacent ridge-swale community. The park increased in size from 2.21 acres to 13.85 acres.
The project will fulfill goals originally identified in the Village of Cleveland’s 1985 Waterfront Plan, further refined in the 1998 Hika Park Plan, and the 20-Year Comprehensive Plan completed in 2007.
For the long-term maintenance of the park, Friends of Hika Bay has formally adopted the park as part of the Village of Cleveland’s Adopt-A-Park program. FOHB has cultivated a dedicated group of volunteers that will provide community support for the long-term sustainability of this very valuable community resource.
LNRP Receives Important Grants to Launch 2015
The Lakeshore Natural Resource Partnership received several grants to support our 2015 Action Plan.
LNRP is grateful for once again receiving considerable support from the Brico Fund for our 2015 operations. The Brico Fund “focuses on strengthening leaders and organizations to increase the coordination and integration of advocacy, policy, and communications efforts that create broad systemic change.” One of their priorities is to improve the water quality and quantity of Lake Michigan and surrounding waterways. This financial support will help guide and strengthen our efforts to cultivate a water ethic through the Lake Michigan Stakeholders, our diverse water resource partners, and the newly emerging Lakeshore Water Institute.
LNRP also received three DNR River Planning Grants to support three of our volunteer groups: The Friends of Hika Bay, the Friends of the Manitowoc River Watershed, and the Friends of the Twin Rivers. Each group has developed action plans supported by these funds.
In addition, the DNR Office of the Great Lakes provided additional support to complement the annual action plans of LNRP partner groups. These project funds will help us complete a constructed ridge swale community at Hika Park, the kayak launch at Lower Schuette Park, conduct additional bird, fish, water quality and macroinvertebrate monitoring on the Little Manitowoc, additional invasive species work on the East and West Twin Rivers, and finally further develop the Lakeshore Water Institute at UW-Manitowoc.
News from LNRP
Friend Group Updates
LNRP and Partners Receive Phragmites Control Grant
Fun With Frogs
Friend Group Updates
Beach Clean Up
Friends of the Manitowoc River Watershed (FMRW) hosted area more than 100 residents for the spring clean up of 10 area beaches along Lake Michigan on Saturday, April 25.
The group conducts beach clean ups in the spring and fall each year and has collected hundreds of pounds of litter since they first started in 2013. The event in spring helps celebrate Earth Day and reminds us of our obligation to be good stewards.
“We gather to clean up our area’s beaches each spring and fall,” said FMRW co-founder Kim Kettner. “We want to make a difference in an on-going effort to support water quality issues in our Lake Michigan watershed and enhance people’s recreational enjoyment. To date, more than 600 volunteers have collected more than 1500 pounds of litter from our beaches at five events.”
Lower Schuette Park Kayak and Canoe Launch
The Friends of the Manitowoc River Watershed (FMRW) adopted Lower Schuette Park in January 2014. The group envisions adding a grill to the shelter area, identifying and removing invasive species, and helping with overall park upkeep including picking up trash and planting additional native species.
The mission of FMRW is to connect people to the Manitowoc River to increase awareness, appreciation and use of the river. To help accomplish that mission, the group developed a plan to increase river access by creating a kayak/canoe launch at Lower Schuette Park. Working with the City of Manitowoc, a successful grant application was submitted to the DNR’s Stewardship Local Assistance Program.
Additional funds were provided through the LNRP Stewardship Investment Fund with in-kind services provided by City staff and FMRW volunteers.
A launch will help reduce congestion at the heavily used Manitou Park boat launch, which in turn would reduce the risk of potential conflict between kayak/canoe paddlers and anglers. Also, the kayak launch will provide another access point to the river for both recreation and wellness.
So the launch is accessible to a wide range of people, we are installing the EZ Launch – Kayak and Canoe Station that can be made handicap accessible. This type of launch also makes entering and exiting the kayak/canoe easier for seniors and children with a stable platform to hold the kayak, guide rails to stabilize the vessel, and launch rollers that move the kayak easily into and out of the water. The EZ Launch is also a floating platform, allowing it to adjust to changing water levels and be easily removed in the fall to avoid ice damage.
Partner groups who would support the kayak/canoe launch and enhanced river access include the Manitowoc/Two Rivers YMCA, the Manitowoc Marina, Wisconsin Maritime Museum, Friends of the Ice Age Trail, and the Two Rivers Paddling Club.
Rain Garden and Rain Barrel Seminar
The Friends of the Manitowoc River Watershed hosted a free seminar, Wednesday, April 8, at the Wisconsin Maritime Museum to share aesthetic, cost effective ways to slow down stormwater runoff with rain barrels and rain gardens.
Jessica Schultz, director of the Fox-Wolf Watershed Alliance in Appleton, provided participants all the information they need to create their own rain gardens to help keep our creeks, streams and rivers cleaner. Using rain barrels to catch and store rainfall, residents can access free water for their gardens and again help reduce pollution from runoff impacting our region’s waterways and ultimately Lake Michigan.
Participants had the opportunity to win two hand-painted rain barrels at the end of the presentation. The volunteer Friend group has hosted educational seminars, beach and river clean-ups and experiential events for Manitowoc County since first forming in 2013 to inspire appreciation of Lake Michigan and the Manitowoc River. The seminar series is funded by a Wisconsin DNR grant and supported by the Lakeshore Natural Resource Partnership.
Friends of the Twin Rivers Conduct WAV Training
Jim Knickelbine, Director of the Woodland Dunes Nature Center in Two Rivers, conducted Water Action Volunteer (WAV) training for FOTR leaders and partners on April 22.
These training sessions provide written methods, classroom instruction, and hands-on field training for measuring the six WAV parameters: dissolved oxygen, temperature, turbidity, stream flow, habitat, and macroinvertebrates to assess water quality.
Plans are in place to then train teachers and their students these methods at several area middle and high schools including Denmark High School, Mishicot High School, Roncalli High School, Kewaunee Middle School, and Two Rivers High School. Expanding WAV sampling throughout the area will help provide a more comprehensive picture of water quality trends in the East and West Twin Rivers.
LNRP and Partners Receive Phragmites Control Grant
LNRP along with partners Stantec Environmental Consultants, the Manitowoc County Lakes Association (MCLA), and the Lakeshore Invasive Species Management Area (LISMA), recently received a DNR Phragmites Control Grant to reduce this rapidly spreading invasive.
The spread of Phragmites in Manitowoc County has reduced access to beaches and riverfronts for recreational activities such as swimming and fishing, restricted lakefront views, and damaged walkways and structures along the beachfront.
Phragmites currently occurs as small to large scattered populations along the Manitowoc County shoreline; however, if left untreated, dense stands will spread relatively quickly along the shoreline and inland tributaries.
This project intends to build upon previous control efforts along the Lake Michigan shoreline and tributaries by expanding the treatment project area to areas where treatment has historically not occurred, and by working to educate landowners on the need for continued treatment beyond the scope of this 3-year project.
This project will treat Phragmites within private and public lands, and is working towards treating 100% of the Lake Michigan shoreline in Manitowoc County.
Fun With Frogs!
Over 100 family members participated in two separate sessions of “FUN WITH FROGS” again this year as Friends of the Branch River were able to bring back the entertaining and educational Randy Korb. Randy’s “Fun with Froggy Friends” offers a live demo that allows kids to handle many of Wisconsin’s frog and salamander species. The program encourages parents and their children to explore the natural wonder of these amphibians found in the Branch River Watershed and throughout the Lakeshore.
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