Lakeshore Natural Resource Partnership, Inc.

Inside This Issue

LNRP Hosts Annual Retreat

Lakeshore Natural Resource Partnership, Inc.The LNRP Board and Staff met for their annual retreat on January 16, revisiting our three-year strategic plan and mapping out our action plan for 2016.

Our single most important accomplishment in 2015 was our success in building a model of engagement that establishes LNRP as an umbrella and parent organization for 11 watershed partners and regional networks.

In this model, each LNRP Board Member also serves on the leadership team of a partner group. These leadership teams range from separate boards of directors to steering committees to strategic planning committees. Shared staff resources and a strong volunteer network help implement each partner’s action plans. LNRP has strategically created a support structure using a Stewardship Fund that invests in community and creates opportunities for continuing stewardship of our land and water resources.

Through our Stewardship Fund, LNRP provides a steering committee presence and provides staff support for the Lakeshore Invasive Species Management Area (LISMA), the Niagara Escarpment Resource Network (NERN), and the Lake Michigan Stakeholders (LMS). Local watershed action teams include Climate Change Coalition of Door County, Friends of Crescent Beach, Friends of the Twin Rivers, Friends of the Branch River, Friends of the Manitowoc River Watershed, Little Manitowoc River Partnership, Friends of Hika Bay, and the Sheboygan River Basin Partnership.

2016 LNRP President John Kirsch and Vice President Chris OlsonThrough these growing networks and watershed partners, Restore the Shore projects are initiated.  LNRP’s current projects include the Forest Recovery Project of Door County, Crescent Beach Restoration Project, the Little Manitowoc Conservancy, Lower Schuette Park, Phragmites Control on the Lakeshore, Fischer Creek Park, and the Hika Park Centerville Creek Restoration Project. The  2015 Upper Manitowoc River Task Force, an effort we assisted, recently completed their mission and submitted their report on recommendations to reduce flooding issues in the North Branch watershed.

The LNRP Development Committee builds capacity for our partners. At the retreat, the Executive Committee described how separate development committees are being structured for our regional networks and how existing structures will be used to further build capacity for each of our watershed partners.

Our engaging discussion finished with each partner sharing their action plans, challenges, and opportunities they are facing in the coming year. Board and staff closed with a meal and fellowship as friends, working together to protect our waters.


LNRP Looks to Cultivate Volunteer Networks

On November 9, LNRP hosted an interactive workshop on cultivating volunteer networks. Putting Volunteers First examined the various ways leaders could provide the best possible experience for their volunteers. 

Volunteer trainingBecause volunteers have no contractual obligation to the organization they work with, we need to build a sense of community, make best use of their individual skills, and appeal to their sense of generosity. Workshop participants explored the many ways they can insure their own team of volunteers have a great experience so they continue their involvement. 

Mary Klein, who has been teaching at Marian University of Fond du Lac since 1987, presented the workshop where she chairs both the Communications program and the Leadership program. Mary shared how maintaining a stable base of volunteers will create a healthier organization to have greater positive impacts on our communities. Participants learned that to be effective leaders, we must make volunteers an organizational priority, must practice frequent and effective communication, attend to the socio-emotional needs of volunteers, acknowledge and affirm volunteers on a regular basis, and use a proactive intentional approach.

LNRP will begin posting volunteer opportunities in each newsletter for the upcoming quarter as a regular feature for our Friend groups. If you are interested in volunteer opportunities, please contact Jenn Hansmann, our Community Relations Coordinator, at


LNRP Adopt-A-Park Program

The LNRP Adopt-a-Park program was created to give citizens of all ages an opportunity to volunteer in our region’s village, city, and county parks.  Time spent assisting with park upkeep, cleaning, maintenance, beautification, and preservation helps to provide a safer, more beautiful park experience for the entire community. Volunteers get to experience seeing the results of their efforts immediately and feel the satisfaction from helping improve their community.

We welcome and encourage everyone to participate in this win-win program; individuals, families, church congregations and businesses can all do their part to help maintain and improve our parks. This effort can accommodate large groups or even one person to maintain.

Kayak launch at Lower Schuette Park installed with the help of the Friends of the Manitowoc River WatershedThe Adopt-a-Park program creates a powerful partnership between the managing government agencies, their partners their citizens, friend groups, and LNRP. This alliance allows valuable communication and feedback between these groups that result in cleaner, safer and more user-friendly parks in their community.

Adopt-a-Park encourages civic engagement: By providing an opportunity for volunteers to give back to the community, and making noticeable improvements to our parks which are appreciated by the volunteers as well as the rest of the community. Environmental improvements:  Not only does the program improve the environment aesthetically by picking up trash, planting flowers and trees, it also raises awareness of the importance and need to protect our natural spaces. As citizens observe the positive changes occurring in their neighborhood parks, they may be less likely to litter and instead show respect and care for their parks.

Safer, more beautiful parks:  Program volunteers provide services that go beyond what the park management can handle time- or budget-wise. While the Parks Department takes care of regular maintenance like grass cutting, Adopt-a-Park volunteers add special touches to the park, such as mulch, flower beds, and trash removal. An adopted park is a safer park because it is free of waste and other potentially hazardous items. These volunteers save our municipalities money while continuing to improve and service our parks.

LNRP currently has friend groups who have adopted four parks in the Lakeshore:  Friends of Crescent Beach for Crescent Beach in Algoma; Friends of the Manitowoc River Watershed for Lower Schuette Park in Manitowoc; Friends of Hika Bay for Fischer Creek Park in southern Manitowoc County and Hika Park in the Village of Cleveland. If you are interested in joining other volunteers in any of these parks, please contact Jenn Hansmann at Come join the fun!


Climate Change Coalition Growing in Door County

With plans underway for another forum in May, this unique Door County-based group, founded in 2012, is building a core of dedicated volunteers who organize events, engage with schools and churches and coordinate projects with other environmental groups. Volunteers also tackle administrative tasks and list keeping.

Door County Climate Change Coaltion walks to increase awareness.LNRP acts as the Coalition’s fiscal agent, providing administrative support and connecting the group with others engaged in environmental education and action. As an umbrella group, LNRP comprises a number of friend groups, regional networks and program partners. The Coalition seeks “to transcend partisanship and to express the care we all have for the natural world. Our mission is fostering knowledge and action to address climate change’s challenges and protect the Earth for future generations.” To this end, they schedule monthly speakers and films, hold workshops, a yearly forum, and sponsor a monthly “Climate Corner” column in the Peninsula Pulse.

This year’s annual forum will be held May 7 in Sturgeon Bay, focusing on “Opportunities for Addressing Climate Change: Forging a Healthier, More Prosperous World.” Keynote speaker, Jonathan Patz, is director of the University of Wisconsin Global Health Institute, an international authority on climate change health implications, and one of the lead authors of the Nobel prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports.

Additional speakers include Rolf Nordstrom, CEO of the Great Plains Institute, co-author of the Midwest Chapter of the third National Climate Assessment, and a leader in efforts to lower carbon in our region; and Kevin Shafer, executive director of the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District, who is nationally recognized for developing green infrastructure to address climate challenges. Tia Nelson will moderate an audience-based discussion with the speakers.  Watch for details and registration information in the coming months.

CCC strives “to increase awareness of the impacts of climate change on Door County and to foster discussion among community leaders and interested members of the public on cooperative action to address those impacts.” The group urges all communities and businesses to plan for climate changes that will result in higher temperatures; more frequent, extreme weather events; increased health issues and air and water quality degradation.

A Climate Declaration, signed in Door County in 2015, was supported by 34 county businesses. The Declaration states, “Global climate change threatens our water quality, the health of our forests and farms, the beauty of our natural surroundings, the well-being of our people and the vibrancy of our communities.” It further declares, “Door County can lead. We can foster innovation, encourage efficiency, enhance public health, create new jobs and bring technological advances to market.”  The business leaders who signed “are committed to these goals and to wise, informed and effective action to address climate change impacts.” Outreach to dozens more potential business signers will continue this spring.

Science workshops have drawn teachers from around the area. The faith community has been involved in key programming. 

Working with the Door County branch of The Nature Conservancy and the DC Land Trust, the CCC is planning a tree planting event this year with the assistance of the Door County Forest Recovery Project. They will select trees appropriate for the region’s micro-climates that are disease-resistant and most likely to survive a warming Door County climate over the next 100 years.

The CCC can always use more volunteers--to generate ideas and help with their projects. If you’re interested in getting involved with the Coalition, contact them by email,; by note, PO Box 474, Sister Bay, WI 54234; or through their website,


Lake Michigan Champions of Conservation Awards

Celebrate your favorite local environmental champions by nominating them for our annual 2016 Lake Michigan Champions of Conservation Awards, sponsored by the basin-wide Lake Michigan Stakeholders (LMS). 

This environmental award program recognizes and honors the outstanding achievements of the following: 1) individuals, 2) businesses, 3) community organizations, and 4) policy makers. 

You may nominate any group, program, organization, business, or individual located and working on the restoration, improvement or enhancement of the western Lake Michigan basin or any of the watersheds that flow into the lake.

2015 Champions from left to right: Will Wawrzyn, Congressman Reid Ribble, Brian Russart, and members of the Cat Island Advisory Committee Vicky Harris, Gary VanVreede, and Janet Smith.Our online nomination form asks for specific information on the nominee and his/her outstanding contributions. As the award process moves forward, the selection committee may request additional information.

We use a community-based Champion Selection Committee to determine the award recipients. This committee is composed of knowledgeable volunteers from throughout the Lake Michigan Basin including natural resource professionals, scientists, teachers, and leaders of environmental organizations.

Submit nominations using our online form by April 15. Awardees will be notified in June and invited to the annual Lake Michigan Day at UW-Manitowoc on August 12. ‘Watch for the nomination form and event details very soon on the Lake Michigan Stakeholders website,


Niagara Escarpment Resource Network Creating Exciting Plans for 2016

Niagara Escarpment Resource NetworkThe Niagara Escarpment, commonly called “the Ledge,” is a distinctive landscape of eastern Wisconsin, running from Door to Dodge County in Wisconsin and connecting all the way to Niagara Falls.

This special place furnished the bounty of nature to the ancients and inspired their reverence, provided resources in historical times to build towns and cities, and continues to impart respite and recreation.  It remains a spark to spirituality and creativity today, as people pursue new connections with the land and explore new ways to embrace the principles of stewardship.  It is essential to embrace opportunities to educate, excite and engage people about the Escarpment to create appreciation and understanding of this important natural resource that gives eastern Wisconsin its unique character.

The NERN Steering Committee gathered December 18, and again January 18, to delineate their 2016 Action Plan.  Steering Committee member Paula Rosch facilitated the December meeting at Trout Springs Winery. Participants clustered ideas around education and creating awareness, geo-tourism, publicity and partnerships, ecology, preservation and conservation; the arts and spiritual expression; and the broad range of creativity inspired by the Niagara Escarpment.

The group is also planning an event Friday, October 7 through Sunday, October 9 at UW-Fox Valley. Living on the Ledge:  Creativity, Cultivation, and Culture on Wisconsin’s Niagara Escarpment will be an entertaining, interactive and educational event  to celebrate the growing creative culture and adventurous spirit associated with – and inspired by – Wisconsin’s Niagara Escarpment. 

This 3-day celebration will be packed with great opportunities to learn from our region’s modern-day explorers and entrepreneurs creating excitement and commerce on the Ledge today through workshops, demonstrations, lectures, field trips, and more. Participants can sample film, literature, art, local foods and wine — all derived from, or inspired by, the Wisconsin Ledge. 

Spreading knowledge about the beauty, legacy and importance of the Niagara Escarpment in Wisconsin fosters its appreciation and preservation.  Celebrating the Escarpment’s “sense of place” will inspire additional creative culture to our communities and make them aware of opportunities associated with this natural and recreational playground.

For more information, contact Sherrill Anderson at or Steering Committee Chair Eric Fowle at


LISMA Landowner Workshop: Managing the Invasive Species on Your Private Land

A landowner workshop hosted by the Lakeshore Invasive Species Management Area (LISMA), January 9, at Woodland Dunes Nature Center in Two Rivers, brought together eight LISMA steering committee members (including the LISMA coordinator), two guest speakers, and 19 private landowners to network and collaborate on invasive species issues around the area. 

Attendees came from Manitowoc, Fond du Lac, Kewaunee, Calumet and Brown Counties to learn more about invasive species identification, control, electronic mapping and tracking tools and funding opportunities. Speakers included Tony Summers, coordinator of the Wisconsin First Detector Network, featuring several mapping tools, including the IPC connect app; Matt Rataczak, Natural Resource Conservation Service District Conservationist, who addressed the numerous cost sharing options available for private landowners; Diane Schauer, Calumet County Aquatic Invasive Species coordinator, covering invasive species identification and updates to Wisconsin Statute NR 40; and Jennifer Powell, land management coordinator at Woodland Dunes and LISMA coordinator, concerning invasive species control and habitat restoration efforts at Woodland Dunes.

Participants appreciated  the opportunities to network during breaks and lunch, as well as the question and answer session following lunch. By early afternoon, folks had a packet of identification materials and a better understanding of who to contact for help with invasive species issues in their area.

First Year of Phragmites Control on the Lake Michigan Shoreline

Fall 2015 Treatment of Phragmites on the Lake Michigan ShorelineThe partnership that formed to apply and manage funding from the Wisconsin DNR to control Phragmites, implemented their first year of treatment on both private and public lands in Manitowoc County on the Lake Michigan Shoreline.  Areas were mapped earlier in 2014 and revisited in 2015 along with getting landowner permission prior to treatment.  The group plans to contact additional landowners in 2016 to make treatment  as comprehensive as possible, including upstream frontal watersheds adjacent to Lake Michigan. The partners are also working with the Manitowoc County Highway Department to seek rapid response grants for treatment on Right-of-Ways where new populations have emerged. Partners include LNRP, LISMA, the Manitowoc County Lakes Association (MCLA), and Stantec Consulting Services.


Winter 2016

Water is Life. 
Photo courtesy of Christina DeSpears

Friend Group Updates

LNRP Facilitates Visioning Session with the Sheboygan River Basin Partnership

On January 7, LNRP staff and members of the Sheboygan River Basin Partnership Board gathered for a visioning exercise designed to create a stronger collective voice and help develop a 2016 Action Plan. The session began with SRBP members sharing their most important accomplishments and what the group means to them both personally and professionally. The group performed an informal organizational assessment that examined SRBP’s board structure, membership totals, strategic planning process, reviewed their mission and vision, and identified key partners. Following dinner provided by Generations in Plymouth, participants explored the critical needs in the watershed, available roles they can play, their capacity and resource limitations, and initial elements of their 2016 Action Plan.

They will meet again February 18 to continue the process. Kendra Kelling, current SRBP President, will join the LNRP Board as the group’s liaison in February. The Kohler Foundation helped support this process with a grant in late 2015. SRBP evolved from the Wisconsin DNR basin groups in the early 2000s, as did LNRP.

Stay tuned for further activities and, if you are interested in joining their volunteer board, helping facilitate a project, or just wanting to know more, contact LNRP’s Community Relations Coordinator, Jenn Hansmann, at or Kendra Kelling.

Friends of Hika Bay

Thanks to our hearty volunteers who planted many seedlings (literally) in 2015. Additionally, our friend group adopted both Hika Bay and Fischer Creek Parks and will continue to enhance and steward these respective properties in 2016.

Student interns at UW-Manitowoc had a successful year of water quality monitoring and will  mentor more students and compile data for a broader analysis of watersheds in southern Manitowoc County. Last October, the group also hosted the Lakeshore Water Summit, The Wonder of it All – Water Quality in Southern Manitowoc County Streams, with the students presenting current and collective data stories and trends.

Save the date for September 24 to join us for the next Chautauqua Barn Dance, as FOHB and the organizing committee with Partnering for Progress plan the 2016 celebration at the Saxon Homestead Farm in Cleveland.

Hika Bay

Volunteer work days are planned for 2016 and, if you are interested in helping improve habitat in Hika Park or Fischer Creek Park, contact Jenn Hansmann at

Friends of the Manitowoc River Watershed

In its second year of adopting Lower Schuette Park, FMRW and the City of Manitowoc successfully installed an ADA-compliant kayak launch which will return to the Manitowoc River as soon as the frost thaws this spring. The group hopes to work on trail maintenance in the park and will use the launch for their annual river clean-up in early spring.

The group also plans to organize annual spring and fall beach clean-ups, with the fall event partnering with the Alliance of the Great Lakes’ multi-state effort. They also help with the annual Watershed Ambassadors Summer Camp held at the Wisconsin Maritime Museum (WMM) in Manitowoc the end of July, offering youth valuable experience in the Manitowoc River watershed; this popular camp helps instill their sense of place within the watershed to become caretakers and spokespeople for the health of this precious natural resource.

On January 30, WMM, LNRP and the Wisconsin Wetlands Association hosted an interactive event at the Museum, informing landowners how to recognize and enhance healthy wetlands on their properties. You can also check out a presentation on the Ice Age Trail, February 27, and the Birds of Lake Michigan, March 19, from 1-3 p.m.for $5 (free for WMM members). Contact for more information.

If you are interested in volunteering for the beach or river clean-ups, contact Kim Kettner at

Friends of Crescent Beach

Planning is already underway for the 2nd Annual Soar on the Shore for Saturday, August 20, 11-4, at Crescent Beach in Algoma. This year’s celebration will continue into the evening with a sky lantern launch from the beach at dusk. Also new this year will be a candy drop for kids.  Rain date only for the kite display will be August 21.

The City of Algoma submitted grant applications to the Fund for Lake Michigan and Wisconsin Coastal Management to fund improvements to the north end of the beach to include relocating storm water drains.

The Kewaunee County Ground Water Task Force has a new website to provide a "one stop" source for the latest updates on Kewaunee County's ground and surface water news.  A link to the website can be found on the Kewaunee County website,

In 2015, the group held its first the 4-Legged Friends Photo Contest, catching dogs playing on the beach. This will become an annual event to celebrate the opening of the entire beach to dogs from October 1 to April 1 and also to remind dog owners of good canine beach etiquette and rules. This cute dog, Lily, is the proud winner of the 2015 contest.


Friends of the Branch River Watershed

Thanks to revitalizing their membership, the group is moving forward to “get people to the river.” They are poised to grow funds and generate more volunteers for the upcoming year. Members are planning their 2016 programming to include an Earth Day event April 23 featuring the Fox Valley Herpetology Club. This public event is free but the group appreciates donations to support their Vickie Mayer Memorial Youth Scholarship Fund.

Other activities include a special event, May 2, to give away five free trees/family to group members and discuss proper tree planting and care so they will thrive.

FOBR will host their annual summer family event at the Dodge Preserve in Whitelaw on June 4 (rain date, June 11). They’ll feature a birdhouse building workshop, pond critter exploration, wildflower planting and other interactive activities. Watch for further details.

They’ll celebrate the beautiful Branch River at their annual summer picnic on August 10 and plan two fundraiser brat frys at Rob’s in Manitowoc, April 30 and July 1. Their end-of-year annual winter banquet will be free for members this year on December 4, with location TBD.

Other possible activities include a river clean-up, project RED (Riverine Early Detection) to identify invasives, Restore the Shore works days and the AIS bridge snapshot day.

Frozen river

Congratulations to Eliza Suchan for completing all the steps required for the Vickie Mayer Youth Leadership Program; she earned a scholarship to a Summer Conservation Camp in Vilas County! 

Current FOBR president, Tom Ward, will be stepping down to vice president, opening up a leadership opportunity for someone. It is an exciting time for the group’s revival and they encourage you to be a part of it!  If you would like to get involved, email:  Emily,, or call (920) 323-3486.

Friends of the Twin Rivers (East and West Twin)

Leaders of the newly formed Friends of the Twin Rivers are focusing on expanding stewardship of the two rivers. The collaboration with the Woodland Dunes Nature Center in Two Rivers will bring Water Action Volunteer programming to the group, directly engaging local high school students and community members to become educated and trained to monitor the upper sections of the rivers. UW-Manitowoc biology students and interns will conduct data analysis of water quality testing through the Lakeshore Water Institute. In 2016, the group also plans to present two educational events and work with the Lakeshore Invasive Species Management Area to properly manage invasive species along the watershed.


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Sunrise over Lake Michigan. Photograph by LNRP Staff Member Lisa Vihos


P.O. Box 358 Cleveland, WI 53015 • © 2015 Lakeshore Natural Resource Partnership, Inc.
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