Peninsula Pulse April 21-28, 2023

In this issue

  • Wild Things: The Year of the Trophy Trout

    Top 5 fish in tourney all more than 20 pounds by KEVIN NAZE, [email protected], Peninsula Pulse contributor Ryan Younk’s 35-inch, 22.81-pound brown trout – one of five larger than 20 pounds – won the first-place prize of $1,000 in the 35th Baileys Harbor Brown Trout Tournament April 13-16. Younk, of Forestville, fished out of Algoma but […]

  • Obituary: Marion Jean Baudhuin

    May 19, 1929 ~ April 15, 2023  Marion Jean Baudhuin, 93, lifelong resident of Sturgeon Bay, died on Saturday, April 15, 2023, at Bayview Senior Care LLC (formerly Anna’s Healthcare) in Sturgeon Bay.  She was born May 19, 1929, daughter of the late Arnold and Mary (Stoeger) Haberli. She attended Sevastopol High School. Marion was united in […]

  • Maxwelton Braes Lodge Sold

    Maxwelton Braes Lodge has new owners, and at least one of them has visions of keeping it as a family business for a long time. On April 13, Frank Kowalkowski and his wife, Julie, along with Barb and Dr. Nami Zarvan, all of Green Bay, completed the purchase of the 93-year-old lodge, the tennis and […]

  • Volunteer Highlight: Paul Schumacher

    “It’s all of our tasks to leave this planet in better shape after we are gone.” Lives in: Jacksonport (Clark Lake) Profession: A retired planning manager for Wisconsin Electric Number of years in Door County: 12 years full time, 70 years part time  Started volunteering: Department of Natural Resources inland-lake volunteer starting in 1986 and […]

  • Volunteer Highlight: Bobby Deggendorf

    “People need personal connections to the natural world if they are going to work to protect it.” Lives in: Jacksonport Profession: Teacher, Sunset Elementary School, Sturgeon Bay Number of years in Door County: 13 Started volunteering: About 10 years ago at Crossroads at Big Creek Areas of interest: Trees, streams and lakes, exploring new areas, […]

  • A Timeline of Conservation

    There is a remarkable history of conservation across this country, within the state of Wisconsin and closest to home, within Door County. The timeline below captures the arc and sweep of that history in summary form.  The timeline is inspired by a new, two-part docuseries, Ridge and Swale, that tells the stories of those who […]

  • The Master Naturalist: Jane Whitney steps up for citizen science

    Jane Whitney dedicates most of her time to conservation service within Door County for a variety of organizations – leading guided hikes, botanizing, teaching classes, studying (she was prepping for The Ridges Sanctuary’s Crane Symposium when we spoke), and giving presentations. She’s also no stranger to a clipboard, gathering data for multiple projects as easily as […]

  • The Phragmites Queen: Jo Whalen

    Grant-dependent conservation programs rely on volunteers to leverage finances and broaden their network and messaging. Those who come up with a program and then run with it are considered “super volunteers” by Sam Koyen, the Door County Invasive Species Team (DCIST) coordinator for the County of Door Soil and Water Conservation Department (SWCD). The most […]

  • They’ve Got Friends

    “Friends” groups are an integral part of the continuing operations and promotion of Door County’s five state parks. These groups of local volunteers use their time to maintain and improve the parks and to help raise money for special projects and preservation – all designed to increase enjoyment for all park-goers. The information below tells […]

  • Leave No Trace

    Volunteers help Destination Door County to help Door County, and this year, the organization will partner with Peninsula State Park on a Leave No Trace Spotlight program. The term “Leave No Trace” originated as a set of ethics promoting conservation of the outdoors in response to ecological damage caused by wilderness recreation. Leave No Trace […]

  • Doing Your Part: Composting

    It’s the little things that count. Take composting. Door Community Compost Initiative leader Dave LaLuzerne uses a Home Composter, but they don’t have to be that big or even inside something: Select a corner of your yard for a compost pile, or pick up a bucket from the Door Community Compost Initiative and then drop […]

  • A Different Way to Volunteer: Conservation Buyers

    The real estate market has changed. There’s less land available for sale and more buyers who are able to move quickly on purchases. “It’s a whole new world for us,” said Terrie Cooper, the Door County Land Trust’s (DCLT) senior land-protection manager. Nonprofit organizations are at a disadvantage in these competitive markets, particularly if they’re […]

  • Measuring Your Carbon Footprint

    As the executive director of the Climate Change Coalition of Door County, Jeff Lutsey considers himself an environmentally conscious person. Even so, his carbon footprint – the amount of greenhouse gas an individual generates – is that of an average American: 16 tons per year. “It stinks,” he said. “If that’s average, we’re all doing […]

  • Conservation Leaders of the Boards

    Leading a nonprofit board or committee to help realize a conservation organization’s vision and mission is one of the highest levels of conservation volunteerism, yet it flies perhaps lowest beneath the radar. Meet the leaders of the major conservation organizations in Door County. Climate Change Coalition of Door County Mary Smythe, co-chair, Steering [email protected], 920.421.0069 […]

  • Bill Wolff, The Full-Time Volunteer

    Before he retired in 2004, Bill Wolff’s schedule was permanently full. He was “over-occupied” with his job as a high school gym teacher, and on nights and weekends when he wasn’t teaching, he was coaching the school’s swim team. Being so accustomed to these packed days, the prospect of having empty time to fill during […]

  • Mark Weisse: Conservation Begins in His Own Backyard

    When Mark Weisse moved into his Clark Lake vacation home full time, a volunteer opportunity came knocking at his door.  “Because I was living here full time and we don’t have that many full-time residents, a neighbor down the street came and asked me if I’d be interested in helping,” he said. That neighbor was […]

  • Mark Holey: A Second Career in Conservation

    As a fish biologist for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Mark Holey spent his career conserving the Great Lakes and the areas around them. In retirement, he’s doing more of the same. “Once you get hooked on doing things for the environment, it’s hard to let […]

  • Piecing it Together: The Conservation Puzzle

    This year’s Sustainability Issue was inspired by the docuseries Ridge and Swale, the Peninsula Filmworks production that tells the story of how Door County has worked, and continues to work, on conserving and maintaining the county’s natural beauty and heritage. You can learn more about this passion-project production, conceived and achieved by David Eliot (who […]

  • Volunteer Highlight: Doug Otopalik

    “I believe volunteer work is a civic duty – something that we should all do.” Lives in: Sturgeon Bay Profession: Retired dentist Number of years in Door County: Five Started volunteering: I’ve been a lifelong volunteer. I started volunteering locally as soon as I moved here. Area of interest: Environmental education Volunteer accomplishments: Stream monitoring, invasive-species […]

  • Volunteer Highlight: Dave LaLuzerne

    “My philosophy is, think globally, act locally.” Lives in: Ellison Bay Profession: Works at the pottery business (Lynn’s Pottery) that he and his wife own. Before that, he was a pharmacist and owned herb and vitamin shops in Madison.  Number of years in Door County: Eight Started volunteering: As soon as I moved here Areas […]

  • Volunteer Highlight: Barb and Doug Henderson

    “We meet fun people from different backgrounds, learn from those differences and create closer friendships with experts in the field.” Live in: Sevastopol Professions: We’re both retired, but during our professional lives, Barb focused on art, and Doug worked as an educator and retired as the first executive director of the Door County Maritime Museum. […]

  • Volunteer Highlight: Gretchen Schmelzer

    “I enjoy getting children and families connected with nature.” Lives in: Sturgeon Bay  Former profession: Special-education teacher Number of years in Door County: 43 Started volunteering: As soon as I moved here  Area of interest: Getting kids and families out into nature Volunteer accomplishments: I started the Crossroads Trail Run, founded the Door County Beekeepers […]

  • Volunteer Highlight: Marilyn Hansotia

    “Volunteering and learning with like-minded folks has been a privilege and so rewarding.” Lives in: Ellison Bay Profession: Home health nursing, journalist with local radio stations in central Wisconsin Number of years in Door County: 19 Started volunteering: Started in the 1990s with the Rushes Wilderness Foundation as a timeshare owner Area of interest: Bat […]

  • Volunteer Highlight: Brian Fitzgerald

    “There are things I’m passionate about because they made a difference in my life when I was growing up.” Lives in: Ephraim Profession: Event director, potter Number of years in Door County: 31 Started volunteering: I started with the ice rink in Sister Bay in the mid-1990s, and then began organizing youth skiing and skating […]

  • Volunteer Highlight: Ron Fandrei

    “I knew it was an area that needed to be preserved and protected.” Lives in: Ellison Bay Profession: Retired, previously delivered gas for Ferrellgas Number of years in Door County: Born and raised in the county, I live on my family farm, which was built in 1870. Started volunteering: Started volunteering with The Nature Conservancy […]

  • Garden Club Focuses on Jens Jensen, The Clearing

    The next meeting of the Door Garden Club will take place April 25, 1-3 pm, at The Clearing, 12171 Garrett Bay Road in Ellison Bay, and it will feature guest speaker Mike Schneider, who will discuss Jens Jensen and lead a tour of the property. The meeting is open to the public. Space is limited, […]

  • Woodland Lecture by Charlotte Lukes

    Naturalist Charlotte Lukes will discuss the flora and fauna of upland hardwoods during her “Spring Woods Awakening” presentation – the next Door County Master Gardeners Association educational lecture – set for April 25, 6:30 pm. See the wildflowers, birds, trees, shrubs, moths, butterflies, frogs, mushrooms, animals, wetland plants and flowers of the boreal forest that you might […]

  • Bass the Focus of Fish Tales Lecture

    The next program in the Fish Tales lecture series will be held April 27, 7 pm, when Nicole Nietlisbach, DVM, of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will present “Largemouth Bass Virus and Smallmouth Bass of Green Bay: Current Knowledge and Remaining Questions.”  Learn how prevalent the virus is in Green Bay smallmouth bass […]

  • DCHS Featured Pet: Archie

    Meet Archie, a 5-year-old cat who’s available for adoption at the Wisconsin Humane Society (WHS) Door County Campus. He weighs 11 pounds, has a brown tabby coat and is looking for a friendly home where he can share snuggles.  Like all cats at WHS, Archie ( is neutered, vaccinated and microchipped, and you get to […]

  • Work Started on Otumba Park Playground Project

    The Playground Project at Otumba Park got its official start with an April 14 groundbreaking ceremony. Donations and grants totaling slightly more than $500,000 made the project possible, and now construction will begin on the new, high-quality recreation environment. “We are thrilled to bring this incredible playground to our community this summer,” said Ashley Schanock, […]

  • Preview the Season with Destination Door County

    It’s time to gear up for the 2023 tourism season, so Destination Door County is hosting a virtual roundtable April 26, 1 pm, when community members can learn about new events, businesses and community improvements throughout the peninsula. Representatives from Destination Door County and the county’s Community Business Associations will present the free program.  Registration […]

  • Movie Highlights Importance of Literacy

    Crossroads at Big Creek will host a free screening of The Right to Read on April 24, 6 pm, at its facility at 2041 Michigan St. in Sturgeon Bay.  The film shares the stories of an activist, two American families and a teacher who are fighting to provide the youngest generation with the most foundational […]

  • Open Door Pride Hosts April Mixer

    Open Door Pride is hosting an April Pride Mixer on April 23, 2-5 pm, at Golf ’n More In-Door, 4614 Harbor School Road in Egg Harbor. Attendees can enjoy golf simulators, dart boards, pool, foosball and shuffleboard, and they can meet Open Door Pride members to learn how the organization’s mission to celebrate diversity in […]

  • Sister Bay Ice Out Contest Winner Announced

    With gail warnings posted and 50-mph winds coming straight down the bay, the 85th Ice Out Contest came to a close April 1 when the Goat on a Boat succumbed to Mother Nature’s April Fool’s surprise. The goat floated slowly at 9:11 am, then capsized off Dock A in the Sister Bay Marina.  Jeanne Mosurinjohn […]

  • Server of the Week: Andy Johnson

    Looking for a server who is a pro? Then say hey to Andy at Greystone. Serving up good times for 20 years, He has one of the most fun careers! Andy works for people he thinks are great, And the customers he serves are icing on the cake. Find him fishing and golfing when he […]

  • Indigenous Nations Poets Gather in Door County

    Sixteen Indigenous poetry fellows from 12 tribal nations will gather with distinguished Indigenous faculty in Door County April 23-28 for the second In-Na-Po: the Indigenous Nations Poets mentoring retreat. In-Na-Po is a new organization dedicated to mentoring emerging Native writers, founded by former Wisconsin poet laureate Kimberly Blaeser (Anishinaabe). The poets will give a poetry […]

  • Sturgeon Bay’s TID #8 Finalized by Joint Review Board

    A resolution to create Sturgeon Bay’s eighth Tax Incremental District (TID) near the intersection of 3rd Avenue and Jefferson Street received final approval April 13 by the city’s Joint Review Board, which includes representatives from the various taxing districts where the district is located. TID #8 is called for in a development agreement that Shirley […]

  • Highway Project in Sevastopol Starts April 24

    The $1,554,844 project to improve 1.2 miles of Highway 42/57 – from Egg Harbor Road north – in the Town of Sevastopol will get underway April 24.  The majority of the work will occur during the overnight hours under a Highway 42/57 closure and detour to provide the least possible traffic impacts to motorists, and the project […]

  • Fatal Crash in Forestville

    A 32-year-old Mexican national who was working in the area died during a one-vehicle crash on Mill Road between Old Elm Road and West Center Road in the Town of Forestville. The Door County Sheriff’s Office, dispatched on April 14 at 3:46 pm, arrived on the scene to find the vehicle rolled over in a […]

  • Application Withdrawn for Duplex in Sturgeon Bay Historic District

    In the wake of opposition to a couple’s plans to convert a house in Sturgeon Bay’s Louisiana Street/7th Avenue Historic District into a duplex, the conditional-use permit application seeking approval to do that has been withdrawn, according to community development director Marty Olejniczak. The Sturgeon Bay Plan Commission, which held a public hearing on the […]

  • Workforce Housing Proposed for Fish Creek

    Little Spring Road neighbors are opposed to the project The Gibraltar Plan Commission will take a first look at a plan for constructing seven apartment buildings that are intended to be used by local employers for employee housing. Michael Niss, on behalf of the Fish Creek Sanitary District, is proposing to rezone 4.90 acres at […]

  • Virtual Public-Comment Period Saved for Door County Board of Supervisor Meetings

    Born during the pandemic, the virtual public-comment period for Door County Board of Supervisors meetings survived an elimination threat this week. The county is not required to allow public comments, but it does so at the beginning of each county board meeting. When meetings went virtual during the pandemic, so did the public-comment period. When […]

  • Around the Door: 10,000 Daffodils

    Despite the gloom of the past few days, sunlight has splashed through now and again, illuminating the fresh signs of spring blooming everywhere around the county – including this daffodil display in front of Green Gables in Ephraim. Photo by Tad Dukehart.

  • Gibraltar School Advised to Borrow ASAP

    Board approves staff raises and new curriculum for English Following voters’ overwhelming approval during the April 4 election of a $29.8 million building project, the Gibraltar Area School Board was urged to move quickly to secure debt to pay for the project. Due to volatility in the bond market but historically low rates at present, […]

  • Trail Trot Returns to Southern Door

    A tradition is returning Saturday, April 22, 10 am, when Southern Door People Involved in Education (PIE) will present the Southern Door Trail Trot Run/Walk. It’s sponsored by Door County Medical Center and the Southern Door Business Association, and all proceeds will go to the Southern Door Elementary/Middle School PIE group to benefit students.  This […]

  • Culture Club: A Day of Creativity

    The Exposure To Creativity Program allows students to explore art forms by ANN SODERLUND For one day during the school year, students step away from their school curriculum to exercise their right brain in their own individual way. Through the efforts of Gibraltar High School and Friends of Gibraltar, in partnership with the Francis Hardy […]

  • Still Smiling on the Inside: Remembering Delmar “Pickle” Olson

    There are few things that get under a restaurant server’s craw more than the customer who walks in five minutes before you’re supposed to open. You may have been banking on those last five minutes to finish your setup for service, but you can’t just push those early birds out the door, and you can’t […]

  • Candle Company Owner Named Hometown Hero

    The Wisconsin State Assembly is honoring Christiana Gorchynsky Trapani, the owner of Door County Candle Company, as a Hometown Hero for her work raising more than $1 million for Razom, a nonprofit organization providing emergency relief for the people in war-torn Ukraine. She was nominated for the award by Representative Joel Kitchens.  “What Christiana and […]

  • Stories from Kirtland’s Hill in Egg Harbor

    The Egg Harbor Historical Society will present a recorded interview with Marion Utter Volkman on April 25, 2 pm, at the Kress Pavilion in Egg Harbor. In the interview, Volkman talks about growing up above the Village of Egg Harbor on what was known as Captain Kirtland’s Hill.  Kirtland was a late-1800s owner of a […]

  • Tourism and the Visitor Economy: Conservation, Community and New Sustainability Initiatives

    by JULIE GILBERT, President and CEO, Destination Door County April is a time of beginnings. We all get excited about the summer fun in the sun and all that comes with it! And April 22 is Earth Day – another big reminder for us to care for Door County, invest in our planet and continue […]

  • Obituary: Marilyn G. Johnson

    December 17, 1930 ~ April 9, 2023 Marilyn (Lyn) Johnson, 92, died peacefully, April 9, 2023 at Door County Medical Center, Sturgeon Bay.  She was preceded in death by her parents and husband Charles.   Lyn was born December 17, 1930 in Peoria, Illinois, the daughter of the late Clarence and Vera Gray.  She graduated […]

  • Obituary: Doris E. Loss

    June 16, 1940 ~ April 17, 2023 Doris E. Loss, 82 years old of Sturgeon Bay, died peacefully Monday, April 17, 2023. She was born June 16, 1940 in Hammond, Indiana, the daughter of the late Gerhart and Margaret (Dockweiler) Rosenau.  Doris graduated from Hammond High School in 1958 before attending Indiana University, receiving her undergrad degree […]

  • Obituary: Betty Mae (Thorp) Bernik Overbeck

    October 27, 1925 ~ April 9, 2023 Betty Mae (Thorp) Bernik Overbeck was born in Ephraim, WI, in the Thorp family Homestead at Eagle Inn to Glen Eugene Thorp and Marion Agnes (Boyd) Thorp on October 27, 1925. She was baptized and confirmed in the Ephraim Moravian Church and served as the church pianist during her high […]

  • DDC Hosts “What’s New in 2023?”

    Get the inside scoop on what’s in store for this year by joining representatives from Destination Door County and Door County’s Community Business Associations on Zoom April 26 at 1 pm. Learn about new events, new businesses and community improvements across the peninsula ahead of the 2023 season. Bring your questions. The session is free but registration is requested here>>

  • Obituary: Darold Wayne Olson

    August 6, 1935 – April 5, 2023 Darold Wayne Olson “Ole”, age 87, of Evanston, IL formerly of Door County, WI died peacefully on April 5, 2023, at home, surrounded by family. Beloved husband of Barbara Olson nee Malone, Loving father of Dennis Olson, Daniel (Keely) Olson, Lance (Sue) Olson, and Loren Olson. Proud grandfather […]

  • Obituary: Peter Dale Collins

    March 20, 1975 ~ April 10, 2023 Peter Dale Collins, 48 years old, of Sister Bay, died suddenly due to complications from a lifelong heart condition, on Monday April 10, 2023, while at his “Happy Place” in Eagle River, WI, with his sister by his side. He was born on March 20, 1975 in Two […]

  • Obituary: Harry A. Zak

    June 3, 1930 ~ April 15, 2023 Harry Zak, 92, of Sturgeon Bay died on April 15, 2023.  He was born June 3, 1930, to Harry and Helen (Simon) Zak in Baileys Harbor.  Harry graduated from Gibraltar High School.  He served in the U. S. Army during the Korean war.  On the happy day of […]

  • Obituary: John Maggitti, Ph. D.

    April 16, 2023 John Maggitti, Ph. D., of Sturgeon Bay, died Saturday evening, April 8, 2023 in the comfort of his home, after a short struggle with brain cancer at the age of 63. He will be missed by his beloved Elizabeth “Liz” Welter; sons, Andrew Bates of Burlington and Michael Maggitti of Green Bay; […]

  • Obituary: Hans Adolf Sawitzki

    December 1, 1934 ~ April 12, 2023 Hans Adolf Sawitzki, age 88 of Sturgeon Bay, died on Wednesday, April 12, 2023.  He was born on December 1, 1934, to the late Johannes and Auguste (Bocian) in Prussia.  He attended grade school in Eitorf, Germany and continued trade school in Köln, Germany where he graduated as […]

  • Obituary: Timothy “Tim” Thomas Zorn

    June 1, 1939 ~ April 8, 2023 Timothy “Tim” Thomas Zorn, age 83 of Sturgeon Bay, passed away on Saturday, April 8, 2023, with his beloved wife, Ren’ee by his side.  Tim was born on June 1, 1939, to the late Thomas and Elizabeth (Cameron) Zorn in Hudson, Wisconsin.   He graduated from Hudson High School.  […]

  • Obituary: Walter “Wally” J. Denil

    August 18, 1936 ~ April 11, 2023 Walter (Wally) Denil, 86, of Forestville, Wisconsin, died peacefully, surrounded by his family on April 11, 2023. Wally (Dad) was born in Brussels, WI to Harry & Mary Denil on August 18, 1936. He graduated from Brussels High School in 1953. Dad married the love of his life, […]